Yesterday I hiked Pleasant Mountain with our friend Denis and his daughter, A. I had originally planned on taking Owen along. The moderate 5.8-mile roundtrip would have been perfect for him, but, alas, Owen has been sidelined for the rest of the summer hiking season. He has a shoulder injury that has put him on the DL indefinitely. Doctors orders.
(The doctor has also ordered pain meds, massage, controlled activity, physical therapy and 5-10 minutes of icing per night. Let me tell you a little something about how much Owen enjoys having his shoulder iced: he doesn’t. But if his limp improves, the struggle will be worth it.)
The hike went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful day (I forgot my hat and my sunscreen, so I got a little crisped), the views were phenomenal for a 2006-foot peak and we had a lot of fun.
Care to join me for a pictorial tour?
There are several trails leading up to the peak. We took Southwest Ridge Trail, which has a total elevation gain of 1,800 feet. Not a bad little workout.
The trail was not as wooded as we were anticipating, which meant that 1) the views were plentiful and 2) I got sunburned.
Here we have the North American Outdoorsman in his natural habitat. He seems pretty focused on something. Let’s take his picture and see what he does!
(It’s a lot funnier if you read that with an Australian accent.)
Oddly enough, after this summit sign, we made a steady decent for a good third of a mile or so. There is a smaller peak that we hit before heading down into the ravine and back up to the main peak.
The “shoe-around-the-summit-marker” shot is a tradition.
Den and A are checking out the view westward into the White Mountains. Look at those misty shapes – just beautiful! There is something almost spiritual about being out there for me. It is very humbling. Very therapeutic.
You can’t see it in that picture, but the summit was literally a-buzz with dragonflies. Iridescent blue and green wings were darting everywhere. It was very cool.
Gondor calls for aid!
That was all I could think when Den and A scrambled up on this rock slab where someone had built a deadwood would-be bonfire. I hope no one tries to light it anytime soon. The area is so dry that the leaves on all the trees are wilted and sad-looking. The whole mountain would go up like kindling.
All in all, not a bad way to spend the day. I almost forgot, for a few minutes, how very, very ready I am for this deployment to be over.