Day 70: A Full Day

Memories from June 29

I started today from just inside the Carson-Iceberg wilderness. He trail starts with a climb up and over what would be a small pass if there were mountains on either side. Here’s the view from a viewpoint looking back roughly in the direction if Sonora Pass.

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I ran into Timo, a German fellow I’d met a few days ago, and we joined a group with Miles and Bacon for the snowy trip down the other side to the valley.

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There’s an enjoyable irony in that the day after I send home my ice axe and microspikes is the day I do the most glissading and boot skiing. It was tons of fun despite being broken up by bushes and rocks every few tens of feet.

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The group had been hiking with a lot of energy but stopped for a snack break. I continued since I’d had a bar while walking to keep my energy up. The valley was an easy walk in the woods until it decided to climb the valley wall. There was a point where I could have succumbed to the steep grade and slowed down but I was on a roll and with a lot of pretending that I was various super heroes and mythical figures, I rage hiked my way to the top, stopping only to dunk my head under this small waterfall.

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At the top of the ridge was a funny pile of dark colored rocks, different from the surrounding granite.

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I lunched in the shade near this tree. Apparently the woodland creatures get their Bonsai on from time to time.

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At the Paradise Valley trail junction there was a memorial to faithful hiking stick. The inscription reads, “1034 miles. Was good stick.” Given that I’ve had to replace my trekking poles and that both of their tips have broken in the last 300 miles, 1034 miles is pretty good for piece of wood that someone probably found by the side of the trail.

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The trail was mostly a gradual downhill passing intermittently through grassy open spaces with pleasant scenery.

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I was considering trying to make it a 30 mile day when I ran into Grandpa Mac (Matt?) and spent two-ish hours talking, meandering, and eventually supping. He’s 70 and is section hiking. From watching him rock hop, he’s got a few more years of hiking in him even if he’s not putting up big miles any more. It was something of the wonderful old-young interaction. Conversation topics included love, war, religion, and, of course, hiking. This is what I hope to be doing at 70.

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After dinner, we parted ways and I hiked out if the Carson-Iceberg wilderness to Noble Lake. I remember this gate from the saddle before the valley in which Noble Lake lies. It’s a little more built up than when I last went through

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Looking south from the gate.

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The trail disappeared most immediately and based on the footprints, I’m not even close to the only one who just took a straight shot down the valley and coming up from below Noble Lake instead of staying above it and coming down from the east.

Eventually I did find the trail, but I was pretty much already at the lake.

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Today was full. I felt like it started with a day at the ski resort, followed by an adrenaline filled raging workout, a good conversation with an old man, and as a final twist, a bushwhack. How do you summarize all that for the title?

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