Mount Lola hiking trip, July 30-31, 2005 (iii)

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More mosquito armor: Kady, still nursing raw, red, pre-blistered feet, just decided to turn in early and let her sleeping bag protect her.


Rain coat + Levis + mosquito-proof socks (no shit! The fabric has permethrin permanently embedded! And it works) == mosquito armor. Forgot my gloves, unfortunately, and ended up with a bite or two on the knuckles.


Kady eats Velveeta Shells n' Cheese. Don't let the similarity to the college staple fool you -- that stuff is FOUL. On the other hand, once you cook the pasta, the sauce is just pour and serve; real M&C would have required some milk, butter and/or creativity with soy nuts or lactation.


I was the first one out of bed, which you'll hear more about shortly. I decided to walk up to the peak again since everyone else just wanted to sleep in. With morning light, I got some better shots of areas I'd previously ignored; this is The Boulder as seen from the bottom of The Snow Field.


Carpenter Ridge, to the southeast. Note the blanket of clouds in the sky.


Same view from the very peak. Note again the solid layer of clouds with actual rain to the south of us.


Peak view, west. Note again the incoming clouds with sporadic but actual rain. Also, I believe the peak in the background right (treeless, two ridges back) is English Mountain, which I've also climbed.


If I ever want to have my photo on a book jacket, trying to look cool despite morning hair and a beer-stained T-shirt, while flashing an inscrutable hand sign and ignoring incoming bad weather, then I guess I'm in luck.


This is the message I left in the peak register. Transcribed here. The previous day's entry, which was much wittier (and a collaborative effort) and included a hastily drawn map, unfortunately did not get photographed for posterity.


Closer pic of the peak register. This is the fourth I've signed (and I'm not counting my two days of Lola climbing twice, either).


Peak view, west (and photographer's shadow).


Peak view, northwest.


The sun glints poetically off Independence Lake. I'm sure that's a metaphor for something, but I couldn't tell you what.

The clouds that the sun is shining through are the ones that dumped about 1/100th of an inch of rain on me to wake me up just before dawn. Thought process was something like "That sounds like rain ... couldn't be, the skies have been empty all night. But it sounds like rain ... whoa, it IS rain. FUCK! All my stuff's out unprotected."


From the snow field, the valley to the north we hiked in through. Tough contrast and low morning light ruined the colors.


The same, hoping that less snow would let the camera balance light better. Didn't really work.

You can almost but not quite see Cold Stream Meadow in the center.


The wily Baxil in its natural habitat. Note its unusual use of jeans, its casual posture, and its willingness to approach within visual range of the cameraman. This specimen may be entering mating season.


Wildestflowers. So wild, in fact, that the flowers took our breakfast oatmeal hostage and refused to release the food until we photographed them. That's hardcore.


I think the creative vision here was supposed to be "let's get Bax in a pose that looks like The Thinker," but it just sort of ended up looking like I'm on the john.


We started heading downhill -- along the actual trail this time. I captured this beautiful shot of Cold Stream near the peak.


Gratuitous nature shot. TREES!


Cold Stream, spilling down a shallow set of stairstep falls.


One last shot of those stairstep falls. ♥


The trail out passed through a number of Cold Stream feeders. Did you know that you can drown in as little as three inches of water? Fortunately, the channels really weren't any more than two and a half inches deep.


Kady admires flowers on our way back to Cold Stream Meadow. The downhill wasn't any easier on her feet than the uphill; by lunchtime, she was limping, and I ended up taking most of the weight from her pack to make things easier.


Extremely beautiful. The flowers were nice too.


Cold Stream Meadow. The glint in the center background is a wide creek trickling down the ridge to the east into the stream.

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That was pretty much it -- we limped back down to the car, drove out, did a little swimming on the Little Truckee on our way back to paved roads, and ate a big burger and rested for a day or two in order to welcome ourselves back to civilization. Despite the foot woes, I think we all had fun, and it was great being out in the wilderness for the first real time this season!

- Baxil

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