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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Avalon (Plan B) -- December 6, 2009

Avalon Trail, 3.6 miles roundtrip.

Alex has been asking to revisit Tom for some time now. We thought we'd give it a shot today, but alas...the snow wasn't deep enough or thin enough to make the hike worthwhile. It was that in-between, slippery stuff that hides the rocks and roots from view but doesn't bury them completely. We got to the intersection with the A-Z trail, then Alex uttered a five word phrase that has never before come out of her mouth: "I want to turn back."

Since we were half a mile from Avalon, a summit we had never visited, I asked if she wanted to switch the goal from Tom to Avalon...or we could just turn back, as she had requested. She thought for a few seconds, then chose to see Avalon.

We were rewarded for our steep half mile efforts with plenty of gray jay attention. Once at the Mt. Avalon spur trail, two brave fellows made continual dives for our Goldfish crackers.

The birds followed us up the spur path, then continued to pluck crackers from Alex's hand while she relaxed on Avalon's summit.

The sky was overcast and the day was windy, so there wasn't much of a view.

We headed down after about ten minutes on the summit. Alex wanted to "buttslide," but the conditions were not exactly ideal. That didn't stop her from trying, however.

We returned to the trailhead in good spirits, though Alex looks forward to more snow and, with it, the complete burial of rocks and roots. Unless there's a big snowfall in the very near future, she'll probably wait until January before she hikes another 4K.

It was a nice mother-daughter day in the mountains, even if the conditions did make the trail a tad onerous.

Alex will be seven soon -- she's growing fast and our levels of conversation are getting more and more complex. She is a fantastic kid (as is Sage) and I am so very lucky to have such a close relationship with my girls.'s a beautiful thing.

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