Good energy churns and chimes on this post-summit happy-heart morning. I woke with the sun after a FULL night’s rest – a rare yummy feast for this chronic insomniac. Yesterday was a whole different beginning to a day which none-the-less turned splendid. After 4 hours of sleep and 3 hours of flipping around in my head and bed, I rose in the dark before the alarm to pack for a summit day. Zaydee was psyched to see me pack but bummed when I asked her to “STAY” in the dark on my deck. I have never done a summit in Yellowstone Park for just that reason – dogs are not allowed. But Felicia had this summit on her “tick list” and I was happy to join her for an adventure.
The classic sign that you’re “in the park” is the token monolithic slow rambling buffalo in the middle of the road. The frost clinging to the buffalo’s hide and head added the classic touch signaling the time of year – autumn in the park is chilly - 22 degrees at 7:30 a.m. at the trailhead. Brrrr! Beautiful crystal frost sparkles gleamed while we zipped up our coats; tucked our hands in our pockets and took off at a snappy speed.
Just over 3 hours and 9 miles later we were plenty warm as we navigated the scree trail up the flanks of big bald Mt Holmes. Our zipped off pant legs and coats were scrunched in our packs. The sun warmed into the 80’s. We lounged like lizards for an hour on the rocky summit. Smoke from forest fires obscured our view of distant peaks but we were able to pick out a number of peaks near the park which we’ve tagged - a perfect sunny summit place to celebrate the season.