Time passes, lives happen, each off in its own unique direction, yet memories and faces are never forgotten. A friend made contact suggesting it would be nice to reunite and share a few hours together along a hiking trail. Being at various stages of ability for one reason or another, we came together with a doable destination for all. Our objective would be a variation in the Volcano Ridge area of Sheep River Provincial Park where we could just let our day flow.
We arrived at our trail head early and already felt the warmth of the sunny autumn day. The friendship warmth was flowing too. The only not so warming thing was the mud we had to attack early on but it lasted maybe 10 minutes. Then it was cleanly & clearly inward, onward and upward.
While I heard parts of our playground westerly were wintery white, we enjoyed autumn hues.
As we carried along, we could see the south summit of Volcano Ridge.
We aimed for that brown bump middle right.
Our day on Volcano Ridge was flowing wonderfully. We took a little time at the south summit to admire the views, savour snacks and share stories. With so much to catch up on, there was never a dull or quiet moment. The trail conditions were ideal, the wind wasn't though, it whipped wildly.
view of Bluerock Mountain as we descended the south summit
Our main destination came into sight.
The north summit of Volcano Ridge is that high point centre left.
We veered off trail to descend the south summit.
We made our way through a sparse forest aiming for the open slope.
the colorful open slope
After the first slight slope, we had a short stretch of meadow to meander through. The scenery was wonderful. Not only was I enjoying the scenery, but also how it felt like time hadn't passed, like our lives were not heading off in unique directions, it felt like as we caught up, we were right back to those days when Saturday after Saturday after Saturday we shared. Today felt like home!
...and of course, I always feel at home on a summit...
This is my north summit shot at Volcano Ridge.
We tucked into a space that sheltered us from the wind and where we could feel the warmth of the sun. It was time to dine and to scope out the slope to our left. We were game to incorporate a tad more distance and exploring to our day and that autumny slope looked inviting.
After more stories shared, we packed up our gear then hit the hill to descend.
We widened our loop then arrived back at the meadowy area to where we were prior.
Instead of ascending back to the south summit and making it an out and back from there, we agreed to broaden our day and our loop. It seemed no one really wanted this day to end any sooner than necessary because it was flowing at such a fun and easy rate. We reached the bridge that would lead us to the old, old grown over road which we would follow for the last few kilometres.
The sun beat down, the wind had settled and the stories still flowed as we retreated from the Volcano Ridge area. The colors were still a spectacle as we passed by the backside of Missinglink Mountain. Almost six and a half hours later, it absolutely felt like old times and it felt like we could go on for another six and a half hours without a dull or quiet moment, maybe not the hiking part of it but most definitely the friendship aspect of it.
I don't always like when we have to head home especially if it has been a fun day when ideal conditions, glorious scenery and fine friends make up the mix. To make the heading home part of the day a little more pleasing, I take time to think about what we just experienced and our conversations.
The mountains reminded me today that even though our livestyles are diverse, our abilities vary and our ages range, there is that common theme of love for life, exploring & sharing in our mountain playground that bonds us together.
Thank you for making today what it was!