Saturday, May 30, 2009

rainy days

may the wind be at your back...

After what can only be described as a gorgeous Memorial Day Weekend during which I worked every day, my two days off fell on... the rainy days! Wednesday, I had in mind a hike, but with the showers on the east side, I opted to file all the loose papers in my office instead. In the process I found my thumb drive, a bill that needs to be paid and lots of papers that went into the recycling bag. It was a productive day.

So on Thursday, I was determined to get my hike. I parked at Glen Alps. The wind was blowing down the Powerline trail where I quickly turned onto the Middle Fork trail. It was mucky in places, but much of it was out of the wind that blew from Powerline Pass. It was my first hike of the season and I'm still glad I have my waterproof boots for all the wet areas.

Being out there on a rainy day meant I had the trail to myself much of the time. Alone with the landscape and my thoughts, I moved along the boardwalks and narrow trail, scanning the high slopes for wildlife and signs of fresh snow or ash from this spring's volcanic eruption of Mt Redoubt.
You'll have to open this one to see all the sheep on the slope.

ripples of snow with ash.

Some of the wildflowers were in bloom
thanks to the early spring sunshine,
while trees were just starting to bud.

Partway into the hike I had to decide whether it would be an out-and-back route or a loop. Once I passed the cutoff for Williwaw Lakes, I decided I'd take the trail all the way to Prospect Heights then head straight up the Powerline back to Glen Alps.

Hiking up the powerline, I set a rhythm that reminded me of how it feels to ride my single speed. Too slow and it feels like you're dragging and lose all momentum. It seems it will take forever. Too fast and you wear yourself out. Set the right tempo for yourself, however, and you can maintain that pace for quite a way. In this case, hiking uphill into the headwind for over a mile, once I set my pace, I felt I hadn't bit off more than I could chew. I arrived back at the trailhead just as the after-work crowd started showing up. I was happy to slip into my car and out of the hiking boots before heading back into town where things take on unnatural paces based on other people, clocks and intervals between red lights.

It was good to be out on the trails, even for a somewhat chilly afternoon.

uprooted tree, and all it brings along

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