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Saturday, October 17, 2015

An Autumn Alpine Hike

Shyla and I took a hike up high near the end of September that I haven't had a chance to write about.
I planned for us to try to scale a fairly high peak, but partway up, I realized that my jacket had fallen out of my backpack somewhere along the way. I knew it would be very cold at high elevation, and I'd be uncomfortable (or even hypothermic) without an insulating jacket so I changed our route. Instead, we followed the same route as I did with Shyla as her very first alpine hike about 3 years earlier.

Here's a photo of 9 month old Shyla up high in the mountains.
And, here's a photo from our most recent hike. She looks more mature. She's grown into her body and her confidence has blossomed. Our bond has grown to be stronger than I ever dreamed.
I've also developed some new photographic skills that I didn't know anything about back then. I had fun making Shyla be the only thing that was in focus in the photo.
On her first trip up there, I discovered that she didn't really know how to swim so she wasn't enthusiastic about the alpine lake. Believe me, that has changed!!!!

I could barely get her to take breaks from swimming in the frigid water for photos! In this photo, she's thinking, please let me go back in the water!
I let her swim for as long as she wanted. Unlike her brother, she has the good sense to voluntarily stop swimming when she gets too cold.
When she was ready to stop swimming, she stood in the sunshine, soaking up its warmth.
Before we started the trek back down to the trailhead, we played just a little bit more. Shyla started in a "stay" with her ears flapping in the alpine wind.
When I called her, she leaped off a boulder to start her sprint back to me.
My heart sung with joy that I have a friend like Shyla to share these adventures with.

We stopped once more on our way down to appreciate the russet color of the ground plants in the tundra. 
It's amazing to realize how far Shyla and I have come in the past three years. I feel so lucky that we found each other. I love our hikes up high together. They turn out to be some of my favorite days of the year.


  1. She has grown into a real beauty!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. You are right - you can see the difference of how far she has come in the photos!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  3. That last picture seems filled with so much love!!

  4. Shyla is such a special beauty and it's fun to see that she now loves the water!

  5. It wasn't very long ago that Shyla started looking more mature to me; not in every picture, but in surprising glimpses, just the way they do when you see them every day. She is a gorgeous girl, that's for sure! And in that picture where she's drying in the sun I can really see how well muscled she is - not surprising, considering what a fabulous life you are giving her, but still not something I notice in every picture, perhaps because my attention is often caught and held by her lovely expressive face.
    Thanks for taking us along on your hike - and I hope you found your jacket on the way back down :)

  6. It is just wonderful to experience Shyla's growth through you and your photography and your words. She must bring you great joy.

  7. I'm hoping to enjoy water as much as your duo and Bert. I'm not there yet but maybe... someday. Beautiful photos.

  8. it's so great to read that it was the perfect match as you met Shyla :o)

  9. We love the two of you.. And as you talk about Shyla,, and share the photos,,, we feel what your saying.. Shyla daughter of the mountains,, has blossomed like a flower that only blooms in Autumn,

  10. Shyla looks more confident in the more recent picture. You two are lucky to have each other.


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