A Morning's Hike

As in much of the West, we're experiencing a bit of a heat wave here. Temperatures have been well into the 80s by mid-afternoon. So the girls and I venture out into the forest early, going higher up to find some snow for them to cool their toes in. Just after crossing the forest boundary, we're greeting with south-facing hillsides covered in Arrowleaf balsomroot (sunflowers).

Then we reach an old logging spur that hasn't been gravelled. This particular road, about a mile up into the forest, has sections that stay shaded much of the day, so plenty of snow left.

And sections melted out and dry. Good for dog and human feet that would prefer to not tread on a lot of small rocks.

Visual treat: vistas of the valley and far mountains.

This is the area where that low-life bear-baiting neighbor put out dog food a couple of weeks ago. Maia was nervous the entire time we were back here. She wanted to return the way we came, to where there weren't so many smells to make her anxious. When I took this last photo, we'd just turned back and Maia almost danced with relief. I finally had to put a leash on her so she wouldn't get too far in front of me. Even though we rarely see another human out here, it sometimes happens, and I don't want her to startle someone as she goes around a bend in the road. Someone with a rifle.

A good morning, despite Maia's anxiety.