I backed out of my intended hiking plan for yesterday because the air quality index remained too high for me. All week the smoke from the wildfires in Washington and British Columbia smothered Calgary and the surrounding area. The air quality index rating ranged from 5 to 19 with 10 being the top of the scale. I could feel it in my eyes, nose and throat with Friday being the worse. On that day it even seemed to be in my office tower. I was glad to get home Friday evening, and remain behind my closed doors and windows. I did venture out yesterday to accomplish a few errands but even that bothered me. I cannot imagine how those close to the fires are dealing with this. My heart goes out to you.
There were many reasons I needed to be "out & about" this weekend. The forecast said today may be O.K. I woke this morning very early and immediately checked the index, then poked my nose out the front door and took a whiff. The rating was "2" which meant good to go. So I went! I picked Prairie Mountain as my destination. I wanted a short drive and quick hike.
One of the reasons I wanted to be "out & about" was to play with this new camera I bought a couple of weeks ago after the one I had been using bit the dust. I used it in Waterton and on last weekend's hike. This is what it gave me for this morning's sunrise. I think I will keep it!
the zoom works great
after watching the sun rise I then watched the moon set
With only one other car at the trail head and seeing the guy take off running up the mountain, I already knew my timing was spot on. I don't like busy, but you all know that. I could smell smoke for the first little while and it bothered me a bit but not enough to call it a day. I persisted on, and hiked right up out of the smoke to blue sky and fresh air. What a sight, blue sky! I forgot what that looked like.
the summit is in sight
how sweet this is
I wanted to be "out & about" this weekend to try out my new shirt. This is my first Mammut shirt and I love it. For 50% off and another 10% off that, with free delivery, it's long & lean, what is not to love!
my summit shot
Another reason I wanted to be "out & about" this weekend was to try out my new poles. The poles I have been using are bent so much they do not fully collapse to fit into my suitcase for my next trip which is almost close enough to start counting sleeps. The poles passed the test! I think I will keep them!
I took time to play today on the summit. I built a small cairn. I call it a reminder cairn, not a direction cairn. I was reminded this week how precious life is and not to take it for granted. I thought about Short Stop loosing her sister suddenly. Today I made sure to appreciate every little thing! I needed to be "out & about" today to "remember to breathe".
I had the summit to myself the whole length of my visit.
It was almost like I was given my space to do what I needed to do.
The place was full of that fresh mountain air.
It felt good to be there for so many reasons.
I had one last look back as I entered into the forest.
I have no maps nor profiles to add as I am having problems with the USB connections between my Garmin 62s and my iMac. I do have the digits though, as usual distance ranks just under 8kms and elevation gain comes in roughly around 690m. My time from car to car was 3:05 which includes my play time. I had so much to be thankful for today and I made sure to appreciate every big and little thing!