WILDERNESS STORIES, Part 2: Destination

One of my fondest childhood memories of the great outdoors is hiking Mount Rose in Nevada with my dad. I was young to be hiking six miles up a mountain, but I also had strong little legs and substantial endurance from lots of gymnastics. Two things rise to the top of my mind when I recall this hike: the unsurpassed chocolate milkshake enjoyed in the car afterwards with aching legs and the lake. Yes, there was a lake. Although, I was young so it may have been closer to a large pond but pond sounds so underwhelming.

I remember fatigue was setting in. The 2,100 foot elevation is a lot for a tiny person who hasn’t yet reached double digits. My eyes stayed on the ground as shoes stomped up puffs of dust and before I could tug dad’s shirt to request a break we rounded a bend and beheld my first real oasis; the lake.

The initial shock came from the surprise of it simply being there. This was not on the map. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Suddenly my feet didn’t hurt. An oval of blue glass rimmed with emerald foliage shined brilliant against the desert terrain, and I was certain a doe and her fawn would appear for a drink while flutes played. I understood that splendor like this draws nymphs and fairies for swimming and picnics so I lingered, gazing at it from the trail. To my horror dad said, “Oh look! That’s neat,” and continued walking. The trail stretched on so I followed with reluctance though I could have stayed forever.

Now here I am in adulthood, still enthralled with the memory of that lake complete with picnicking fairies and nymphs. Naturally, I demanded that our next camping destination be a secret lake. We were in luck. The Sierra National Forest has lots of lakes and the drive from Los Angeles is short. My boyfriend browsed maps for promising blue spots and settled on a healthy cluster labeled Dinkey Lakes. He’s a resourceful one. We/he packed and off we went, headed for a waterfall climb, a bigfoot hunt, a bee sting, and a few other adventures. (to be continued)

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