|Footpath app map|
I left the house again not knowing where I was going. My last hike was Hamilton and I considered another spin up to Phlox Point but when I reached the turn off by Beacon Rock, I kept on going.
I figured I'd checked out Dog Mountain. I really wasn't up for a 15-miler like Table Mountain and probably didn't have the time anyway; it was around noon, so when I saw a full parking lot at the Bonneville Trailhead, I knew I'd made the right choice.
Traffic was light all the way. The Dog Mountain parking lot had about 20 cars but there were will still plenty of open spots. I found one closer to the pay station.
I realized as I was getting geared up there I'd left my phone. No trail recording, no photos, no navigation. I felt naked. Nevertheless, it was overcast so I didn't really mind.
Distance: 5.89 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,830 feet
Max Elevation: 2,935 feet
From my Instagram Post:
I forgot my phone at home. If I didn’t take a picture, did it happen? Lol! I often use AllTrails to record my hikes but starting to use Footpath app when I want to get mileage & elevation gain after the fact. (I haven’t used the Tracking feature yet.)
I also want to keep diary of my hikes here. RA has been acting up and I’ve had to pause my meds for a few weeks. As such, today I suddenly saw some bruising in my fingers, after only a week of not being on treatment. Scary.
Nevertheless, I will continue to hike as much as I can. Hopefully I can find an alternative treatment that’s not as hard on the body.
I made good time up the first set of switchbacks. Once in the trees, it was pleasant (no wind, not too chilly). My recollection of the route was hazy but still somewhat familiar. The ice/hard pack on the trail started pretty low down (maybe a 1.5 miles up). I asked some hikers on their descent about the patches of ice. I went for awhile without but I saw a long stretch of white so I put them on.
So. Much. Better. I felt invincible with the added traction. Of the hikers coming down the trail, there were more people without microspikes than those with them (60/40 split). One guy (probably not much older than me) was jogging down the trail with one hiking pole. Sure enough, he bailed right in front of me. Fortunately, he wasn't injured but I imagined having to assist this dumbass to the trail cuz of a preventable accident... SMH.
The climb to Puppy Dog View point was so much easier with microspikes. The deeper snow was gone (from last time) and it even got a bit rocky. I tried to avoid stepping on larger rocks. The traverse and final approach was pretty windy and cold. I just kept going, only glancing up occasionally to check my progress. Soon I was rounding a corner and seeing amazing views as the fog had cleared.
Somewhere before I'd seen a pair of sunglasses on the ground. I picked them up and hung them from my pocket so the owner might see them and I could return them.
I passed a pair of hikers and they both were wearing sunglasses. The sunlight and white snow everywhere was tough on the eyes, so I put on the sunglasses. I passed another guy who gave me a double-take but didn't say anything. I had feeling they were his but maybe not. For all I knew, the owner had been one of the many I'd seen on my ascent.
I spent a little time at the top.. I cruised through the trees to try to find the highest spot but without my map, I couldn't be sure. I turned around when I came to two divergent set of tracks. I returned to the trail and took a short break under a tree.
The descent was easy with the microspikes. Where the More Difficult trail splits off, I saw that guy again. He came up to me and asked if I'd seen any sunglasses (the ones I was wearing??). I knew right away and took the glasses and handed them to him. I said was I glad to find the owner but in my mind I was thinking "finders, keepers". I mentioned I was going to take the alternate route back down and we started down the trail.
He was in front and was struggling with just hiking boots. After a couple of slips and one fall, he stopped to put on his microspikes. I stopped to chat but when he said "you don't have to wait" I didn't hesitate. I said "cheers, see ya down below" and took off.
At one point, I was feeling unsure and hoped I wasn't lost. The trail was pretty obvious but there were some spots that weren't. I took comfort in knowing there was another hiker on the descent. When I passed a few hikers, I knew I was where I should be.
When I reached the trail split, I finally took off my microspikes.
I passed a few more hikers coming up the first set of switchbacks and made it back to the trailhead.
I saw the sunglasses guy while I was changing footwear. I tried to wave but he wasn't looking.