A different Christmas
We Merrills climbed Mt. Longonot on Christmas. Five other friends joined us: Jessie, Julie, Janet and the Schroeders. The mountain is a volcanic peak in the middle of the Rift Valley. The peak has a large crater in the center. Everyone hiked up to the rim. Four of our party hiked the whole way around the rim.
We were all proud of Rachel, who at 5 years old, made it the entire way up to the rim and down without complaining!
Our Christmas feast was lunch on the rim. We celebrated the end of lunch with Christmas crackers - an English tradition. (See the shot of Jessie and Janet.) Our three years in England helped us to enjoy that party feature. Two of our group are English, so we honored (honoured) them accordingly. Jessie is from Australia, which enjoys the tradition of crackers too. By the way, Christmas crackers are not eaten - they are popped.
The day was beautiful. Last year's hike was hot, dry and dusty. This year found us enjoying more green in the Rift Valley than we have ever seen and welcome cloud cover. I spent about an hour peacefully watching the clouds roll over the rim into the crater and listening to unknown bird songs.
The volcano is mostly extinct. There are a few steam vents that show evidence of a little activity below the surface. (That puff of smoke in the one shot shows one of the vents.)