The light is blue and clear above me, and way in the distance it is shining a spotlight on faraway mountains. A tiny bat is fluttering in the air, dancing with the calm of the early evening.
I have just been dropped off in one of my favorite places, the Alabama Hills, by two new friends. The night is setting upon them and Mount Whitney is watching all while casting long shadows straight to Lone Pine.
Today started miles and miles away, in the sweetest little campsite I have ever had the pleasure of laying my head. It was way way up above a steady stream that poured into my dreams all night long. The air was chilly from dusk to far past dawn, but I was so toasty in my new quilt I slept in until 7am!
Then we leisurely packed up our things and left camp. (But not before an adorable, bold little chipmunk ate into my emergency trail mix [the same trail mix I have been carrying since Wrightwood, hundreds of miles ago] while I was cat holing.)
The day was breaking as we trotted through meadows lined with pines and over streams bursting with new, snow-driven life. We worried over our town visit and the pass we had to push ourselves over. It was all too much, and we were much too tired.
Then I took the lead (as Rainbow Dash is slowly breaking me of my puppy-ish habit of always following placidly along behind) and went up the mountain. I would love to say we dashed or bounded or even tripped up, but none of it would be true. We slogged.
The trail was made up of very un-PCT-ish grade. Straight up, up and away! It seemed to want us to say.
Before the climb truly made us sad, we stopped at the most perfect lake I have ever seen. When you think of high mountain lake, this is the lake you imagine. It is that ideal!
But we didn’t stay too long — town was calling. We walked higher and higher.
“I hate this trail! I hate passes! I don’t even want to have a stupid town day!” I screamed (internally) as I stomped ever faster uphill.
I was mad!
We were halfway down when I got service and found that the sweet people (Rayn and JJ) who had been following this very blog since I did an interview with their super rad friend (Ariel the rock climber) were on the mountain with us! We passed them by, not knowing what they looked like, and kept on going until we heard them say, “Arielle??”
It was them! They had on big sweet smiles and bounds of happy energy and they were so excited to meet us (but not as excited as I was to meet them, I do believe!) There was even pecan chocolate pie with hand-whipped whipped cream down at the bottom, and we set off towards it, getting to know each other.
They have a life I dream about: living together with their cat in a RV and roaming about the country as their hearts lead them. They had both woken up a few years ago and decided to follow their wildest dreams!
Sometimes you meet the best people just when you need it. Sometimes you meet people who remind you that living a “non traditional” life can be beautiful. Sometimes you meet people who make sure you remember that kindness to your neighbors (even if you extend “neighbors” to everyone in the world) is the best part of life. And sometimes by following your own dreams you meet people who follow theirs (and share them so you have so many more to dream about!).
Sometimes you have the best day ever again and again in sumptuous succession. What a world! What a life!