Monday, June 15, 2015

♪ On Top of Monashka, All Covered with Cheese... ♫ Not Really.

I feel like someone ran over me with a truck.  Like, a giant 18-wheeler.  This is when you ask me, why is that, buttercup?

We decided to do a day hike up Monashka Mountain and camp overnight at the top this past weekend.  It was incredible and I'm glad we did it.  But.  You knew there had to be a but, right?  The short answer is the hike kicked my ass.

The Pugbull is ready to hike!

Put it this way - I've only day hiked.  This was my first overnight.  You know what's a really big deal with an overnight hike?  Weight.  Weight in your pack.  Because you're hauling all that crap up the mountain with you.  Note to self:  do not pack the two lb hard cover library book thinking you're going to read up there.  Not gonna happen.

Thanks for nothing, Neil Gaiman. (It was his 460-something page novel, American Gods)  Go ahead, ask me how many pages I read.  That's right, zero.  Just added a couple of pounds to my back for the joy of it.

Second note to self:  Hoofing twenty lbs on your back up to an 1,800 foot elevation is...intense.  What a friggin' workout!  Oh, but we were so bright eyed and bushy tailed when we set out:

I had no concept of what I was in for!

And hubby was the total pack-horse.  I'm bitching about the weight in my pack, but his was double.  For real - forty pounds of gear.  We weighed it before we left.  He carried the tent, sleeping bags, food, water, etc, etc.  God bless him.

All the stuff!

His pack was designed for loads like this, with a weight belt to counterbalance the load and all sorts of bells and whistles for back country hiking.  But heavy is heavy.  Lesson learned for both of us:  We don't need that much stuff.

After about an hour and a half, I looked about like this.  My sisters will commiserate with tomato face syndrome during exercise.  It's dead sexy.

That peanut butter crunch Clif bar was heaven

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other!  This isn't even halfway.

After the - we'll just call it challenging - hike up Monashka, we set up camp in a nice flat, alpine tundra with a spectacular 360 degree view.

I second guessed a lot of the things I chose to pack, but not one thing.  One of the heaviest items in my bag.  5 cans of Coors Light & a cold pack to keep them frosty.  Probably 5 lbs of weight.  Worth it!

I can't even explain to you how fabulous that first frosty sip was after the grueling trek up to our 1,800 ft camp.  And Coors Light isn't even really my beer.  I thought about that cold deliciousness as motivation the whole damn way up.  Like I said - worth it!

We had a surprisingly tasty dinner of freeze dried chili mac and cheese.  Or maybe it's just that when you burn that many calories at one time, anything tastes good.  Cardboard sandwich?  Yes, please, may I have another?  The hubby was our chef for the evening. And by chef I mean boil water and pour it in the pouch. 

We had a super cool Jet Boil contraption to cook

Cheety was highly interested in my chili mac

Speaking of his highness, in the morning after our camp, Cheety decided to tear ass down the mountain after...wait for it.  Mountain goats.  He bolted after them in a woefully unsuccessful attempt at herding.  I guess he needed a reminder that he isn't in fact a goat herder.  Don't tell him that, though.

I thought he was going to hurl himself off the mountain in his over-the-top exuberance about the goats.  They just casually glanced over at him and toddled away on the cliff side.  Maybe he was a cattle dog in his past life.  After that debacle, his roaming privileges were revoked.  Can't be having Pugbulls fling themselves off cliff sides.

That's a naughty goat dog!

We were treated to a gorgeous sunset at the typical summer in Alaska hour of 11:10PM.  We're about a week from the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and then the days start getting shorter again.  The sunset didn't disappoint.

I'm glad we pulled the trigger and committed to the mountain over night camping trip.  It was beautiful, and unforgettable in all sorts of ways.  Good & bad!  But, I don't know whether I'd want to embark on a part two!  Maybe a less intense hike.  Something a little more low key at perhaps a lower elevation.  And no hard cover books in the pack!  But beers?  Oh, yes.

Ta-ta for now.

I love this family picture!

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