Things just keep on happening!

A Free Day in the Mountains

I took the day– yay!!– and the Buddies, and away we went to the Blow-me-downs for some sunshine. We decided to travel our ‘usual’ route to see what it would be like to do long, steady, relentless uphills over our favorite way (which is to have long, steep inclines to climb for the first 1 1/2 hrs, but then mostly downhill all the way), and also to find the ‘left turn’ that I tend to miss, which means a bit of bushwhacking, fording streams, and a few extra bits of mileage). We tracked everything well– couldn’t really go wrong, the skidoos had been covering most of this ground quite steadily for much of the winter. The colours were those of spring skiing, crazy cobalt against the brilliant white, but the snow was old and cold and somewhat slow… cardboard-ish…over a hard crust… and didn’t warm up until close to 2pm in the afternoon, by which time we were on the final descents (worked out well!).
We prefer our usual way; going today’s route, we climbed for about 3hours, and had three distinct ascents– all of which involved losing way too much elevation only to have another major climb– maybe OK if one had skate skiis and wanted to skate the whole way… poor old Shep had a hard time getting up after lunch break, and did a lot of limping on the final descent, we had to wait for him. Trips like these won’t happen with him anymore, which is sad– it’ll be tough to tell him he has to stay home. Kala, on the other hand, will hunt those wabbits all day long!
No matter which way we travel this area, it’s always beautiful!

The images are in the wrong order, no idea how to get them to change… so you’re seeing arriving at the top first, and departure from home in the morning last.

Last glance back at the hills before the final descent to the road. Beauty day!

Last glance back at the hills before the final descent to the road. Beauty day!

Freezing at the top... had to bust out my Knix for lunch, but no photo...this is just before we stopped.

Freezing at the top… had to bust out my Knix for lunch, but no photo…this is just before we stopped.

Looking over the Bay of Islands

Looking over the Bay of Islands

Wind in the ears.

Wind in the ears.

The nimble ones... it's OK, they have four legs and can go at least four times as fast-- uphill, that is.

The nimble ones… it’s OK, they have four legs and can go at least four times as fast– uphill, that is.

Me Old Buddy, having a break while he waits for me; Little Buddy waiting for both of us up ahead.

Me Old Buddy, having a break while he waits for me; Little Buddy waiting for both of us up ahead.

Getting closer to the undeniable descent before the 3rd ascent begins.

Getting closer to the undeniable descent before the 3rd ascent begins.

Peak of second ascent.

Peak of second ascent.

Looking back along part of 2nd ascent...

Looking back along part of 2nd ascent…

...and getting farther from the water supply...

…and getting farther from the water supply…

... sunny little flat platecu in middle of 2nd ascent from water supply...

… sunny little flat platecu in middle of 2nd ascent from water supply…

... the trail started to open up, and I can see where I want to end up over those ridges...

… the trail started to open up, and I can see where I want to end up over those ridges…

... warning stakes around the water supply...

… warning stakes around the water supply…

After climbing for quite sometime on the main skiddo road, reached the turn off ofr the water supply... which led to a disturbingly huge loss of elevation to get down to the water supply, cross the creek, and begin the second ascent.

After climbing for quite sometime on the main skiddo road, reached the turn off ofr the water supply… which led to a disturbingly huge loss of elevation to get down to the water supply, cross the creek, and begin the second ascent.

Ice on the trees in the morning en route.

Ice on the trees in the morning en route.

The mountains are waking up... I am going to play hooky today, it may be my last chance this year for a day out there.

The mountains are waking up… I am going to play hooky today, it may be my last chance this year for a day out there.

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