Sunday, August 07, 2011

Dog Day at Castle Peak

This morning was a lazy Sunday start for a beautiful tour of Castle Peak, near the Sierra crest. Betsy and I set out on the Pacific Crest Trail with five 4-legged running partners to find out if the high-country trails were runnable yet. The final answer was mixed - it just depends how you want your adventuring-to-running-ratio to play out.

The south side of Castle was covered in wildflowers and had views aplenty. The north side was still ensconced in snow fields. Where bare earth did emerge, there was little in the way of vegetation, and tiny streams braided the landscape allowing doggie drinks all day. 

Another beautiful day in the mountains. Dogs and Truckee Girls alike are thoroughly worn out.

Approaching the east ridge of Castle Peak

Daisy dog shows us that Running Time = Play Time.

Top dog! Cap stands proudly by the summit cairn.

Castle Peak - north side
Water sources abound.

Spring time conditions in August. Think there are many avalanches on this slope?

Back on the PCT! Betsy, Tessie, Daisy, Patches, and Cap.


  1. Beautiful! Amazing how much snow there is this year, everywhere on the west coast mountain ranges.

  2. Sarah - Yeah, it's good to finally be getting up on those trails, even if it still means dealing with a bit of snow. It surely is beautiful though!

  3. I loved the previous post on "I love getting back to it". To "it" means about everything and anything we do - because, hopefully, we do it all because we are passionate about it. Every year, every 100, I swear it off. I have a handful (or few) reasons I don't ever have to run another 100 anymore, and shouldn't, really. Yet, they do call my name. Now, with getting a bit older, wiser and more responsible, I just have to choose carefully. And coming back to running. To trails. To the vocation we enjoy. Al of it makes life worthwhile.
    p.s. still waiting on the next installment of PCT hike. Just ordered "Becoming Odyssa".

  4. What a great day...good company, lots of dogs, mountains, wildflowers. This post was like a two minute vacation looking at all the pictures! :)

  5. Gawd, that's gorgeous, Gretchen! You are living the life!!

    Also appreciate the "love getting back to it" idea. I'd never though of taking a break quite that way, but so true.

    And three hours a day sounds like the perfect work/life balance to me...

    Are you thinking of a specific 100? Grindstone in Virginia calls to me year after year, but have not yet succumbed.

  6. Just beautiful Gretchen, and how happy the dogs look too! Truely sweet. BTW the avalanched trees look very similar to ours which are slanted over from regular 25mph winds!

  7. Lucky Dogs! I'm envious.

  8. Olga - thanks. It's good to be feeling the love for training again. I just can't force those things. I want to read Odyssa! Let me know how it is.

    Paige - Sweet, you had a quickie vacay! ;)

    Pam - Oh, yes, working only 3 hours a day would be a perfect set up, wouldn't it? If only such situations were sustainable. As far as 100's - I feel like every new one I hear about sounds awesome. I can't stop thinking about Hardrock, but I know I'm not ready for that yet. Maybe something completely opposite, like a fast course.

    Teresa - Thanks! I remember that wind. Yikes!

    CK - Yes, I would agree. Lucky dogs! :)

  9. Great photos. Things finally opening up a bit before the Sept snow! We've been dealing with broad fields of downed trees here, too. Can sure make for slow going.

  10. Hank - Slow going, yes. But worth it. For me, I have no serious races left this season, so it's a nice practice in patience and reminder about why I'm really out here. It's not so much for training anymore, just for reaping the benefits of past training by getting to spend long days in the mountains. Pretty nice.