Life really is better Here
- Apr 20, 2013
I am sitting here watching the glorious sporting event called the Tour de France. Do I love the World Cup? Yes... but every year there is this wonderful spectacle with all this great scenery, history, drama, and intrigue. It's wonderful.
All the views of the Alps reminded me that if I did not post some of these trips now, it may be like so many that I intend to post, and just do not.
With that said.
This trip's origins were brief. Dreamt up the same day we left. July 3.
The execution was simple. Hasty. Pretty much perfect.
The flowers were bouqueted in all of their glory, constantly waving in the wind.
In turn, the wind when it blew kept the mosquitoes at bay. When the wind died. Well, it is early July after all. I swatted once at my arm because there were active biters and smashed 6 and sent off others (Normally I believe in mosquito karma and swoosh, not swat...- or at least that is what I tell mosquitoes).
The crowds were all hiking downhill the other way, to prep for the next day's barbecues no doubt.
Leaving us with a relatively quiet night and reward for a short drive and not much effort.
Oh, and at the end we got to see Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam and George Washington all together.
One of loads of flowers.
Reminders the climb is up the slopes of Brighton. This is an area close to home, and fun for kids to hike.
We climbed past crowds and up to the first lake. Mary.
Evening well under way.
A change made this one moody. (Red filter, copper tone)
Part of the convincing the wives portion of the plan had been taking our sons with us, but all of my kids backed out at the last minute while I was packing.
So my buddy had his son for what was his son's first backpacking trip. Here they passed some beetle kill gates.
Having only packed for one, my overnight pack was my daypack, and pleasantly light as it should be.
This one of the evening shadows was one of my favorites.
We made it to Catherine just in time for some golden reflections. Setup camp up on a spot I had seen on a previous trip and wandered around.
Sunset was pleasantly rosy.
Dinner from camp overlooked it all. It chilled down nice and fast. Which was great. I had gotten a Ghost Whisperer jacket for Fathers Day, and wanted to use it.
The jacket was too warm.
Even late into the night it stayed unzipped.
After his son was in bed, we sat out watching the Milky Way rise amongst Venus, then Jupiter, Saturn and finally, Mars.
The moon was not far behind. Some shooting stars, an iridium flare, and a great night.
I swung gently in the breeze in the predawn, listening to the birds. The only noise at night had been some hooves in the wee hours of the morning of something passing down below us and a few coyote howls from over the ridge as the moon had risen in the sky. I blinked some tears back into my contacts and was met with a good reddish glow.
No tripod, so used a rock for this, looking at an ancient stump.
As breakfast was started, the alpenglo warmed. In fact, just as the water was about to boil the light went golden. "I will be back in a few minutes." I said. That few minutes, well it was more like my mom's old few minutes... I was gone wandering over half an hour. When I came back, breakfast was over and it was almost hot. The morning hikers were starting, and so were some mosquitoes.
Here are some views.
This was the light that prompted me to leave warm oatmeal.
Rock garden. Golden.
Fun with an ancient and a raven.
I sang some Oh Hellos, as I wandered about.
Shadows shrunk. The panorama shot here made the shadows impossibly skewed. I like it. Sunset Peak rising above me. Seems the peak also likes Sunrises.
This was also a favorite.
Did I say bouquet? I think I meant a plethora of buckets and buckets of flowers, everywhere.
I walked by a neighbors camp and heard noise. I assumed it was them and did not look over. It was not until my buddy came down and was talking to two other hikers that the true source of the noise was discovered.
She was a little agitated at us. I really think it being the 4th of July, midweek holiday had thrown off her schedule with hikers everywhere in her bedroom.
She did not let us get close, but she answered the bleats my friend called to her.
Then she was off running to the lake. Where she went around to the far side, running straight into a group of hikers who eventually gave way after she went into the water and back out to the trail and back into the water a couple of times.
We climbed the saddle. My buddy wanted to summit Sunset Peak. I was not as interested, neither was my ankle. I had overdone it probably frolicking in the flowers earlier.
Neither was his son.
So we stayed behind.
It was heating up fast. I tried to find shade, but luckily my buddy, ever the trail runner, was up to the peak and back in about 20 minutes. He said he was held up by a few groups. I think he must just be a snail...
My wife had plenty of things planned for me on the holiday, so we packed up quickly and started down against the grain.
I do love this small cirque. There was a mine here, but it's still under snow.
Saying goodbye. I gave a little blood to catch this shot.
Down the last of the slope we heard clearly that we had missed the on-time-escape-window. Sirens.
And the Brighton 4th of July parade.
We waited somewhat patiently, somewhat impatiently, for the parade to make its double circuit on the closed road. Earning a hat full of candy for my buddy's son in the process.
Plus, we got to see these guys twice. I always figured Sam and Liberty were a hot item.