A good friend and I joke that we recently switched lives. She went through a divorce and relocated from Anchorage to Missoula, while I married and moved from Missoula to Anchorage. While she's let me sort through the adventure that is Alaska mostly on my own, she will, every once in a while, lay before me a golden Easter egg. When those rare nuggets are presented to me, I'm always sure to run with them.
After mentioning Pioneer Peak at our last visit, I know I had a gem of a hike waiting for me. A string of visitors needed to come and go before I got the opportunity to summit the peak I often stare at on my drives back from the north, but it wasn't far from my thoughts.
Despite the storm that waited for us at the top, I couldn't have asked for a better day. Or more stunning views.
I think my knee pain is finally going to take a priority this winter or I fear next hiking season may be a bust.