Saturday, July 11, 2015

Walking on sunshine

The sun is up and so must I be. I watch the sun rise over the ridge. The night quiet and still gives way to a new day filled with adventure and new beginnings. The dew settles in the hollow areas around the creek and my tent is damp with the cool droplets of sparkly water. 

Breakfast is eaten with the warm sun on my back. Granola and instant breakfast. I never seem to tire of it. Gear is quickly stowed after breakfast and we begin the climb to Beyer Lakes. It's funny how much shorter the trip seems this time. Though the trail up the hill is rarely used and sparsely marked we climb without concern or care. I've been here before and I know what to expect. 

At the trail junction we turn left and begin the traverse across the side of the mountain. Dee has settled quite thickly on the bushes encroaching the trail and it's not long till the water has saturated my pants legs and fills my shoes. Just like hiking in Washington state. The trail gradually climbs and after a few hour we stop on an open rock bench. I pull out my sit pad and lay on my back watching the clouds. I drift off and awaken a few times the air is a perfect temperature and the breeze caresses my face beneath my sun hat. A snack is in order and I munch on Oreos as I contemplate the shapes of the clouds. How long has it been since I've done this? I don't know, perhaps a lifetime? 

We finally decide to move on. I arise and slip on my pack. It's already lighter be a dinner and a breakfast. It is almost comfortable as I begin to climb. We reach the lakes in a few minutes and I get to nap again while fishing is attempted. I drift off to sleep again. So far the day's been restful and sonorous. We decide to circumnavigate the lakes and I find that I naturally keep about a hundred feet from the water. It seems easier to me to find a route here rather then at the water's edge. 

Arriving back at our starting point we begin the climb to Baltimore Lake. This takes us over the pass and I find it's time for me to poop in the woods. It's a bizarre fact that I have come to enjoy this awkward and weird ritual. Modern conveniences left behind, it's squat over a hole time. Most enjoyable because of my recently discovered 'Tush Wipes' that are PH balanced so as to provide a clean and refreshing result upon completion of said event. No monkey butt or Klingons to be found when tush wipes are employed. The best thing is the used wipe fits back into its original wrapper and I then wrap them in a sealed ziplock. A most pleasant and satisfying event indeed.

We descend the trail to Baltimore Lake where I commerce with another nap while more fish successfully avoid the hook. A strang noise on he lake to my left reveals an otter swimming in his natural habitat. How cool is that! He swims past diving and swimming beneath the surface for over a hundred feet. I purposely left my earbuds at home this trip. I never use them. Only this time I could have used them. I got into a nostalgic sentimental mood and listen to a few Barry Manilow songs. They are all warm and syrupy and sappy, but I like them that way. I was transported back in time to my teens years. Reliving the moments when I first heard those songs. It's so strange how a song that you haven't heard for years can instantly bring back to memory moments of my past that I didn't even know I remembered.

We start hiking again and head to the abandoned Baltimore Tien site and wander around Wagon Wheel lake and another lake slightly to the west. No fish are caught and the day is waning. We are traversing cross country toward Fordyce lake and each the jeep trail in an hour or so. A jeep is climbing the trail climbing over boulders that I would have thought were impossible to climb over. Most impressive! Around the corner there were more jeeps. Jeeps filled with beer drinking fun loving off road enthusiasts. It'd funny but hiking is faster than four wheeling. We pass the jeeps and descend to Fordyce creek. Turning right we leave the jeeps and their drivers behind and descend quickly to the dam. I cross behind the power house successfully this time without falling off the wall. Last time I bruised my rear. I felt it for weeks.

We arrive at the lake just as the sun sets and we cook dinner in the twilight. Dinner complete, I complete my evening chores, including washing my flight feet in the lake. There are a number of off road enthusiasts here to. They have brought their fire arms. They spend a good half an hour expending shells too numerous to count. It sounds like we are in a war zone. Finally they run out of ammo and the night settles in like a comfortable blanket. Perspective is lost and the horizons shrinks to the end of my nose. I settle into my tent and sleeping bag amazed at the amount of hiking and exploring we do today. Time slows down, my eyelids become heavy, I can no longer teddy my iPhone. It's time to sleep...

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