Sunday, August 31, 2008

Obstructed view

There has been this ongoing theme this week of rain, mist and fog in the mornings, followed by beautiful afternoons. It works well for most people. Not so much for me. But September is nearly here and I've come to the troubling realization that I've spent precious little time in the mountains this summer. My high ambitions are slipping away with the approaching snow. I hoped to get up early and try to reach Cairn Peak today, but after my alarm went off at 6:45 a.m., I looked out the window to a low bank of fog obscuring even the tops of buildings downtown. So I went back to bed. Hiking for the sake of hiking is all well and good, but not at 6:45 a.m.

I woke up again at 9. It was still foggy. I no longer had enough time to push for Cairn. But I figured I might as well make the most of what was supposed to be a dry day, and head up Mount Jumbo. No new territory there. But I like Mount Jumbo. I can walk out my front door and be on the trail in less than five minutes. Climbing 3,500 feet in 2.5 miles is a brutally efficient workout. Plus, it's always scenic ... even in the fog:

Sure sign of fall: When the devil's club leaves begin to wither.

At the peak. I purposely made myself look like a marmot.

Just below the peak, the big cloud finally moved out of the way.

Come September, I'm always on the lookout for those first hints of termination dust. I've seen dustings of new snow already on 5,000-foot peaks, but it's a little early at 3,500 feet.

Cruise ship in the clouds.

And all along in the city, the sun was shining.

Maybe Cairn Peak tomorrow. There's always tomorrow.