Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

The first burn

There is always at least one bad first sunburn of the season. The one that leaves you bright red like a lobster, the one that is painful when the water from the shower hits it and the one that makes your skin tight and super sensitive to the touch. Despite sun screen, it seems to happen every year to me and yesterday I got such a super burn during our hike. Of course you don’t really realize it until it’s too late already and the damage is done. I even had the chills once I was back home, despite my skin feeling hot as if it was burning up. And today at work, well let’s just say that it felt just a little warmer as usual, almost as if I had a space heater directly strapped to myself. Phew….so bad on so many different aspects, but like I said, what’s done is done. It was my day off yesterday and we decided to see if the Gold Lakes Highway was plowed. If it was open, we could visit our “Ruling Rock” at upper Sardine Lake, a true ruling rock by all means and one of the best with views that won’t disappoint. The road was closed and service crews were working to clear a landslide. It was the second one we encountered on the trip up and the first one had washed out half of the road, leaving nothing but a steep drop and cliff exposed. One can only hope that nobody was driving on it as it gave away. There was nowhere to park and we were advised to park at a sand station one and a half miles further down the hill. Determined to get to our spot, we found the sandlot, parked and started heading up the old service dirt road. Our journey would take us approximately three and a half miles uphill, ending where we wanted to be. The entire hike would be about seven miles round trip and initially I was a little worried since my feet, especially the left one has been killing me lately. Plantar fasciitis is no joke and it hurts to step on the heel. Partner that up with the rheumatoid arthritis and you can figure the rest. It’s a difficult balance between too much pressure on the joints and too little movement and the stiffness that can set in because of it. 

My worries were soon on the back burner and I felt strong. Despite the constant uphill, I only stopped once, briefly and the climb didn’t really face me. I set my pace and pushed on, feeling good to be out and enjoying myself, even though the thought crossed my mind that I would probably have to pay the consequences later with my foot feeling like mush. But here, right now, it was the power of now that mattered and I enjoyed the pain free moments as they had been all too seldom. I felt liberated and free. 

We reached the main road that was closed and continued to walk on the pavement until we reached the turn off to Sardine Lake. It was quiet and peaceful and since the road was closed, the place pretty much belonged to ourselves. The temperature was perfect as we passed the camp ground and were greeted by an abundant number of frogs. The ground was flooded with little ponds and puddles everywhere, creating a new, temporary habit for frogs and other animals. Onward, our journey went to lower Sardine Lake that was frozen over and covered with a blanket of snow. Parking lots were partially swallowed up by snow that reached halfway up the door to the bathrooms. I jokingly threw out the question if the bathrooms were open, just to get a response and a surprised look because even if they would have been, you would have had no way inside with all that snow keeping the door securely shut. 

The trail continued up and away to upper Sardine Lake which would be the last leg of our destination. Streams of water were running down the trail, washing away dirt and carving deep crevices into the ground. So close, I was determined and the momentum brought new energy that almost gave me the feeling as if I was running up the trail. I was on a mission to say the least and I felt good. Ten some years later, I remembered the first time I hiked this and how I struggled. You would think that I was in better shape then, being younger, but actually I wasn’t and I have more strength and endurance now. It made me smile and the ease of tackling the trail and being unfazed by it gave me new hope about a dream I’m hoping to make reality soon.  

Almost at the top, the snow started to cover the trail which made for a slower go, mainly due to me since I always have to be extra careful not to fall into any crevice. I hate that and since it has happened to me, there is always that element that remains back in my mind. That element of fear. The upper Lake was covered with snow as well and the Sierra Buttes cradled the lake in a bowl of granite and snow. Magnificent and simply stunning. The water level came all the way up to our ruling rock and it was like a little Island in the water, luckily still reachable from solid ground. Usually the water level is much lower and the snow melt hasn’t even begun yet. I will imagine that when it does, our favorite rock might be under water this year and we have to find a temporary new spot. Little ice patches were floating around on the edge of the lake, revealing some snow melt while the rest of the lake was still covered under a thick fluffy blanket. Needless to say, we stayed for hours and the level of peace and solitude I felt right there, took on a whole new level. I was relaxed and at peace, I felt accomplished to have made it and yes a nap did follow as well. Look at this place…..can you blame me? I say it was worth the sore feet this morning, the consequences I knew I would have to pay and it was worth that first burn of the season.



