July 20 - Early Morning in the Caucasus Mountains

It’s the 20th of July and we’ve arrived in the Caucasus.  It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come in the last 24 hours.  It’s a beautiful early morning; I’m in the forest where our lodge is located with beautiful views of the Caucasus mountains all around.  Twenty-four hours ago I walked out from our hotel and saw Martin Glynn walking across the street with a cup of coffee he had purchased at McDonalds.  And now I just saw Opus take off for a run in the early morning light now that we are here in the Caucasus.

Yesterday we drove through a rainy morning with Moscow traffic which is always impressive.  Impressive compared to traffic anywhere in the world.  Then we had about a 2 hour flight to the airport in Mineralnye Vody where it was at this time of year often, exceptionally hot as it was yesterday.

On our way to our lodge it began to rain and then we had a really big violent hail storm with big stones bouncing off the bus.  The light changed, we drove past beautiful fields of sunflowers and eventually in the evening we drove up the valley and knew we were in the mountains when we stepped out in the cool air.

This morning we will go for a hike, we’ll drive a bit and start up the trail and walk along a glacier and check out some of the area and stretch our legs.  It’s good to be here, we’ll be acclimatizing and enjoying the area being in the mountains the next few days and we’ll certainly report daily on how our adventures are going.

Above: Comet Hale-Bopp over Mt. Elbrus from Pik Terskol, Caucasus, April '97. ©"Observers", AlltheSky.com