there are mountain peaks all around me. dozens of them. some even have trails going up them. i hadn't been to the top of a single one of them. until today. the most accessible and well used of the local ones is Lazy Mtn here in Palmer. it's relatively small, going from a little bit above sea level up to only about 3,6xx feet. the kicker is that it ascends all those 3,600 vertical feet in about 2.5 miles via the old trail. they recently began work on a new trail that bypasses the absurd steepness of the existing one with a bunch of slightly less absurdly steep switchbacks, which are half-bench cut into the hill.
lazy is the closest hill in the photo. sort of to the left of center. your left, not the photo's.
so, i dog-napped Kim's black lab Chet and headed off. the goal was to find the new switchbacks and use them. that wasn't as easy as it should have been. can't really blame anyone though, stuff just grows so much here in the summer that less travelled trails have a tendency to disappear.
chet wasted no time finding a toy and showing me his wood-carving skills.
i eventually got on it though and the going was easy enough, but too steep to be rideable. good thing i was on foot. it's kind of unique to northern mountainous climates, we have all the vegetation zones of a big mountain state, but in a shorter span. you can reach high alpine terrain here below 4,000 feet. all the beauty with no risk of altitude ailments. only catch is a shorter accessibility window. you start at 71 feet of elevation in a completely green forest, and quickly make your way up into sparser vegetation. the trees get smaller, the colors brighter and fall colors and wildflower flourish the higher you go.
eventually, you break out above the trees, above the brush, and reach the gravelly stuff.
after a bunch of false summits, you finally see the peak. i had really underestimated just how out of shape i've gotten with my lethargy of late. i've been doing waaay too much interwebbing and sitting on my ass, and i felt it going up. fequent breaks, drenched with sweat by the time i got to the peak.
after the top, it was just a matter of following Chet down via the main trail, which is so unbelievably steep and slippery. my feet are meatballs after trying to walk down it. i should have run. it probably would have been easier...
all in all, it was a blast, totally worth it, and i can't wait to get out and collect some more alpine terrain.