As I sit here recovering from knee surgery (conducted on June 21, 2011), I present this photo album of my hike last year to the summit of Avalanche Peak in Yellowstone National Park. This was the very first mountain I have climbed that was more than 10,000 feet in elevation. I chose it because the hike seemed straightforward, was devoid of any technical climbing, and was relatively short in both mileage and duration. Also, it would be the best opportunity for a hike after a couple of days of acclimatizing to high elevation, after having spent a couple of nights sleeping at, or above, 8,000 feet above sea level.
I'd never been to country so high, and I didn't know whether or not I'd
When My Knee was Healthy
suffer from anything like altitude sickness. So to be safe I figured a few days of easy day hikes around the park were in order before I hiked what, to me, was a big peak.
My son was going to hike the mountain with me, but the day before he got a pretty bad cut on his foot and so he decided to wait for me at the car while I made the hike. Just as we got to the parking area, we spotted a grizzly bear in a field near the road. I was able to get a number of shots of the bear. This was one of my major goals on this trip--to see a griz. The bear did not like us and he took off a moderate pace, apparently wanting nothing more than to keep a lot of space between himself and us. I got some shots of him with the regular lens, but by the time I got the telephoto lens on the camera he was pretty far away and I only got three quick photos of him before he descended into a small gully and vanished for good.
It was thinking of the grizzly bear that I began the hike alone.
Now I'm waiting for the knee to begin healing and dreaming of past hikes and future summits.