I was forced to hike Azure mountain the Sunday before Memorial Day. I was not terribly enthusiastic about this jaunt because, lets face it, I am not athletic material. Walking on flat ground is my thing. Sloping upward ground does not thrill me. But everyone was doing it, so...
It was just as terrible as I thought it would be.
I KNOW. It is Azure. I mean, c'mon! One mile to the top, how terrible can it be?
Terrible might not be the right word. But I didn't like it.
Lots of good picture opportunities though!
Ferny unfurling things.
Gilbert brought along his compass, so he was getting a lesson in compass use from Uncle Evan and Scott.
Gilbert kept complaining about his stomach and tailbone. Not sure why. But 10 minutes in we realized that was not going to get better. So Justin took him back down to the van.
Roots for climbing
The trail was a little wet and muddy in spots.
You will notice a high level of solitude in these pictures. I think I hike better alone. If someone was there I would probably hate them just because they were convenient for hating when I wanted to hate something. Justin learned this to his detriment a few weeks after we were married. We hiked up to Hanging Lake on Hatcher's Pass. Like a loving husband he hung around at the end with me. I tried to be a loving wife, but I whined and griped and generally made life miserable for him. I am not a good hiking companion. Remember this for your own good.
See? It is pretty. I want to be a person that likes hiking. I love seeing the views. I love the wildness. I love the flora and sometimes the fauna. I love the quietness. BUT I HATE THE UPWARD BIT. I generally think it is just because I am not in shape enough. But then I realize that I have felt like this at all points of my life, so.... And I can easily walk ten miles with no problem. Well no big problems. But that mountain....
Stopping to take pictures is a good reason to stop and pant for a bit.
So I took pictures.
More trillium! Must take a picture of that. *Pant, pant!*
And finally, finally, the top! Oh how delightful. If I ever hike again it will just be for this--how good it feels to stop walking upwards.
And here is the crew that preceded me up the mountain.
It was a cloudy, which made things very pretty.
But all in all, my pictures were pretty washed out. I need to get a filter for my lens. I did a little more shading in picasa, but it isn't a perfect fix.
I will point out that my four year old was up the mountain in two shakes of a lambs tail with no problems.
Blueberries in blossom!
To be totally honest, these were part of the reason I kept climbing this mountain. I kept thinking--"The blueberries will be in bloom. The blueberries will be in bloom."
We all need motivation. Mine just happens to be more botanical than some peoples.
All in all, I thought it was almost worth the hike to see the blueberries in bloom.
And yes, it is rather gorgeous.
This is a little to shadow-y now. Still cool.
The big rock.
I know, it looks like the last picture. But I liked both. And if this will be my only mountaintop post for ten years, I need to maximize this one!
Sisters, cousins, friends
Bumblebees in the blueberry blossoms.
These girls climbed the tower with me.
Elsie and I led the way down.
For the first two minutes. For liking hiking so much, they sure want to get it done with in a hurry. I prefer to think of myself as "savoring" the hike.
Elsie and Scott were buds.
Then, THIS. A Jack-in-the-pulpit. This has been on my must see list for years. YEARS.
Pretty much, in one plant, I found justification for the entire uncomfortable proceeding up the mountain.
Isn't this a pretty birch?
Going down is easier, breath-wise, but it is still unpleasant. All that slipping/sliding, "Am I going to fall?!"
I just like flat ground.
And then we met these people at Donnelley's for a first ice cream of the season.
Gilbert and Grandpa
Ice cream cousins.
Mountains that I will not climb.
I am awfully whiney about mountains, but I am an adult I can decide these things about my life. Maybe someday I will become one of those people who run marathons up mountains. Just for fun! Then again, I might not.