Most folks will agree that it’s more enjoyable to hike under clear skies than cloudy, but sometimes it rains. Let me make a case for the dreary day adventure. Though the views from the top of a mountain may be vast on sunny days, those sunbathed landscapes lack the drama and character that appear –like fitful apparitions– when the clouds descend. The wind ripping through the trees goes unseen unless clouds and fog come with it. And the sea of hills blends into each other unless cloud pours through the valleys, billowing around features allowing only the top of the peak to emerge from the top. And even in a whiteout, one must marvel at our own insignificance in the scope of the situation.
On September 26, we all had a chance to witness these unique –but otherwise dreary– characteristics on our short hike to the marked summit at Mount Apps.
We were a small group of five on our trip. We started our journey at the end of the road, high on the crest of the ridge. I picked this trip for our weekend adventure because I knew the route would keep you interested. In clear weather, one can see either side of the mountain range. On this hike, we traded those views for the cloud and rain.
I hoped to make the true summit of Mount Apps, but we had to settle for the sub summit. Once we reached the summit cair (the sub summit) and signed the register, the wind took most of the joy out of the day with it as it ripped through us. We were already wet by the time we summited, but that wind made for a less than pleasant snack time. Although we considered carrying onto the true summit, I was worried that the ridge would be too windy. Your little bodies move fine when warm, but you two are still small and quickly lose body heat. After some deliberation and kind consideration from Dean and Christine, we turned back to the vehicle. Below the ridgeline, we were out of the wind, and the walking was pleasant. It was the sting on our cheeks from the now unfelt ripping wind that allowed us the opportunity to enjoy the relative peace in the lee of the ridge.
Octavia, you raised your eyebrows when I told you the fog was the cloud that we were walking through. Hemingway, you barreled ahead into the cloud, following the water running down the boot track, leading you back to the vehicle. At one point, you got so far ahead that you gave yourself a start. So much so that you called out in earnest for fear that you were lost.
The day was far shorter than we anticipated. Still, it’s difficult to complain about a day where everyone had a good time and was safely back at the vehicle. There was sure a lot of gear to dry out when we got home.