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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mt. Garfield, November 7, 2009

Garfield Ridge Trail, 10 miles roundtrip....plus an unexpected 3+ miles....

It looks like Alex and I will continue to ascend the 4Ks on a regular basis, since we both get antsy if too many weeks go by without a good, solid dose of the Whites.

Except for the very end, this was an enjoyable, routine hike....so I'll let the pictures and short videos tell most of the story.









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Alex noticed these groups of fungi during the descent and thought they looked like open mouths. She tried to mimic them, but couldn't stop herself from laughing when I tried to take a photo.









We had enjoyed ourselves on this beautiful, fine day, and were about a mile from the car when we noticed that Alex's custom-made hiking stick was missing. Horrorstruck, we realized Alex had left it at our last rest stop, 1.7 miles up the trail.

Neither of us wanted to risk losing it. If we came back the next day, it might not be there. So we turned around and set back up the mountain, me laying into Alex more than was necessary (bad mom) and Alex crying because she didn't want to go back up, but she didn't want to lose it either. Every once in a while she would sit down to rest and wail loudly about not wanting to lose the stick, but also not wanting to hike back up. We were both tired, and again, I snapped at her impatiently, which didn't help matters. I kept pressing us onward, knowing that it was better to deal with this now than to go through weeks and months of sadness over losing the hiking stick. I figured if Alex ran out of steam, we'd sit and rest until she was okay to move on. I had three sets of headlamps, water, and lots of layers/chemical warmers/etc. We'd be alright -- once we both chilled out, anyway.

We were almost all the way back up -- and Alex was really getting tired -- when arm from VFTT came down the trail with the stick on the back of his pack. I thanked him profusely and explained the situation. He was very nice and waited with us while Alex took a good rest and had some water and chocolate. The three of us hiked out together, Alex's spirits much recovered with the hiking stick in her hand and her legs going downhill instead of up. I apologized to Alex for my impatience -- and also for not making sure she had it with her all the time, since she is still a young kid and shouldn't be expected to remember everything on her own. She apologized to me for forgetting about it. Then life went back to normal -- her speed picked up, she chattered happily, and all was again well with the world.

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