I'm a dreamer and hopeless romantic who believes that there is always a silver lining to everything. Now, inspired by the simple life, I have learned that less is more and that we find magic all around us if we take the time to notice. Life is a journey and a process that is ever changing. We are constantly evolving in the matter of who we are as we align our stars and shed a past no longer in line with our highest self. I don't easily fit conventional norms, not because I'm a rebel, but because of resenting the pull that threatens to take me away from my true beliefs and my unique personal identity. I support the power of "Choice" and the ability for us to be the architects of our own lives. Some of these choices should have something a little wild about them as they form the moments that forever stay edged in our memory and make our hearts beat with wonder. Nobody will remember the ordinary. For myself, I'm a warrior who has fallen many times, who has gone through trails an tribulations and who is no stranger to adversity. After all, my choice remains clear, to get back up and stand stronger than ever. To recognize that it often takes our darkest moments to mold us into who we were meant to be. I have learned to trust the process and stay positive through the challenges. I trust it to be the only way to prevent my heart from hardening and allowing bitterness to creep in. I believe in the power of "NOW" as it is the only moment we truly ever have. The past is gone, unchangeable and the future hasn't happened yet. All we can impact is the current moment. Everything starts with a choice and hopefully with one that has something wild about it and may even scare you to death to execute. DO IT...I promise you won't regret it. This blog is my voice to share my Journey. If I could describe this adventure in short, I would call it "Spiritual awakening" with a yearning for "Freedom" and going after the things that truly matter. To seek a less complicated life that is stripped down from the many obligations and responsibilities that often tie us down. For me it is a life free of rules and regulations, one that allows me to escape the must expectations while jumping off the hamster wheel that is spinning faster all the time. To be on my own time and live each day to the fullest, to make it all slow down by banishing routine and unleashing my creativity/artistic values in an effort to entertain whatever subject comes to mind. And if lucky, to perhaps offer a different view to my readers, one that speaks to your soul vs. the demands of what society might expect. It is one that empowers you to be your unique self and follow the beat of your own drum. I am dreaming big as I trail blaze the path to a new life and becoming a storyteller. I find my inspiration in the little things in life, in Mother Nature and on the trail that provides the adventures and the backdrop for a book someday. My hope is to inspire "Courage" in others who might find themselves on the brink of taking that first step. This blog serves as a foundation for my collection of personal thoughts, opinions and experiences and by no means am I an expert on any topics mentioned. To my readers I would say that the universe connects us by a common thread, we all search and we all have something to say. We don't always have to meet in person to share a strong bond and people enter our path for a reason. Some stay for a short time and serve their purpose, while others teach us a lesson and help us become stronger through experience. And a few special ones remain as the treasures we hold dear over a lifetime and touch our hearts beyond means. In whatever way we are meant to be, I thank you for crossing my path and for stopping by. I hope that I have left you inspired, full of wonder and with a few "Wild Choices" to make....Hugs XO

9 thoughts on “The first burn

  1. It’s stunning, Rhapsody. I can understand why you wanted to be there. I get that fine line between enough movement and not enough. It works that way with fibromyalgia. I also get being in better shape 10 years later. Just two years ago, I couldn’t walk a quarter mile. Now I walk at least 6 miles every day. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another perfect post. I got my first real facial sunburn of the season while skiing on Mount Hood. I totally can relive how you must have felt. Come on, once the pain leaves and the lobster color is replaced by a nice tan that last all season, it was all worth it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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