August 06, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Sawtooth Mountains

Lake view from site 11
The sun was in my eyes. I was lying in the van and the sun had risen in the sky to that angle where it was shining light directly into my eyes. I slept a little longer, until I started hearing a number of people moving about outside. Finally, I get up and Rose gets up. She makes some Coconut Chai tea and we go for a walk. We walk to campsite 11, the site that we were supposed to have the night before, it was now empty.  It is a lakefront site and we walk down to the water's edge with our steaming tea. It is my first daylight glimpse of the Idaho scenery.
The lake is large and very blue. It is peaceful and calm and, of course, amazingly beautiful. Across the lake, pine trees come up right to the lake beach and behind them are hills, or, smooth mountains dotted with trees. The Idaho morning sun is strong, warming the lingering chill in the air. It is an expansive scene, almost overwhelming with its serenity. Funny, how that is, but maybe, the feeling of serenity reaches so far that it reaches places beyond the boundaries that is your contained self, it makes you more than just yourself, just for a moment, and you are part of a bigger thing and because we so rarely feel so connected to something bigger than ourselves, it overwhelms us.
The Sawtooth Mountains
An older couple, who turned out to be the campground hosts, spot us and asked Rose and me if we had camped in that site the night before. I said, no, but we had reserved that site only to find it occupied when we arrived with a youngish man insisting, apologetically, that it had not been tagged as reserved. They seemed very irritated at this man since he not only took our site but he left the site messy with litter. They insisted that the site was tagged and he must have removed our name tag. I think I believe them. They are very apologetic and feel terrible about the situation and insist we stay as long as we like.
Mountain Lake Beach
Rose and I walk along the lake side path and around the bend to a view of the Sawtooth Mountains. Along the lake is a larger beach and empty dock. Canoes, power boats and jet skies are all out and people are swimming and having a wonderful time.
The Sawtooth Mountains are amazing with their craggy, jagged peaks and edges that abruptly point toward the sky and flanked by an abundance of pine trees. The lake in this scenery is Redfish Lake which is very popular for swimming, boating and fishing. It is a deep, beautiful blue and spreads out in an oblong shape.
Mountain Creek
The Trail
Rose and I move our vehicles down the street to the Glacier View campground, site 46. It is early for check in but we park in our campsite anyway. The campground host is gone so we take off on a hike and walk down past the beach park to the Redfish Trail trailhead. After some discussion on which direction to go, we begin our hike. The trail goes uphill a bit and we are out of breath quickly because of the high elevation. There is a small side trail leading toward the sound of running water and we venture in that direction and discover a mountain creek. Rose wets her hair and hat in the mountain creek to keep cool.
Mock Orchid
The air is hot and dry and the sun feels strong. We head back out to the main trail as it meanders uphill through patches of wildflowers and tufts of brush and eventually through an occasional grove of trees that are not pine trees. Rose and I talk the whole way, trading thoughts and swapping stories. The talking makes the high elevation hiking harder and I am grateful for the chance to listen and catch my breath.
View of Redfish Lake
View of Sawtooth Mountains
After some time hiking higher, we can see Redfish lake below us. It is even more beautiful from above and you can appreciate the bigness of everything here. The big lake, the big range of rolling mountains, the big forests of trees and ahead of us, the big Sawtooth Mountains.
We continue hiking, talking the whole way, and come to a series of switchbacks. A hiker, coming back down, informs us it is only half an hour more. We start up the switchbacks and enter a lodge pole forest. At the edge of the forest there is a mountain lake, Beach Lake.
Beach Lake
We find a grassy spot along the lake, shed the outer layers of clothes and jump in the lake. Ok, so really, Rose did a shallow dive and I awkwardly walked and slipped my way in. The water was cool and refreshing and rejuvenating after the hot, dry hike. We swam for a while, treading water too, but the elevation is so high that we were out of breath just treading water. We swim back ashore and sit on a log while letting the sun dry us off.
A group a teenage boys, backpacking into the mountains, come along the trail a few feet from our spot. They are silent. Another group comes, probably part of the same larger group, they are talking a bit and become silent as they pass us. When out of earshot, Rose and I have a laugh at the surprise it must be for teenage boy backpackers to come across two women drying off in their bathing suit/underwear along a mountain lake in the middle of nowhere.
Idaho evening along Redfish Lake
The sun is getting lower in the sky when we return to our campsite. We buy a bundle of firewood from the campground host and then grab some wine, snacks and our camp chairs and walk down to the lakeside beach. The sun is throwing slanted light across the lake as we sip our wine and munch our snacks. As the sun disappears, the temperature quickly drops and the mosquitoes begin to trickle in, so we head back to our campsite.
I start a fire while Rose makes some salad and ravioli. As I make the fire, I start thinking. Rose and I have been talking to each other all day, getting to know things about each other from our the thoughts and stories we've shared. Am I being a motor mouth? Am I talking about myself too much? Am I being too polite? I don't feel these things, just the fear of these things. It is stressful, this fear. This fear of being a dork, of being unlikeable. But I don't know how to be anything else and I don't really want to be anything else, I am as I am, but the stress of being judged is a heavy burden. Certainly, this is no reflection on Rose at all, just myself. I like Rose and when you like someone, would like to be their friend, you can only hope it is mutual. In my life, generally, making friends has been stressful. It feels like being back in elementary school, picking friends on the playground during Recess, or rather, hoping they pick you. When I was in elementary school, sometimes I was picked and played with the other kids and sometimes, I spent many Recess hours jumping rope by myself.  I like Rose and I am glad she was able to come on this trip.
The campfire is burning brightly and dinner is done so I pick up my plate of salad with a bowl of raviolis and pasta sauce. I carefully carry my plate from the Eurovan to the picnic table when I hear a yell from Rose. When I get to the Eurovan I discover that her bowl of ravioli and sauce had slid off her plate throwing red pasta sauce all over the van! I grab some paper towels and eventually we laugh as we attempt to clean up the pasta sauce. We sit by the fire eating dinner and talking late into the night. When you look straight above our campsite the clearing in the trees shows an amazing number of stars. I have not seen this many stars in a long, long time and it makes me wonder. Wonder what, I don't know, maybe it was just wonderment.

No comments:

Post a Comment