My sister and I hike together just about every Saturday. A few weeks ago she had a headache so I set out on my own. Well, I wasn’t alone because every Saturday I pick up Molly, my parents Tibetan Terrier, and she comes along. Usually it is Kathleen with her long-haired Dachshund, Ruby, and me with Molly. Molly is a wonderful hiking companion and in the picture above, is anxious to get out of the car and get going.
The morning was foggy so I decided to take a trail that we don’t usually hike in the summer as it doesn’t have much shade and can be pretty sunny and warm. Hidden Meadows trail, on the flanks of Mt. Baldy, offers a nice hike with beautiful views of Mt. Tam and not much traffic.
I started to notice flowers I don’t usually see. Maybe it was because I don’t usually hike the Hidden Meadows trail during this season or maybe I was more observant with my camera in hand.
The hillsides had gone from green to gold which also highlighted different flora. Bright yellow wildflowers caught my eye and I stopped again for another photo.
Molly seemed to wonder why I kept stopping to take pictures.
The fog had burned off but a cool, marine breeze kept us comfortable. A whole hillside of the yellow flowers had me stopping for photos again.
Soon after taking this picture we passed two large groups of hikers as we moved uphill on the trail and they hiked down. About two dozen people – more than we would typically pass if we hiked this trail every Saturday for a month. As their conversation faded I was content to return to my own thoughts and Molly’s company.
Molly scrambles easily up and over or down and under the various rocks, branches and other obstacles on the path and I do my best to keep up.
As the trail loops around hillsides Mt. Tam comes into view and then is hidden again behind a curve. It makes me happy every time I see it.
I don’t know what these green fruits are but I liked how they looked.
Hiking without conversation I think of many things: the peeling bark on this Madrone made me glad I am diligent about wearing sunscreen. I also thought about my family, work (this was before the start of a new semester at College of Marin), and of blog posts (Cool Tools – about some of my favorite kitchen or crafting tools, for example) I may write some day.
Near the end of the Hidden Meadows trail, we veered off the route we knew onto a branch-less-traveled. I could see a glimpse of Phoenix Lake as we continued on this new-to-us path and knew about where we were, but it felt like a mini adventure. Hiking an unfamiliar path made me focus more on my surroundings and got me out of my thoughts.
Molly and I returned to the car, tired from our hike but I know that I was also rejuvenated and relaxed from the experience.