(Wait for all the pictures to load. You won't want to miss 'em.)
Not the butt. The BUTTE.
(Our friend on the side of the trail. It was pretty scary, truth be told. Rattler.)
(Lincoln. Doesn't he look cool?)
An isolated hill or mountain with steep or precipitous sides usually having a smaller summit area than a mesa.
This butte is one of the two largest tuff cones in the world. Basically, an old volcano. I'm sure this volcano is probably a bazillion years old, therefore, stagnant, therefore, safe. The inside or crater was used by Rustlers back in the day who stole cattle and hid them. Crazy history, eh? And we live a few miles away.
(Miss America and 1st runner-up...you decide:))
Saturday we hiked to the top. Grandma joined us. Have we mentioned how much we LOVE Grandma? She was a trooper. It's funny how roles switch as we get older. I would FORCE her to hold onto me, or my hand when the trail was "unsafe" for Grandmas-unaccompanied. She'd laugh at me, thinking the trail was probably just as "unsafe" for pregos-unaccompanied. but I couldn't bear the thought of anything happening to her. She's Mom, you know?
We did it. It was hot, but we did it. This was Annie's first time hiking to the top on her own two feet. We were so proud of her. The views were so beautiful, the huge farm sprinklers watering the fields all around us.
Whenever I hike my thoughts wander to metaphors of life. This trail isn't the most beautiful. It's dry and desolate and dusty. However, the wildflowers and plants and shade along the way invigorate and lift. Little bursts of pleasantness amongst the barren. Life can be hard (it's supposed to be...character development 101). And dry. And desolate. Yet, if we look, there's snippets of beauty along the way (there's always hope, remember). Usually, just enough to get us through, to keep us going. Once we get to the top and look around, somehow all that hardness and exertion are consecrated for us. All we went through was worth it. And maybe, just maybe, in the end, you'll feel like The Karate Kid (with a somewhat tumor-ish bulge on your back that is actually your shirt which needs to be pulled down. Heh.).
(I couldn't resist. Nerd. I know.)