Day 43: sitting by lakes, talking about the nature of existence

June 6
Mileage 16
Mile 907 to mile 923

I sleep hard in our hotel room with the AC on and the double-blinds drawn to block out light pollution and then I wake at 5:30, chilly in that way only air conditioning can make you, and can’t get back to sleep. I turn on my phone and scroll until I see that everyone else is awake scrolling on their phones, too, and then I get up and open the blinds to the 6 a.m. bright and it’s time to get ready to go back to the trail.

The trail angel Sugar Mama gives us a ride, cramming six of us into her car with all of our packs and joustling us down the bumpy road to Red’s Meadow. There’s devil’s postpile, there’s gratuitous snacking (because we all have plenty of food- oh the glory of eating whatever we want!) and then there is some hiking- we take the JMT instead of the PCT through this section because there are more lakes, it is more scenic, and because, duh, there are more mosquitoes.

The mosquitoes are happening. They descend on us hard when we’re taking a break next to a lake. Everyone puts on deet but me. I hate deet. Twinkle has tapatio doritos, so that’s awesome.

Twinkle and Woody split off to try and climb Banner Peak, a pointy granite thing spotted all over in snow. Guthrie and I continue on past a series of lakes named after jewels to Thousand Island Lakes, where we’ll set up to wait for Twinkle and Woody, and for whatever other hikers make it from town. A thunderstorm passes overhead and we put on all our layers and huddle, eating snacks. We find a campsite, set up and pass the afternoon talking about privelege and the existential nature of reality. Right at dusk we hear a CA-CAW! which is our group call, from way up on the mountain and then after a bit Twinkle, Woody and Bearclaw appear. The mountain was too sketch for them to make it all the way to the top but, they say, they took an awesome two hour nap.

The last of the light fades over the lake. The cold comes in, the little animal sounds. We sleep.

Photos on instagram.