Wanted to get in a hike close to the valley as long as the temp stays in low 80s so I chose the 145th to Lost Dog and back. Ambika asked if she could join and I said "heck yes". This is not the easiest hike and can be quite long to me those last couple miles. I would always rather have some company.
We met at the Overflow lot at 145th around 7:45 and started the steep trek up. We did bring our cameras and surprisingly there was still some color out here . The ocotillos were in full and I mean full bloom. They looked extremely happy. The trail is pretty steep on this side and we slowly trudged our way up. We rested for just a moment at the east saddle as we were struck by all the mariposa lillies. I had seen this over at Windgate Pass trail earlier in the week. Ambika also remarked as to the amount and healthiness of them. We saw a batch of 1/2 dozen all together.
We did the steep climb up toward Sunrise Peak on the east side tho it didn't seem as steep since we stopped to take a pic now and then. We didn't spend much time on top; just grabbed a quick snack before heading down the mountain. We had decided to only go as far as 128th St Junction. On the way down Ambika tried to rescue a caterpillar from the middle of the trail but it went into attack mode . The more Ambika tried to help the more hissy and curled it became. She eventually got it to calm down and took it over to a plant on the side of the trail. Further down I spotted a giant horned lizard. It was a fine specimen so we got some pics before continuing down and down and down.
A little ways down from the west saddle I saw some larkspur. It's such a pretty color and fortunately there were a couple growing right next to the trail just like at Windgate Pass trail. Off in the distance I spotted a white x . I had never seen that before. I don't know why I didn't think to zoom to get a pic . On the way back up, Ambika spotted another one. They were somewhat aligned.
We had a break and another snack at the 128th St Junction before starting the long haul back up the mountain side. We ate some wolfberries a couple different times on the way back. We didn't really take any breaks other than to stop in the limited shade on the way up just for a quick breather.
It was starting to warm up but when the breeze did blow, it was still cool so we were glad of that. The trail was pretty crowded today but we really didn't care as we were mostly out to get some exercise. I still think this is a good local GCanyon training type of hike as you have to conquer a couple steep hills in a short amount of time. I carried my heavy day pack and it's amazing how even that little bit more of weight slowed me down on the hills.