The hike was beautiful. We started by getting the worst part over: climbing to the summit. We've done worse--it was about a four-hundred foot climb over a quarter-mile, so rather steep but not long, at least--but I am really out-of-shape. We hardly hiked at all last year, and I'm not even really sure why. That quarter-mile climb sure reminded me of our negligence last year, though.
The "east view" from the parking lot. We are looking toward home. Actually, Sugarloaf Mountain only has about 200 feet of elevation on our house.
A panoramic of the east view:
The view from the top was splendid, of course. To the south, we could see the Potomac River. It was an overcast day--actually, it rained most of the time we were there, but under the forest canopy, you can hear but not feel the rain--and hazy.
The view from the top:
Bobby and me together!
I found baby pinecones and am very excited about them.
After we scrambled around on some rocks and explored the summit, we climbed back down, discovering in the process that, of course, luck would have it that we'd selected the most difficult of three trails for our ascent. Alas, the exercise and the challenge were both good for us.
Going down the green trail--the easy one!
Once at the bottom again, we did a short loop around back to the parking lot, more or less along a ridge partway up the mountain. There were frequent spectacular views from there as well. There are longer trails that we want to try next time, skipping the summit and going for the long haul.
A cool-looking 'shroom we found that we photographed in order to identify.
Finally, last year, we saw Sugarloaf Mountain too ... in Ireland. *whine*
In non-mountain-related news, I am no longer a squatter on LJ. I have purchased another paid account for myself. Which I said that I was not going to do, being as I was/am/something pissed off at LJ. But I've decided that 1) I know the place, 2) all of my friends are here, and 3) no matter what, LJ ain't going back to what it was. And I do believe in supporting groups financially when I use their service regularly, and I have been on LJ for over five years with five years' worth of rambling, pictures, and so on kept here. So I guess I'm back. And now I will have more than the same few icons that I've been using for the last year! And going to the full-page view of my LJ will use my layout and not the dull LJ layout. It's the little things.
(And no more ads! The big things too!)