Now that I've pretty much recovered from surgery and have been cleared for strenuous exercise, yesterday Torsten and I were able to resume our habit of hiking on the weekends. But first, on Saturday, we gave Montana a much-needed bath (her least favorite thing ever). This will become relevant in a minute, but in the meantime, check out this adorable video of her drying herself off post-bath. Unfortunately we didn't catch the part where we let her off the leash after her bath and she sprinted straight for the towels and threw herself on them, but it's still pretty cute.
So then, as I said, yesterday we went for a hike. I absolutely love that we live so close to so many gorgeous hikes. I can't believe how close we are to the foothills and the mountains themselves. This particular hike was only a 30-minute drive from our house, straight down basically just one road. And absolutely gorgeous.
We left early, because recently we've had thunderstorms every afternoon at around five, and we wanted to hike while the weather was still nice. The sky was clear and the day was sunny and cool. The hike that we took was about three miles long with only one really steep stretch, so a pretty mild way to ease back in to the hiking thing. We took lots of photos of the lovely weather (full set here).
As we were trekking up the steepest part of the hike, we noticed clouds gathering, and by the time we reached the top, a thunderstorm had started. Luckily there was a covered lookout area, so we headed there to wait out the storm and attempt to take pictures of the lightning. Torsten actually succeeded:
After a few minutes, the rain died down, so we cheerfully said to ourselves that the worst was over, and headed back down the trail.
Ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa. About one or two tenths of a mile from the lookout, the REAL storm hit. The wind picked up, the temperature plunged at LEAST 20 degrees, and it started POURING and also hailing. We sprinted for a nearby covered bench, hoping for shelter, but unfortunately the rain was blowing sideways so the roof didn't really help. And we could hear tornado sirens going off nearby, which... well, not so reassuring, you know?
We were both in jeans and t-shirts, and totally soaked, and freezing cold, so we huddled together in an attempt to stay warm and keep our fronts dry, while the poor dog sat all hunched with her head down and her ears drooping, waiting for the torture to stop and occasionally looking at us, probably to tell us that she did NOT appreciate being dragged into those conditions.
When the hail stopped, we gave up on waiting out the rain and just walked the rest of the way in the downpour. It was freezing and we were soaked, but we did feel a bit better when we hit the wide part of the trail and a park ranger drove by. He stopped to ask us if we were okay, and when we said we were, he asked if we'd seen anyone in trouble further up the trail. We said no, but we hadn't been far when the storm started, so he headed further up the trail to check for hikers having trouble.
We slogged through mud and puddles for the last half mile before finally arriving back at the parking lot. Our poor, freshly cleaned white dog was half covered with mud, which means she'll need another bath shortly. And, of course, literally the second we stepped foot onto the pavement, the rain stopped. Seriously. Which, at least, afforded us the opportunity to pull the camera back out:
Also, when we had arrived at the trailhead in the car, we were able to get the very last parking spot when someone happened to pull away. And when we got back to the parking lot, there were only like three cars left. What I want to know is, how in the hell did everyone else know there was going to be a storm? We weren't that far from the trailhead when it started and we still got caught in it. How did everyone else manage to escape the misery?
However, the hike WAS beautiful, and good exercise, and we didn't regret going on it or anything. Besides, the hot shower I took when we got home was pretty much the best thing ever.
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