Here it is, the fifth of September, and we are well into autumn weather and colors here in Alaska. This is Labor Day Weekend, three days off, and the Kozmik All has graced us with beautiful sunshine, sparkly clear skies, and (relative) warmth. The dotter wanted to spend her time today watching TV. I said, “No way, Jose!”, and dragged her out into the backyard to kick the soccer ball around a few times.
And then I dragged her on a hike.
Lately, she has been quite down on the idea of hikes. All summer long, at summer camp, she avoided most of the hikes because her gymnastics class was scheduled in the middle of the day, ending after the kids were bussed off to wherever that week’s hike was. When she did go, she pooh-poohed the experience. My heart sank each time she did that–I love to go hiking, and she seemed to be deciding that Nature, and walking, and looking at the beautiful world around her was just BOR-ing!
Well, bah humbug, says I. That’s no way to grow up!
So there we were, and it was a glorious day, and I pretty much told her to suck it up, we were going on a hike.
We grabbed the dawg, motored on up to Margaret Pass, where the Little Lady River runs, parked by one of the trailheads, and headed up the lower reaches of Gummint Peak. The trail was wide and open, alongside a creek that joins the Little Lady River, with many little offshoots of the trail leading to the creek. The dotter paused to look for rocks to throw:
The trail crossed a neat wooden bridge; I’m not sure why it was built that way, with the two parts:
Then the trail suddenly became small and narrow and steep, heading up a ridgeline very quickly. I warned the dotter that we would have to come down the trail on our butts because it was so steep, but that only made it more attractive to her. I tried to take pictures of how steep it was, but none of them showed it properly. Here the dotter is clowning around on a rock on the trail ahead (and above) me:
There were oodles of fireweed in full fluff, and with scarlet leaves:
The fireweed are splendid wildflowers. They bloom bright pink flowers all along their stalk, above green leaves; then, when they’re all done blooming, the stems to the flowers turn dark pink, the leaves turn scarlet, and the seeds covered with fluff burst open. When the wind picks up, the fluff from the fireweed dances off into the skies.
When we got up to a bench on the ridge, we stopped, rested, rehydrated, and took pictures. First, a vista:
I took the landscape pictures, then the dotter demanded the camera. First she caught the dawg resting, looking Noble:
Then she did a self-portrait. Note the faint orange mustache from her Gatorade:
She took a picture of me, but I’m not putting it in here, ’cause it shows my impending wattle, yuck.
Then we turned around and slid back down the trail. The dotter wanted to go back up and slide back down, but I nixed that idea; the butt of her blue jeans was getting pretty damned grubby by that time, and I was afraid that any more grinding action would engrain the dirt to the point where it was impossible to ever get out again.
On the way up and back down, I was constantly clicking the camera, grabbing shots of autumn colors. Some more fireweed:
Some berries (not edible, I think):
Purty fall colors:
Once we were back at the trailhead, we crossed the road to the Little Lady River, and played on the rocks and in the water. The dotter collected a large number of speckled rocks, which she proudly proclaimed were river dinosaur eggs, and that the eggs needed to be right at the edge of the water to hatch, so that the baby river dinosaurs could just swim away when they hatched.
Then we went home. On the drive home, the dotter informed me that she just loved hiking, and could we do it every weekend? Har. My nefarious scheme is working!