The last and final day of my backpacking adventure took me to Duck’s pass near Mammoth Lakes Ca. I will have to save climbing the pass for another time since I couldn’t tear myself away form the beautiful alpine lakes glistening at its footsteps. After completing a series of switchbacks (my favorites lol), we arrived at the first lake and initially it was as far as we were going to go. A few people on horseback came by and pushed further up the trail after admiring the lake for a few minutes. The lake was pretty, but not a 100% “it”. Beautiful enough to take a break and have a short picnic, but I didn’t come all that far for just a “pretty, but just ok” moment. I was intrigued and we decided to keep going and make it up to the next lake which also called for more switchbacks. It was short though, maybe just another mile to go, but coming over the crest and seeing what was lying ahead, was exactly what I was looking for. That moment that the first lake was slightly of and that instant that takes your breath away and all you can mumble out is something like “Oh my gosh”. There it was while I was standing at the top of the ridge, taking in the magnificent landscape below the bottom of Duck Pass. Already my eyes were trying to secure that perfect spot that was begging to stay for awhile and I knew right away that there was no shortage to be found here. It was just a matter of deciding on which one.
We settled for the water’s edge of this gorgeous alpine lake with Duck Pass straight ahead of us. The pass looked as if it was close by because of the massiveness of the peak, but the faint line of the trail climbing upwards indicated of how far it truly was away. Eventually we spotted a few tiny little dots moved up the pass and it was the people on horseback that had passed us earlier. Settling in on our spot, we had found the “that’s it” factor and spend the remainder of the day there. It was windy and overcast but warm, which made it easier to tolerate the wind that flared up from time to time. I even fell asleep, peaceful at the moment, but would wake up to the worst sunburn ever. It was on the way home later that day that I noticed my face feeling very tight, my nose especially. I was wind burned and my nose would peel for the next week, shedding layer after layer. It felt like dried up shriveled up parchment paper and I was worried about having permanent damage and redness. Luckily all is ok now and for sure I had underestimated the cloudy conditions of that day. A sunburn was the furthest from my mind but I didn’t consider the elevation and being closer to the sun and it’s mighty power.
All in all, another fabulous trip with special memories tucked away inside my heart of the moments that truly matter in life and keep me pulling through until I can go again and do it all over. Minus the sunburn I might add 😉