It's getting to be that time of year already. I decided I'd not be amiss in taking advantage of a hot, sunny day to trek up to Thompson Pass and see if the blueberries were ripe yet. If nothing else, Scout and I could find a good spot for a picnic dinner.
After picking a couple of handfuls and then examining their collected nature, I determined that the berries really needed another week or two to reach full blueberryness. On the plus side, I found a great new spot to pick - berries abounded. Even better, I abandoned the berry picking in favor of randomly hiking across the tundra away from the highway, something I've been wanting to do for years.
As I hiked up and down crunchy lichen-covered slopes and across rock slides, Scout took advantage of the opportunity to romp about like the puppy she is, every once in a while coming by in an attempt to sideswipe me off the rocks. It's a good thing she wasn't really serious about it or I may still be up there trying to crawl back to the highway. She is so darn cute, though, it's hard to get too angry with her.
Although I reminded myself to just enjoy the evening for what it was, it was hard not to wish for more. Specifically, I was wishing I had a tent, sleeping bag, and more time. I don't know why I haven't gone camping up there before now - I've wanted to since we moved to Valdez. Today, I had to be satisfied with seeing what was over the hill. Ah, Alaska: every summit, however great or small, brings on a "and the bear went over the mountain" moment.
My tummy let me know that there was no way we were going to see what lay over the next mountain, so I settled for nestling down in the scratchy caribou lichen and leaning against a boulder to munch on my cheese sandwich. Scout wolfed down her dinner of dry kibble and then tried to snatch the sandwich right out of my hand. Cute, but a pain in the ass, she is. I couldn't complain about the dining room view, though.
I refuse to feel guilty for not going for a run with the half marathon coming up in less than two weeks. It was worth it!