Rainy Day Hike

27 Sep

I have the week off from work. As such I wanted to go on an adventure today, with the dogs. It started out glorious, like the opening of a movie set in New Hampshire, well, a movie set in New Hampshire featuring a movie that is set in New Hampshire, with a jaunty woodwind-driven score, maybe the kind of movie where the score is playing while a main character is driving along, on their way to a relation’s house, or to a B&B where they’re going to meet a funny couple from Florida and a… gasp… mysterious stranger.

Anyway, I mention New Hampshire due to all the yellowbrownorange leaves seesawing down to the ground, and the bit of a bite in the early morning mountain air. The pups and I were heading up the Mountain Loop Highway to take the Independence and North Lake hike.

me likey

The first part of the day started out fantastic, requiring hat and sunscreen. There’s a little bit of climbing up to Independence Lake:

Lake in the woods...

But then the elevation pain really starts after this spot, as you go nearly straight up.

ascending pups

The three of us formed a nice little paceline. Mostly they drafted off me, but now and then they took the lead. I love watching them go up switchbacks, the way they come to the turn and crank their heads to see what’s on the next switch.

Unfortunately, the clouds had started to move in, obscuring most of the views. Then it started drizzling. Nothing too bad. Us Northwesterners are hardy types. Then it started raining. Then pouring. We came across an old guy who was snoring. Or, maybe that was just a waterfall:

I prefer agile.

Up toward the top as we neared the flanking scenic shelf over North Lake, near the larger of the tarns, as we slogged through the rain, all three of us soaked to the skin, I said, “Okay, enough’s enough. Let’s go home.” I get really stubborn sometimes and insist on finishing things, but it was getting dangerous out there. I slipped and fell a couple of times, and at one point, heading back down, Adelaide slipped and hurt her rear leg.

Safe and mostly sound if mostly drowned, we made it back to the car, parked next to another car, a newish Mercedes, that had the engine running, and a teenage girl behind the wheel, smoking. Okaaay.

I cleaned up the pups and gave them some water. Then I said, “So who wants a treat for not mentioning exactly how much of an adventure this was to Mrs. Surly?” Their smiles were answer, and collusion, enough, but Cooper said, “What adventure?”

I mark the trail every 50 feet!

Two treats, and she won't hear a word.

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