Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Rae Lakes Story Part III

Day 3 and 4
 Day 3 was spent at Kearsarge Lakes which was BEA-YOU-Tea-Full!!
 
It's completely cloudy which is fine because it makes for very even lighting for photog oh wait, the fancy new 1-pound tri-pod is No Good without the
 CAMERA!!
This is Julie.  She has HER camera.  AND she has that nifty cool tripod on her trekking poles which I have too buuuut....!

No worries, we'll just do what we can with the trusty little ipone.  
 
 
 
 
Can you see how beautiful Kearsarge Lakes is?  

After breakfast TJ & I walked all along the path that led around and beside the lakes,
 
 

 overlooking Frog Lake from where we had come. 
 

Later Tom and Jon fly fished for a Long Time in this serene place 
 
until, 
 
until it started to rain!  
 
The rain started out slow and then came down in Buckets and threatened to flood into our tent!!! 
Ahhh - but not to worry - TJ and Jon know just what to do and apparently Julie does too!!  They worked like dogs and were soaked up like sponges digging trenches around our tents.  Later I felt like a heel when I found out that Julie was out there trenching too!  I thought she had gone in her tent like I had gone in mine, and that it was the MEN out there protecting their women in the storm But No!!!!  She was out there too, and all I did was sit in my tent barking out orders!! 
With the trenches dug we did our best to pass the afternoon in our dry little spaces.  We strung up dental floss for a clothes line.  We played cards and I read to Tom from the book I'd brought along. We did 'tent yoga' and finally we broke out the wine and poured ourselves a glass to go along with our little pic-nic of brie, crackers, fig jam and lemon tarts for dessert!!
 
 Poor Jon & Julie, all they had was a protein bar and some trail mix!  They were quite jealous of us later when they heard about the pic-nic we had in our tent!!  They're some of the BEST 'pretend' friends you could ever have on the trail, Ever! And they knew right away I was lying about the wine and crackers and cheese!!!

Tomorrow, Day 4 is Pass Day.  
I don’t mean pass, like 'pass the salt please', or pass, like 'I'll take a pass on that thank you', I mean PASS like 12 THOUSAND Feet over Glen Pass  pass!!!  
 What if it's raining tomorrow?  
 What if we have to pack up the tent in the rain?  
 What if we have to hike up and over The Pass in the rain?
 
Well it wasn't!  and we Didn't! 
 
He that holds the stars in the sky, held the rain in the clouds that day and we had wonderful cloudy, Cool weather to Hike Up the Glen Pass without any rain on
 Day 4!!!
Apparently all our training this summer had paid off; we knew Glen Pass was going to be hard and it was, but somehow we made it just fine.  Actually, I felt strong that day; Long Strides, Long Strides. 
 
 Up up and UP some more. 
Past Charlotte Lake
Charlotte Lake


 And up into the Moonscape side of the pass


 

 
 Back and forth through the switchbacks each one going further up.  After several switchbacks I started counting them; 
 
18 - Huff,  long strides, Huff Huff.  19 - Huff, long strides, Huff Huff.
 
and then, by the time I got to 21, I was THERE!!! 
  
I wasn't 21, I'd Counted 21 switchbacks
let's not be confused!
I couldn’t believe it!  I’d made it up the pass!  
 We left Kearsarge Lakes on Day 4 in the morning at 8:45.  It’s now 1:07 in the afternoon of the same day and there we were, On the Top Of The World!!!!
that's it, hold your arm out there TJ, show some enthusiasm
To one side we could see the stark beauty of the moon-scape landscape where we'd climbed up all those switchbacks 
and on the other side is the culmination of a summer’s worth of training, the Goal is in Sight:
RAE LAKES here we Cooooome!!!!
 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Rae Lakes Story, Part II

The Only conclusion was that the camera HAD to be in the car.
But HOW could that have happened?!?

All four of our "practice hikes" have been in anticipation of THIS hike and ALL of it is about the photos up here in these High Sierras that are beyond beautiful and worth every pound to lug that big camera along.
 
HOW could I have not noticed that the camera wasn't in my backpack when to me it's more important than water! If it was up to me, I'd carry the camera Instead Of Water but TJ won’t let me do that. He MAKES me carry water and makes me drink it all day long, gugh.

Or could I have left it behind at the lunch stop?
I went to bed that night with question only.  No answers.   
 
Every one of our "practice hikes" has taught us an important lesson.  
The Silver Lake hike taught us that:
We are a party of FOUR; we will never again make a big decision without consultation and agreement of all FOUR of us!

In the morning, the FOUR of us discussed the camera over breakfast of powdered eggs, freeze dried ham, and protein drinks.
Julie had her camera of course, and completely understood my feelings.
Both Jon and TJ know how important these cameras are to their photographer wives.  Jon knew instinctively that the only thing was for TJ to go back and get it.  He would do that for Julie in a heartbeat and TJ was ready to go get mine for me.  The three of them thought that was the decision;  TJ would hike down, look for the camera at the lunch spot, if it wasn’t there, he’d go all the way down to the car to get it, and come right back up.

That’s 20 miles!  In one day?!?
NO, I couldn’t bear it.
No pun intended. This is the bear we saw on Day 6

Something inside me was determined that TJ should Not do that.  It’s just a silly ol’ camera and I’m not going to let it spoil our trip.  We’ve trusted the Lord all along that this trip would happen when it was supposed to, and in the direction that the Lord knew was best. I trust Him that I don’t need this camera, and we will go on.

So Go On we did! 
With the camera nonsense settled securely in God’s Hands, This is the day the Lord had made,  
It’s Day 2 and we will Rejoice!
 

So we Loaded up, Cinched down and Strapped on.  The trail went immediately UP 
 
and we followed it gladly, even in the RAIN!!   
Yes, those clouds began to let go of their contents and we got good use of our fancy customized rain gear which was really just a Garbage Bag with cut-outs for shoulder straps that Worked Perfectly! 
 
Hiking in the rain was kind of exciting really!  And it wonderfully lowered the temperature down to about ahhh 55 lovely degrees!!
 
Up past Vidette Meadow 
 
 
Look!  It's Bambi and her Mom!
we took the turn-off to Kearsarge Lakes and hoped for the best.   
Everything was up, Up and UP some more.  
After Bullfrog Lake Julie and I were longing to Be There.  
 Jon & TJ were much further ahead of us.  Usually, when they go so far ahead, they  stop and wait for us to catch up.  But sometimes, when we’re near our destination, Julie and I have found that when Tom & Jon get far ahead and reach camp, they drop their packs and come back for us and ours!  We love it when they do that, and began to expect to see them coming back for our packs at any moment but alas, that did not happen today.  
 Today, on Day 2 of our partially rainy Rae Lakes Loop, we all made it from Junction Meadow to Kearsarge and boy are we Glad that we did. 

Kearsarge Lakes is a Glorious area! We made it there in time to set up our camp and eat our supper of freeze dried mashed potatoes, chicken breast and green beans before the Really Big Rain Lightning and Thunder storm came after sunset. And Oh My what a sunset we saw at Kearsarge Lakes!
 
When the lightning came, we counted the seconds between it and the thunder but alas, we didn’t get any lightning photos.
I can tell you though, that noisy wet storm moved fast. On our right, LIGHTNING! 1-2-3-4-BOOM Rumble-Rumble, and then a couple minutes later overhead LIGHTNING! 1-2-3 BOOM Rumble-Rumble followed later on our left; LIGHTNING! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 BOOM Rumble-Rumble…
 
 
After which we snuggled into our tents for the night, glad for each other, dear friends, strong (rashy) legs and dry sleeping bags!