That is my public service announcement for the day. If it is the first week of May and you are about to climb 3.2 miles up a very large hill or mountain….make sure you are dressed accordingly and wear gloves. That is the only advise I can offer besides enjoy the beauty that winter can create on such an already beauty setting. I know. You are thinking, “um, duh, why didn’t you have on gloves?” I had a minor lack in judgment. I knew it was cold. I had been awakened every morning for three days because I was freezing. Apparently, no matter how many layers I have on…20 or below weather will still get me. I think by my final night, I had on three long sleeve shirts, a coat, a sweatshirt and I as buried in my sleeping bag which was buried under three blankets. One of which I made a special trip to Rapid City’s Wal-Mart to obtain. I think the following morning was the only morning that I woke up cold and not freezing. Wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Okay, well, maybe a few degrees. Cold versus freezing…lesser of two evils.
Anyway, so by the time I got to this trail, it was warming up a bit and was 50 something degrees. I’m thinking…Okay, I’ll be fine. Hiking a considerably strenuous type trail…I knew I was going to work up somebody heat and I’m stubborn. So, I’m hiking and minding my own business. Enjoying the scenery. There was snow on the ground, but it was not all that cold. I was good to go. That was until my socks decided they needed to be around my feet. My hands started getting cold. I was getting higher up the peak’s trail. The fog was setting in. The temperature was dropping. I stepped into what I am pretty sure the forest from the Wizard of Oz. I’m here to tell you that the only thing missing was a group of trees throwing apples at me. But believe it or not, it was beautiful and I’m not sure that my pictures do it justice.
I had the slightest inkling that maybe I should consider turning around. Not because I feared the weather that was become bestowed upon me. That was not my problem. I can handle snow and ice. Plus I had my boots on so I was fearless. No, my hands were starting to hurt because they were becoming so cold. I had left my gloves in the car. I didn’t even think for a minute that I would need them. Boy was I wrong. Never have my hands hurt like that, but I kept going. I had hiked too long and too far up to turn around without reaching my destination. I continued to trek on. Over snow and ice. I went. Higher and higher and higher until I finally reached Harney’s Peak, which is now called Black Elk Peak. I don’t know why they changed it, but they did. I remember last summer how beautiful the view was up from the fire lookout thing. I was excited to see it. Yeah…about that.
I can’t say much about the view, but the fog was absolutely stunning.
Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.
Montana Rose Photography