It is 3.18pm and instead of walking, I am quietly writing on a large rock looking out on a serene high mountain lake. The rock slants down into the ground away from the lake, and is bordered by large cabbage weeds and smaller purple and yellow flowers that enjoy facing downward rather than skyward. It is the kind of rock that I can imagine being my tombstone — my body happily being munched upon by the worms (but not this close to the lake, as it would definitely violate LNT principles).
Above me and to my right is a tall tower of rock, that must have been the inspiration for the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh. It has the same square face and same intricate rockwork, and certainly stands tall to awe any who see it.
To my left are a string of mountains, all building off one another to create the perfect armament for this beautiful string of lakes and ponds. We climbed a pass yesterday to get through their seemingly impenetrable guard.
Before me is blue and black Rae Lake, with wind running ragged ripples across its surface, clouds throwing strange shadows in its depths.
Before I laid upon this rock I took off all my clothes and tried to swim. It was too shallow, and the muddy bottom gave me the heebie jeebies. I reluctantly reclined on this rock instead, boiling in the sun, freezing in the shade. And always with the buzz of flies and mosquitoes driving me mad. Perhaps I’ll try again soon, gather my courage and jump in, mud be damned!
We walked exactly 1.28 miles today. We visited a ranger station, and Rainbow Dash was in much pain. Thus we ended our quest for seven miles, and chose a stunning oasis in the high sierras for our stop.
And now we wait, trying to avoid the bears and mosquitoes, hoping the toe heals. If not, it will be a painful 21 miles to a road.