Friday, June 16, 2017

Defied but not defeated on Mt. Defiance

Someone invited me to a climb I had never done! I was excited. We drove to the Mt. Defiance trailhead at noon in the heat of the day. We enjoyed a couple of waterfalls- this one was set behind a boulder.
We enjoyed a second waterfall before we started our steep ascent.
My friends knew a lot about wildflowers and I enjoyed finding them.
We started climbing. It was SO STEEP- about 1200 feet a mile and hot.
I kept at it but was pretty slow up the steep hill.
I continued to enjoy the wildflowers.
There was one viewpoint a little ways up and I saw the tip of Mt. Adams in the distance.
The gorge was lovely as always.
We took a little rest and then kept on climbing.
I was very glad for the shade on the trail that helped make it more bearable.
I found a Trillium!
Near the top I slowed down quite a bit. I invited my friends to continue on and we agreed to a turn around time. I knew I was on the last big push to the viewpoint when I reached this sign.
As I stepped out into the open rocky view point I sat back and took in the amazing view.
I was less than a mile from the very top but decided a 9 mile hike with this much elevation gain in the heat was respectable.
I debated going on but felt accomplished (as well as a bit nauseous and light headed).
The mountain view made me happy though.
The way down saw more flower. A pink Trillium.
It was so steep that I thought I might lose a toenail from my toes slamming into my boots down the hills.
I tried to stay in the moment, grateful for my new friends and what my body can do and remembering that I am enough.
We saw this large nest on top of the powerlines.
We continued to enjoy the flowers on the way back down.
These hearty flowers welcome hearty hikers.
I enjoyed watching the boats and trains below.
The top of Dog Mountain with its open meadows was calling to me from across the river.
What a hike! Do not underestimate Mt. Defiance but was glad to have this experience and keep getting stronger.

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