Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reaching The Summit Of Azure Mountain

The trail up Azure Mountain had become seriously steep and both Seamus and I were panting and taking frequent rests. But we continued upward, on our way to see the summit of Azure Mountain. I took far fewer photos than usual during this part of the hike because I was focused on hauling my aging body uphill without hurting myself:

I stopped for a photo with Fergus and Daphne:

The trail was so seriously steep that Seamus finally decided that he could go no farther. He plopped himself down on the trail and panted. Out of concern for his welfare and because I was feeling similarly, I sat down and we all took a long rest. I had a water bottle with me and squirted water in his throat every now and then, a refresher which Seamus seemed to appreciate:

Daphne was still full of happy energy, but those of us with more body weight and accumulated years needed a rest:

Seamus didn't move for some time and his buddy, Fergus, came over to see if he was alright:

But we all recovered and resumed our ascent. On the exceedingly steep parts I had to use both my hands and feet to keep moving upward:

I was beginning to think, with some embarrassment, that I might have to turn back without making it to the summit when just above us I glimpsed the fire tower. My first thought was that it was shorter than most, with fewer flights of stairs. This occasioned both disappointment and relief in me - disappointment that it might not provide a magnificent view and relief that I would have fewer steps to climb:

As we walked out onto the summit, the trail leveled out and the sunshine increased. There were few trees at the peak, but lots of flowers like this Fireweed, Epilobium angustifolium, a member of the Evening Primrose family. In fact, there were large patches of this striking purple beauty:

And I deposited the rocks I'd carried up with me in the pile designated for that purpose. This was a magnificent mountain summit and I was charmed by its peaceful beauty. I'll post more tomorrow:

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