Blog Archive

Sunday, October 19, 2014

That one time we made friends on the trail.

Day 95 9/15
Mileage 15
Camped at Virginia Lake

Today began at Red's meadow, where we ransacked the hiker box. The two guys we split the site with last night were gone long before us. Today's hike was essentially one big hill. We began by hiking separately in the morning, and caught up with each other around 11. During our break, we met Yannick, a bearded Belgian with a "vegan warrior princess" trucker cap. We chatted for a while, and Peter and Kyle began hiking and I stayed back with Yannick. After a career as a professional volleyball player, he moved to the states in January, and he'll be starting as a professor next year at San Diego State. We hiked together for the rest of the morning, met up with Peter and Kyle towards the end of their morning snack, had lunch, and hiked together all afternoon. We chatted pretty much constantly, and he was really excellent company. Hiking with someone is apparently a great way to get to know someone well quickly. Going south means we never really get to hike with other people, so this was a real treat. Trail friends! This is his first backpacking trip, which is awesome. The latter part of the day was off the chain beautiful. We got up close to 10,000 feet on the west side of the ridge, the afternoon sun gilding the peaks above us. Nice. Yannick stopped for the night at the dock wake outlet and we said our goodbyes. I did feel like we had become friends in the time we had together, and I was bummed to be leaving him. I hauled up the next few hills, entering a sort of high granite induced reverie, pausing every couple hundred feet or so to take in the surroundings. At the top of the last climb, I stopped for a while to gaze at the labyrinthine peaks and valleys that lay before me. A small lake glittered a few hundred feet below me and some fluffy clouds filtered sunbeams onto the granite crags. I was so Sierra-stoked, I stayed for another 20 minutes and read some John Muir. I got into camp with daylight to spare. Lake Virginia is awesome. Each pass seems to peel back to reveal yet another line of peaks. Camping near us is Kristen, a rising senior at UCSC whom we somehow convinced to hang out with us, despite our smell and general aura of craziness. We chatted for a while. It's exciting and refreshing to talk to new people. She's spending the last month of her summer hiking the JMT by herself, which is awesome. It started to get chilly, and Kristen returned to her tent, and Kyle and I stargazed for probably at least an hour. The moon is not up yet and the stars are phenomenal. I learned some new stars and constellations, saw a ton of meteors, and now I'm calling it a day. Good day. Friends, beautiful mountains. Nothing better.

No comments:

Post a Comment