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When the alarm went off at 4:15 am, it took a lot of will power to even get out of bed to shut it off. I had been up most of the night with a sick dog, cleaning up her mess while reminding myself that mopping up a little "doggy mud" every once in a while was a small price to pay for the company of such a good friend. But I did manage to force myself up and out to the car with my gear while all it took to get Daisy up and out of there was a drowsy "wannagoferaride." About a minute later we were heading south toward the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
The agenda for the day was Shoshoni Peak, Pawnee Peak and Mt. Toll. Aside from being extremely tired, I was feeling a little under the weather, so I told myself that I would get up Shoshoni and see how I was feeling.
We arrived at the Pawnee Pass Trail head right at sunrise, and were quickly moving through the lush forests around Long Lake. This lake is probably 3/4 of a mile long and was passed quickly with Daisy pulling me along, as her leash was tied to the waist belt of my pack. This made the going pretty easy. After a few more minutes and a few slippery stream crossings, we were at he shores of Lake Isabelle. We had both worked up a good sweat, so I let Daisy wade into the shallow water while I soaked my cap. We were soon ascending into the hanging valley and the trail became steeper the closer we got to the Pawnee Pass.
The wildflowers were simply amazing. There were a lot of Columbines, Forget me not's, Alpine Sunflowers, and many other types blanketing the surrounding meadows and alpine tundra. It was right at tree line among many Columbines that my stomach started to cramp up. It wasn't a normal cramping, but excessively painful. Painful to the point I had to lay on the ground for a few minutes, curled up. I almost turned around quite a few times, but the good weather took hold of me and wouldn't let me waste such a great day.
I kept cramping, though not as badly, as I neared the pass, so I made the decision to go straight to Pawnee Peak, and see if I felt like going on to Mt. Toll from there. My progress was pretty slow, as every minute or so I would have to stop until the cramping let up. Finally we made it up the gentle slopes to Pawnee Peaks broad summit. It felt pretty good to sit down and let my stomach relax. So we spent some time up there, had some snacks, drank A LOT of water (hoping to fight the cramping) and just enjoyed being on top of a mountain in such good weather.
So I decided to save Shoshoni & Toll for another day, and took my sweet time getting back to the trail head. I still was stopping every few minutes to crouch over hoping to ease the cramps. I think I was annoying Daisy, she kept looking back at me as if she was getting pissed about my lethargic pace.
I spent the rest of the afternoon curled up on the couch enjoying the day off!
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