Wild and flowery

After seeing such great wildflowers in Yellowstone earlier this summer, I felt kind of sheepish bringing up the possibility of our traditional hike in the Albion Basin at the end of July. "I know we already saw so many beautiful flowers, and it's not that I don't appreciate them…," I began. Sam just laughed and said it wasn't like I had some sort of limit of flowers to see per year! (And a good thing too!)

But after doing so much traveling, Sam had a ton of work to do, so I decided to leave Teddy home with him and just take some of the kids with me on the hike. Then, bright and early in the morning when it was time to leave, none of the boys wanted to be roused, making the hike a girls-only affair: my little flower-girls and me. We missed our boys, but we had such a fun time (and it was so wonderfully EASY without a baby on my back)!
It always feels so good up in the mountains: cool and breezy, with the morning light on the trees. We loved being out in the air, and Goldie kept exclaiming, "LOOK at the BYEWtiful VIEW!" in awed tones. (Some ladies, as we were hiking down, asked Goldie if she'd seen the lake, and she said, "Yes, and we also saw the BYEWtiful VIEW!")

Goldie persists with the "I want to hold my own hand" thing she's been doing all summer. She is so CUTE holding her own hands! :)
We always take a picture on this rock!
It's good I had the girls with me, I guess, since they like getting their picture taken so much more than the boys do! :) I couldn't go twenty steps without a "Mommy, take a picture of me!"
Hug…or headlock?
Elephant-head! We aren't quite happy on this hike until we've found some.
At the overlook to Lake Catherine! Such a beautiful, beautiful place.
We always like the friendly chipmunks there, too.
We were feeling so good that we decided to keep going up past the Catherine Pass area, up to Sunset Peak where we've never been before. Now that we've been there, though, we couldn't believe what we'd been missing all these years! The views are even more spectacular!
You can see Lakes Mary and Martha too, down below Lake Catherine. Sometime we'll do the hike that takes you down past them and into Big Cottonwood Canyon.

 But the view down the other side was our favorite. The mountains are so lovely and green and blue! Where is this, Vermont?!
The girls found this log and insisted on carrying it along the trail, in case they should want to sit down and "enjoy the view." It was a very nice sitting-log, they explained.
Here they are sitting on it.
We felt like we were at the top of the whole world!
This was some interesting white-colored paintbrush!
(Usually it's orange or various shades of pink, like this)
What a great hike! We love it! Maybe we can get the boys to join us next year. :)

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