September Hike

I decided it was time to get some outdoor dirt exposure. Between being sick and working I haven’t done much of anything as of late. I haven’t even seen any of my friends recently! Either I cancel on them due to being sick or they are busy. The last few weeks my life has taken a turn for the mundane and my first day off that I wasn’t running a fever or coughing sounded like a fine time to break things up. I spent the first half of my day at the doctors getting all kinds of fun tests done to see what is wrong with my immune system (I’ll update that when the results come in) and promptly ran (okay drove) out of the city as fast as I could. River of course came. I decided to drive through Eagle River and check out the fall colors in the valley. I ended up on Hiland road and decided I would do a small hike (I just got over being sick, doubtful I would have lived through a real hike).  Since I’d decided to limit the distance I ended up going straight UP the mountain… I want to see… In hindsight was probably not the best idea since I really don’t  do uphill hikes well in good shape not worn out from no sleep and sickness.. But oh well. I took some pictures and enjoyed myself and the quiet of the wild. Though I did curse a lot going up. River had a blast and stayed close so I didn’t have to worry about something eating her. We only say two other people out the entire time (no one else in sight).

I moved very, VERY slow. Pretty much pushed myself to exhaustion with this short but steep hike. Besides my pace and picture complex I was actually quite glad to be alone with just her furriness. The thought of moose or bears didn’t really bother me (I was aware but not worried) and the silence of the wild was comforting to my city numbed nerves.

The hillside as I drove up to the parking area.

First of the snow way up in the mountains here to stay! These mountains actually melt for a little while during the summer.

Foothills across the Eagle River valley.

Fall colored foothills look a bit like the tundra does towards the end of summer.

My wild little furry other half! As the camera captures – River’s eyes just sparkle with life during an adventure outside (everything is an adventure to her you know..)

Pretty yellow patch of color among the browns and greys.

Sweet rock I noticed along the trail

More than half way up & between the ride line

The trail behind ~ gives new meaning to one should not look back!

Pretty little red plants among the loose shale.

My fearless trail blazer

Lichen & Plants. The white lichen/moss looked almost like snow littering the hillside.

Odd plant on the hillside I spotted in an odd knocked over position. There a few like this scattered about. I’m guessing the wind blew them over once they died.

River playing “wild thing” prowling through the lichen. She pretty much had to bound and pounce her way up the trail. Of course she made out much better than I did even with this disadvantage…

I come out on the other side of the mountains (okay hills) and can see all of Anchorage. Everyone should be able to get a bird’s-eye view of their city (preferably without a plane).

White lichen, red & green plants.

True fall colors, not much but their there!

Closeup of the white lichen/moss. Next to mushrooms and ferns, moss is one of my favorite plants.

The view south of Anchorage (and yes that is River’s tail there)

Self portrait (hence why it’s so bad).. it’s rather hard to take pictures of oneself…

A much better self-portrait! Probably one of my favorite photos of River & I (that I’ve taken).

Random hilltop and a very steep one at that.

River taking a break with me checking the view. Between my body’s very object opinion of going UP and being sick… I stopped a lot. Next to my picture obsession another reason why people don’t like to hike with me. I’m SLOW!

Great view of the first & second lakes in the Eagle River Valley as I climb the heights. One these days I’m going to go checkout the lakes & rivers way out there.

Cute little seed heads among the different plants. I love the different brilliant colors!

Gorgeous plants 🙂

River on top! She pretty much hiked the entire freaking trail twice going back and forth (waiting for me).

The hill tops rocky ridge line

Another self portrait at the top! I’m all bundled up against the wind and chill. It was FREEZING in the full force of the wind. Some rain/snow clouds were rolling in and I decided I would have to walk the ridge line another day since my hat wasn’t thick enough and my poor ears (I just had a damn ear infection) were hurting.

River getting some air under her ‘wings’. The wind was really blowing and River looked like she was about to become airborne and take off!

Heading back ~ Pines at the base of the hills

Whether this dead pine is old it has a rather ‘ancient’ look to it.

The dead pine gods silhouette. I think the tital says my thoughts on this neat picture.

Red weed at the trail head

The prettiest weed & grass combo I’ve seen up here!

A nice closeup of the red weeds.

Back in the valley the trees are a bright yellow – mostly made of aspens.

Yellow leave, Grey clouds as the light wanes.

 

Overall was a great but tiring adventure! River of course made out just fine and could go another 10 miles. I on the other hand took a salt bath and hot tea to recover…

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