During most backpacking/camping trips, we woke up early, but there was no rush for anything. It was still chilly from the night before and we decided to stay tucked in for awhile. First daylight was hitting Mount Round Top as we watched the rays casting it’s crisp glow through the mesh window. Silence and a comforting peace was in the air, the one that makes you stretch your arms out wide, inhale deeply and sigh with the deepest feeling of appreciation and gratitude. What an amazing place it was and how amazing to witness this splendor in all its glory. After getting our fix, we eventually got up since someone always has to pee at some point. TMI but the truth, and I say it how it comes to mind. It was then that we discovered that the obnoxious, screeching bird was gone, but had pooped on our cook stove. One last present hopefully and we didn’t notice his loud, piercing call for the remainder of the trip. He must had given up on us and realized that we were not leaving this beautiful spot.
After breakfast, we wandered down to the water’s edge, to sit at our grassy patch and enjoy the serenity we felt. Everything was still as we skimmed the lake’s surface for drinking water. The water was clear and no filter was required. Soon the crowds would appear and as always we would watch them come and go, one group after another. Nobody could sit and stay like we did, or make it an all day event. It was usually off rushing to the next attraction in the old familiar sense of a fast paced lifestyle. A lifestyle that without trouble we were eager to put behind us by finding a beautiful spot and staying for a long, long while.
The first people arrived, some loud, even reminding me of the loud, obnoxious bird and everybody obviously came out here for different reasons. Few are quiet and most like to party and seek some sort of adrenaline rush. It’s sad to say that in popular places like these, trail etiquette often goes missing and there is little consideration for the space and privacy of others. It’s public land and one can only hope the other has enough manners to not march right through your stuff and give you a little space. Working in retail it is obvious that we come out here to escape the noise and to find solitude and peace, but you often have to get off trail or backpack deeper into the high country not everyone is willing to put in the effort, to find that kind of quiet.
This morning was no different and the noise came and went until we decided to further explore the area. We hiked to the far end of the lake, over rock piles and boulders until we sat high up on a cliff, overlooking the crowds below. We stayed as long as we could, taking it all in, while knowing that shortly we would have to break camp and make our way back down the two mile trail to where the car was parked. Once again thunderstorm clouds were moving across the sky to add drama, but just like the day before they vanished without a sprinkle. It would have been ok either way since we had the tent for shelter. There is something comforting and something I love in the sound of rain hitting the tent. I think it was only once that I wasn’t thrilled about it and that was in Canada and during a 30 degree, cold, wet miserable night, sleeping on the cold ground because we punctured the air mattress. And yet I have to smile about it now, thinking of the memories of that night that most likely I will never forget.
It was time to pack up and make our way back. We stalled and procrastinated as usual, not wanting to leave while joking that we should call in sick to work. It was a joke and we had never done anything like that. Good, dependable and responsible people we are, we weren’t about to start a new tradition, even though it was tempting haha. The packs were lighter without the food as we took our first steps away from the lake. Turning ever so often and taking another moment and another picture, it was hard to leave this place behind. I had to remind myself of the beautiful scenic descend that was ahead of us, with the lush Meadow and the stone garden, the old dead tree that always draws me in and the wildflowers that were blooming amongst the few patches of snow that remained. We turned one final time as if to wave goodbye to our adventure of wonder and natural beauty. We stole one more memory of the stunning blue of day and the golden glow under a full moon.