September 1st, 2015: Day 11
Carrie from the next camp over visits us with a gift of grapes. We tell her about what we are doing and she tells us about her hike up to Fish Lake. When we camp tonight someone will tell us about how that lake is all dried up. And where we will be, will be the only lake at this time of year that has any water.
"You seeing those cones is like mythology, " Grace had said the night before, arguing that that's different then disbelief, "Like a bear with antlers."
My first thought is of that poor bear trying to climb through the trees, his antlers getting caught in all of the branches on his way up.
We are on a road now, headed for Butte Falls by tomorrow. It is the first town since Keno. The sun is strong in some sections and Emmalyn is having lots of trouble with her footwear. We take our time, and lots of breaks. But our opportunity to leave the road finally comes.
There is a gravel road that leads over Juniper Ridge. It is a wonderful walk with some random ATV roads no longer traveled so they are overgrown with vines, wildflowers, and grasses. Serious things can be talked about when surrounded in the green. There is a cushion and a trust that what can be said will be received by another human, with trust for the best. That any idea can be added on to, commented on and criticized without lack of care.
After the final bushwack of this section, we lay our eyes upon the water of the lake. All the way over there past the siltbank and tree stumps. We stalk down another road leading to the otherside of the lake. If the lake could be described as a blooper, with the top of its eyes being the dam, we are on the lower outside portion of its third tencle, and the campsite for tonight is over at the first tentacle.
Emmalyn's feet are not cooperating. She stashes her pack and I GPS tag the stash while Maria ties a piece of flagging in the area where it is located.
The water is low, it seems very low, a mineral border on the rocks, and exposed shore show the water is really low. We cross the damn, and I hear the rush of running water, but I can't see it. Little grasses and daisies poke up out of the gravel road with truck tracks in it.
Alex, Dana and Barry ride up in Wes and I highfive Barry as he drives up to us. We drop excess weight out of our packs and we walk into camp.
She sits chopping vegetables at a picnic table. Her manner is of ease and of long walking that has come before. She is joining us for the rest of the hike as a break from the PCT.
Hiking something else as a break from hiking. It could work. "Properly Chill" has joined the party.