Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Today's Adventure at 8000 Feet

By calling today's outing an adventure, I certainly don't mean to imply that anything particularly exciting happened when we went up to the Lincoln National Forest this morning. The exciting thing to me is that we continue to include some form of exercise in our daily routine.

Today's goal was to walk and bike in the thin air at 8000 feet up. After Beez set out on his bike, I followed on foot. This is little Weetzie, my excellent hiking companion. We headed up (why is it always up?) this logging road, keeping a careful eye out for lovely deer and fierce, protective, and combative mother bears. 

At one point, Weetzie made an unexpectedly loud snuffly noise which made my hair literally stand up all over my head. Once I had ascertained that no mother bears were charging, we decided to wander back down the road toward the car, my chair, and a book for some nice forest-y contemplation. 

Looking closely at the ground, we could see that there were tiny little wildflowers, which you will hardly be able to make out in these iPhone photos I took. In my defense, I have a very difficult time making out what I am taking a photo of when then sun is shining on the screen. But, oh dear, I do wish they would be in focus just for once.

Think of these as impressionist photos of flowers.

The mixed pine, aspen, and spruce (I think) forest was beautiful (except for where someone had thrown empty beer cans into the woods). Everything was so quiet, except for the birdsong, the whirring sound of iridescent green hummingbirds going about their business, and the wind sighing through the pines. 

The smell of the piney air was delicious.

I must give a plug to the beautiful Sacramento Ranger District Visitor Center. It was like a lodge inside, with a stone fireplace and lots of natural wood everywhere. The rangers were friendly and eager to introduce us to their forest home. And I must say, the restrooms were pretty amazing, with advanced technology toilets that could flush two ways, depending on need--a water-saving feature for this drought stricken part of the country.

We met some people from New Hampshire out in the parking lot and, as people will do, established that we knew someone in common within the first 25 words of our conversation. It was a pretty good example of our small world. 

On the drive back home, there was a turnout for gazing at this view of the Tularosa Basin, with the White Sands National Monument sparkling out there in the middle. 


Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...

So green!

JC said...

You make me want to go for a walk and I never do that. lol

Susan Armstrong said...

Love that view of the Tularosa Basin. A place of no drainage.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Impressive hike and sounds like a beautiful visitor center. How are your hikes always uphill ?

Linda said...

A great way to take your exercise.
Bears do add a certain frisson to outdoor pursuits in North America. Some people want to reintroduce all sorts of wildlife with teeth into Scotland, but I am quite partial to going for a walk without the additional thrill of perhaps being eaten.

charlotte g said...

Thanks, Claire. That Basin picture is particularly lovely. Miss the smell.

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Well...I'm back checking on you after a long absence ... Glad to read you are still out there and having fun and blogging it!!

Beth said...

What a wonderful little hiking companion, Clair! I'm glad you and Weetzie had such a pleasant, bear-free walk. On one of our hikes a while back, Tom and I kept seeing freshly-shredded logs all along the path---signs of an unseeen ursine presence. We were glad they kept their distance, and I'm quite sure they felt the same way about us!

Thank you for checking in on me---it means a lot to know I'm in your thoughts. I hope to get back to blogging one of these days. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for your kind thoughts.

By the way, I love your hollyhock header! They are such bright, cheery flowers.

Keep hiking, Clair..good for the body and spirit!

Joyful said...

Lovely scenery! I'm sure you really enjoy the walk as long as you don't run into any bears :-)