Sunday, September 7, 2014

Heitman Mountain

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That's what I tell myself when we're in the midst of a particularly hairy incline on the trail of one of our mountain hikes. 

Or when the gradual, ever-upward path hasn't given me a break in the relentless ascent department.  As I plod along at my slower than slow pace, I just have to keep reminding myself this is good for me.

Because it is.  Good to get outside in the sunshine.  Good to get your body moving and get some exercise.  Good to get the pup out and having fun.  But God damn if it's not a challenge getting to the top every time! 

Which good for me.  And truth be told?  I love it.  Even when I'm inevitably questioning my decision to climb whatever hellacious summit we've committed to for that day...I still love it.

Last weekend we hiked part of Heitman Mountain.  A mere 2,241 ft mountain at it's highest peak, but we only climbed to the first peak - which isn't quite as tall.  High enough, though!

As we were heading out to the trail head, we saw our first Kodiak bears fishing off the side of the road.  It only took a year! 

They were splashing around and putting on a good show for all the folks who had stopped and parked their cars to get out and gawk. It was a cool start to our day.

Our first Kodiak Bear sighting - Three big muthahs!

There were some boggy, mucky parts on the way up, so I had my share of stepping ankle deep into mud. At one point, Cheety accidentally face planted in a pretty sizable mud pit & managed to completely immerse himself in muddy goodness from neck to feet.

We had our share of mud!

You should have seen him struggling to free himself from the muck!  Just imagine a fantastic shloop sound as he pulled himself out & you'll get the right visual.  It was filthy & I'm 90% sure it was the highlight of his day.  Well, it was either the mud, or the incessant rolling in questionable things.  It was a good Pugbull day.

What's unique about the Heitman hike is that the trail circles around a lake, so as you're trekking through the dense, high grasses and alder, you'll see the lake on one side and the bays on the other.

Heitman Lake

The lake is about a mile and a half into the hike, and the trail basically hugs the perimeter of the lake.   As with every hike we've done, it's a pretty commanding view of Kodiak once you get up to the top.  This is only about the halfway point:

That's Base Kodiak and the airport behind me

And I have to share this picture of the men because I'm in love with it:

Those are some happy faces

Mountain Dog

One of my goals for September is to finally conquer one of the highest mountains on Kodiak.  The intimidating Barometer Mountain, which sits outside my bedroom window.  Mocking me.

Barometer Mountain

It's about a 2,500 ft elevation gain, and it's my white whale.  Alright, that's a little much - I'm not obsessed, but I definitely want to be able to look at that bad boy and say I've hiked it.  

I fully expect to be chanting my mantra the entire time when we finally tackle it.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other...

Ta-ta for now.

2,241 ft
2,241 ft

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