I remain in Salida – extending my stay yet again. The current high temperatures in central Utah make moving there an altogether unattractive prospect. I expected by now to have been there at least a week ago. Damn that global warming!
But that’s one of the many benefits of a commitment-lite life-on-wheels - I can go where the weather suits my clothes. Or, in this case, stay. (Thanks, Harry). Some refer to this strategy as chasing the 70s (the temps, not the decade of the lime-green leisure suit).
At any rate, staying put is fine with me. We are still having fun! The other evening, Jim, Gayle, Chuck, and Carla stop by for a visit with Jeanne, me, Nancy, and Randy.
Yesterday, Jim and Gayle invite me along to hike a portion of the Continental Divide Trail, the footpath that extends 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada. We decide not to do the whole thing. ;-)
Jim hauls us up to Monarch Pass where we join the nearby trailhead.
Along the route, there is little climbing as we start at such high altitude.
The weather is ideal for hiking as we experience the first nearly-cloudless day in what seems like weeks.
Sadly, the haze persists, prompting Gayle and I to propose a name change from The Rockies to - you guessed it - The Smokies.
It comes as no surprise that once we ascend tree line, the views are 360-degrees magnificent.
We stop for lunch.
You gotta hand it to Julie Andrews for pulling this off in a dirndl skirt.
Behind me, in the above photo, is a meadow far below. We marvel at how water invariably carves its distinctive course.
We are fascinated by these mushrooms. Sharon or Chris - can you name that fungi?
At the turn-around point, Jim makes his escape. (He doesn’t elude us for long).
Gayle and I, drawn by this alluring peak, climb off-trail a bit further before beginning the descent.
Another memorable hike!
As I write this, I’m sitting in the shade watching a hawk in a holding pattern, circling, circling, above the canyon. No photo, I didn't want to ruin the show.
In my former life, I used to wonder what it would be like to have the time to watch clouds.
Now I know ... and it’s pretty freaking great.