Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hike a Hill

Even hiking Cox Hill, I could still achieve that "on top of the world" feeling! After two challenging hikes last weekend, I was due for a walk in the park. I wanted a hill today, not a mountain, so we settled on Cox Hill which is pretty much out our front door. The day was not without obstacles. First one was this! We waited, put the car in park, burped the horn a couple of times, waited, they were doing their own walk in the park. We waited while they continued to stream out of the woods.
Five minutes into our hike, we were presented with our second obstacle. No bridge to cross the wide, full, (soon to find out freezing) fast-flowing creek. After casing the joint, we concluded we needed to do the bare foot thing and just go for it, which we did. The return trip was a different story!
You can see we were quite indecisive on how to cross the creek!

We made the continuous climb through the winding, narrow, tree lined trail where no views were afforded. At about the 5 km distance, we sensed an opening ahead and this is where we stopped to dine and drink before we dash off again. Scape Goat was today's pale ale choice. After a toast, we filled up on fuel, took some photos then carried on.
We made it to the top of Cox Hill! We couldn't see Calgary in the distance but we could plainly see Mt Yumnuska, Moose Mountain, Prairie Mountain and Jumpingpound Mountain. We spent some time on the ridge following towards the Jumpingpound Ridge. What amazing scenery! We watched a biker make his way up the hill side towards us. I asked was he on his own! He said his buddies were over there and pointed way off in the distance. I couldn't see them! We chatted, got him to take our photo, chatted more. I asked again where are your buddies? He pointed way off in the distance! I said, you must have had your Wheaties this morning, you have a long wait for them. I still couldn't see them. He said he was use to it. I said, you've done this before. He replied he was on the Canadian cycling team for 7 years! I didn't ask his name but I wish I did.
I think another time I want to get back to this place and carry on further along the Jumpingpound Ridge Trail. It's such a beautiful ridge! It may not happen this year, one can sense that fall is soon upon us. There has been a change in color of grass and trees and bushes and weeds. Berries were in abundance! That's an end of summer thing as is when the bees are feasting.

On the return trip, we looked for another option for the creek crossing and picked a place further down where it looked narrower and shallower. We wanted to avoid having to remove our socks and boots this time and feeling too lazy to anyway. Mistake! I led! R followed! I slipped! R slipped! To just below our knees! Good thing we were only 5 minutes from the trail head. I twisted the water out of my socks and shoes and insoles. I could have measured two cups worth of creek!

When I downloaded our track onto Google Earth, I was shocked and saddened at what I saw! All the light green square patches. I zoomed out further and it just got worse, all the clear cutting. Why? Is it due to the beetle infestation?
Today was just what the doctor ordered! I feel so fortunate to be able to experience such fun and amazing scenery so close to home!


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