Friday, October 4, 2013

Night before a hike

After my lovely wife dropped me off fat the trail where it crosses over the PCT I was immediately engulfed in darkness. As her car pulled up the road to turn around I put on my. Headlamp and turned on the red night light. By the time she turned around I had my shoes laced and I was ready to go. She came back down the road. The bright headlights of her car illuminating the gaunt scraggly branches of the trees around. As I gave her a quick kiss, her friend Wendy said, "this just seems wrong." I said good bye and drive safe. Then I watched as the car pulled down to Highway 50. I was alone.
A million thoughts begin to bounce through your mind when you are alone in the dark. The worst one is. "What was that!?!?" As I began to carefully head up the trail I found that my eyes were straining to see in the dim red light. It was pitch black under the trees and the sound of rushing water could be clearly heard above the wind in the trees. As I came around the corner I found the water leaping and splashing its way down the hill and the trail passed over on a few well placed rocks. The trail wound up and around the trees through cut trunks of downed trees and further and further from the road. 
I had intended to camp a couple a hundred yards in but there were no clear places to setup camp except the trail. The last thing I wanted was for another hiker or even maybe a bear to stumble over me in the dark. I hiked for about an hour until I had  made it over the ridge and I found myself in the empty quiet parking lot of Echo Lake Resort. The lights were on and the store and I reviewed my maps to discover that the trail crosses the spillway of the lake. I wound my way around the dam and crossed the iron grating above the black rushing water below. In a few more minutes I found myself atop this ridge. Over looking South Lake Tahoe. I have hung my food in the trees and setup my camp. Tomorrow begins a two day hiking marathon so it's time to sign off but before I do her's a picture of my nineteen pound pack including all my food and two liters of water.
I woke up around 1:30 am and felt water around my face. The moisture from my breath was condensing inside my bivy sack. I unzipped the mosquito net. I noticed the wind had completely died down. There were bazillions of stars visible over my head. Absolutely beautiful, this is why I wanted to do this. Then suddenly a coyote begin to yip and yap right down below my camp and the chills went up and down my spine, not just my spine but my arms and legs too, it's quiet now... Too quiet???

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