One of the primary reasons that my hiking lags far behind last year’s totals is that at the end of the season I experienced a rather catastrophic equipment failure. My boots that were only two years old developed a hole in the toe. With the onset of winter, that represented a real catastrophe.
Fortunately, the boots were purchased at REI and they made good on their promise to take things back, exchanging the summer boots for a more winter boot. The only problem was that the winter boot was not going to be broken in unless I decided to do a lot of hiking in them, and additionally I wasn’t really that interested in trying to break them in since I had successfully transitioned to a more summer boot two years ago.
At any rate, since the only thing that I knew would work were tennis shoes, I had to avoid the mountain until all of the snow was gone, and by that time there were plenty of other interruptions and the climbing fell to the background. Today however marks climb number 8 for the season, and now I’m only 8 behind where I was last year. Since Saturday June 30 I’ve climbed the mountain 5 times for a total of 20,500 feet.
Today’s climb was uneventful, and although I might have added a couple of photos, I walked out of the house without the main card in the camera which left me with the ability to take only 8 photos.
I did improve my time by a whopping 5 minutes, so that means that if I want to break 3 hours there is a lot of work to do still. I suppose I’m going to have to get to the gym or get on the hill in the mornings so that I can build up my cardio even more, but that is hard to do when you travel as much as I do. Tuesday it’s off to Phoenix for the day and then I fly into Grand Junction, Colorado for another day’s meetings. I’m home for 4 days and then back on the airplane again for three days the following week.
The mountain did get hours of rain and the evidence was everywhere. My rain gauge from the post on July 4 was full again and there were obvious signs that the trails had been flooded just about everywhere. The great news is that the dust is gone from the trails but give it a couple of days without rain and it will be back.
I did stop and take another photo of the wildflower that I posted two days ago, just to show it in it’s larger setting. I figure that it might help for someone to identify it.
I am pretty confident that I’ve figured it out, Antelope Sage – by the common name.
One thing I noticed today was that when I said that the pink clusters were about the size of a dime, I was way off. It’s about the size of a third of a dime. These are really little flowers.
Today’s photo of the day in the photo blog is a close up of the Spreading Fleabane, a member of the Aster family. It’s a biennial or a short lived perennial that seems to favor the upper end of it’s elevation range here in the Sandias, because it is quite common at the 10,000 ft. level.
Note to self, check to see that the right card is in the camera before hiking.