The Art of Post-Holing

grumpy face that I dragged her thru all  of this

The area around June Lake on Mount Saint Helens has many faces: blanketed in marshmallow style snow on a bluebird day in January, or hot, barren and exposed (much like our very uncharacteristic summer last year).

(Obviously, I’m again woefully behind on posts. This was an impromptu day hike that took place on an 84°F day in April when it looked like our summer was shaping up to be as brutal as it was last year.)

Displeased by that thought and irritated with the heat overall, I grabbed the dog and headed higher, hoping to find reprieve in the quickly melting alpine.

My happy place

All I can plead is mountain insanity, if I think post-holing for five miles thru sun soft snow and lava fields is somehow "fun." Fun at home, maybe, as a distant memory, less fun in reality, when my foot hits a hidden tree sunk knee height beneath the snow, jarring me back to reality. 

This article sums up the insanity and denial quite nicely and had me laughing at how apropros it is:

By the time I reached June Lake, I’d already sunk thigh to hip deep numerous times, clamoring around downed trees and following the misleading footprints of some poor elk, clearly also trying not to post-hole in the deep stuff.

My original goal had been to make a loop, up to Chocolate Falls and back down the Swift Creek trail; brain smarts won out, as I wasn’t keen on losing a shoe again or, (after punching thru to yet again on  lava rock trying to reach the Loowit trail) breaking a limb when it was clear I was the only human around.

So, home it was. Still, exercise is always good for the body and soul, even if I forgot how exhausting post-holing for five miles can be.

Until next year, when the brain forgets again.

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