Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Bear Day 3- Butler Peak

Today we got started a bit later than planned. My fault. I took some Tylenol PM and even though I had 8 hrs of sleep, I still couldn't fight my way out of the drug induced coma.

I filled up my Camelbak and the Pie Pack and packed some snacks and off we went.

The sign on Butler Peak says it is closed, but we heard otherwise on the Internet- one site was Seven Summits site. The lookout volunteer confirmed they were open, so it was nice to find out were were not breaking the rules. We were the only visitors to the lookout that day and the volunteer seemed happy to see us. We did not go up right away, resting and snacking first, and eventually he waved to us and shouted down to see if we were coming up. Perhaps he was lonely or bored. The view was incredible, but not quite as amazing as it could have been due to smog and haze. On clear days you can see the ocean, but we could barely see San Bernadino. In the other direction we could see the aqueduct snaking through the desert and Edwards AFB.

My camera batteries tired to give out, but I wouldn't let them, coaxing it along to take just one more picture- and then just one more after that. Sadly, I think the hard life my camera has had is catching up with it. Used to be no matter how badly I composed a photo, the camera would compensate, but now photos are coming out overexposed or too dark. For example if I am in the sun shooting into the shade, the subject stays shaded. Before the camera would lighten the subject. I really like my camera and don't want to have to get a new one, but I also like having nice pictures. Speaking of pictures...

Pie showing us how it is done! Also modeling the Pie Pack.

Wild roses. Just like wild dogs vs tame dogs, they are very different than the roses my mom grows.

Good dogs after a cooling dip.

Pie posing.

More posing.

A pretty purple flower of unknown origin and name.

Fancy needs a photo with only her in it. I think she also needs a haircut.

Dottie rediscovered her love of carrying sticks around on this hike.

This is one of the photos that makes me think the camera is breaking.

Pie waiting in the shade with a big tongue.

All the dogs posing.

Dottie went into the creepy underground pipe. As soon as I saw her go in I called her and she came out. Who knows what could happen to her in there? Why she would think it was a good idea to to in, I have no idea. That is just Dottie being Dottie.

Pie resting in the shade again, but this time with our destination in the background.

Almost to the top! The final approach is the steepest section and has no shade.

We made it to the top!

ffuffy and I at the top. I think I might need to get a different hat. But it does do a good job keeping the sun off.

8000 plus feet. Phew.

Heading back down the mountain. I see Dottie has found a new stick.

Dottie posing with flowers that match her collar.

Yep, more posing.

All the dogs (and humans) made it back to the car and no one had to be carried.

Apparently I got a bit dirty. Or, an alternate caption could be, my souvenir of Big Bear (dirt.)

Click here to see all of the photos.

Another great hike. The scenery on the way up was not as good as the hike a few days ago, but the tower and the views up there made up for it. Plus, walking on a single track is usually a bit more entertaining than walking along a road that I could drive my car up (except the road is closed to traffic.) This was our last full day in Big Bear. Very sad. Tomorrow we have to pack up and check out...

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