Monday, August 13, 2012

Rocky Mountains, Day 8: August 8, 2012

We drove to Green Mountain Trailhead. We saw a red fox coolly trotting around on its spindly legs.

We set up camp next to Big Meadow, an extremely large Serengeti-like plain of grass. Big is an understatement - it should be called Ginormous Meadow. Ran into some illegal campers who hiked in at 9 pm the night before without a permit; they were nice, but we were just mutually annoyed to have company. Hiked around Big Meadow, sat by Granite Falls and got a little lost due to poor cartography in the region of interest; we were looking for a trail to Haynach Lake, but could not find a sign. We finally just followed the sign to the campsite; the trail extended beyond the site. We followed it and fell into ridiculous valley after forest after creek after ridiculous valley.

We saw a mule deer. I felt like I was in Narnia - the weird version as described in book 6 or 7 of the series. We suddenly came upon a gorgeous alpine lake surrounded by mountains with a sister lake just down a ridiculously beautiful valley.

There was total solitude. It was amazing. We both plunged into the icy water and felt great. After we had a snack and refilled our water, we reluctantly left this isolated paradise. We saw a small herd of elk cows on the descent back.

We booked it back - after 7 miles, we were spent. We had our first meal from the company, Backpacker's Pantry - dehydrated macaroni with meat chili sauce.

It was decent, but amazing in its convenience - just boil water, cook in situ, and eat with spoons, no dishes! Night fell, and we saw the brilliant night sky, almost like we hadn't seen since we were kids. Every other trip had a night sky with clouds or a full moon, but not tonight - it was gorgeous. We slept without the tent cover.

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