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Monday, August 27, 2012

yo-semite, day two (2)

concerned with not to be the last to decamp i was antsy-pantsy-ly trying to score a scene or two with the rising sun over the lake. i usually don't get up this early. while steadily framing lake shots and ignoring the cold in my hands i reminisced about swimming in the lake the afternoon before. and about how we had pumped it for some drinking water for the day.

the morning hike commenced and after a few turns up the slope we stopped for lunch. we lunched by three cascading lakes in the shadows of the highest pass of the hike. there we'd enter the yosemite national park.

as we were switch-backed up the mountain the view of the lakes got grander and i tried to snap an ever-stronger photo at almost every turn. the scale of the scenery resisted the size of the viewfinder. luckily, i was too tired to contemplate the lack of my imagination; the sweat was dripping on my glasses which were resting lowly on my bowed head and nose, and i didn't want to slip on a rock. breathing was hard and hot. on our first real hiking day we were approaching 10k (~3.4km) worth of elevation. we were going to cover over 10 miles (~15km) that day. the isberg pass was just around one more switchback.

sometimes there was nothing around but rocks to trip over and the only thing that could be added to a photo was flare (without loss of contrast - thank you the unnamed camera/lens and uv filter manufacturer!). a fellow hiker descents into the 10k lakes valley.

from all the night's campsite trivia i was going to to dribble about, i wanted to remember the following one. it was getting colder quicker than the rate of the sun disappearing behind the mountainous horizon. i'd spent 8 years in memphis and a summer in texas, and it became chillingly clear how the lack of humidity here allowed the temperature to plunge as soon as the light started to wither away. the side of my body away from the setting sun was chillingly cold. the sun-exposed side was more than comfortably warm. as the sun set deeper i put on about two fresh layers of clothing and still felt inappropriately protected. the water in the pot was boiling and ground tea leaves were about to be steeped.

i am thrilled to present the evidence of how cleverly we managed to avoid setting up the tent on that lone boulder

i chased the sunsets across the campsite; one setting the mountains aglow and the other setting my retinas aburnt. only one sunset made the cut.
it was going to be the coldest night of the hike. the temperature was going to be hovering just above freezing when we'd wake up next morning.

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