Sunday, November 28, 2010

Benson Lake

It is Sunday night of Thanksgiving weekend. It is dark early and Hilary is working. I am contemplating with some trepidation another week of teaching and wondering why we haven't finished this blog yet. I know part of it is my work schedule. I feel like a new teacher again, usually working more than ten hours a day and planning on the weekends. But I think it also has something do with not being able to face the end of our story, after traveling for almost two years and living with such freedom. It is hard to give it up. Writing it down gives it an awful finality. Still, we have a few more stories to tell, and it makes no sense to drag it out forever.

Before leaving California we went backpacking one last time, in what John Muir called the Range of Light, with Mike Grafton and Scott Mattoon. We spent 8 days in the northeastern corner of Yosemite National Park. Our destination was Benson Lake. The lake was beautiful but had an adjoining mosquito-infested swamp that made it less than ideal for camping. Things turned from beautiful to amazing, however, when we left the trail for several days of bushwhacking. Hilary found what we think is a prehistoric stone knife, and we camped one of the nights in a high valley overlooking mostly frozen Rock Island Lake. It was surrounded by snow and completely unspoiled. It seemed we were the year's first of the few that make it there.

The pictures tell a better story than I can.

Looking at these pictures I realize how much I miss the western mountains and Mike and Scott; I feel like I didn't appreciate them enough when I was there.