Today’s hike with a small Sierra Club group was delightful.
I usually hike alone and love the quiet. But today we talked almost the whole way, and I found that I liked it just as much. The difference was the I liked all the people in the group.
The trip leader was Steve Welter, Ph.D., who teaches geography at the University of Colorado — and who also taught his four followers today. The group included a young engineer named Anna and two sisters, Jan and Judy:
We hiked a six-mile loop (according to my pedometer) in four hours. We had rain last night, and a repeat performance today looked likely, so I took my big daypack to carry my parka. I hadn’t used that pack since coming back from California in March and was delighted to find no shoulder stiffness.
No sun all day. But beautiful hiking weather:
In the six weeks since I hiked a part of today’s loop, millions more wildflowers have bloomed. I didn’t see a single spiderwort then, but they were all around today. Jan and Judy told us what they are called, and Steve clarified that “wort” is an old English word for plant:
But I could recognize some of the rougher plants today, since I’ve known them from my childhood:
Strange that the most beautiful bloom today was the yucca. I will never forget what it felt like to sit down on one when we lived at Mount Baldy in the 1940s:
Yet I hiked right past the prize shot of the day. Jan and Judy yelled after us that they found a bee hive:
I had never seen anything like that before! Some weeds obstructed the view of the hive, so of course I cleared them away. Steve warned me not to, but fortunately I was a lot more interested in the bees than they were in us.