Hilton Lakes

It's positively sizzling outside and I won't look at the thermometer. Knowing the exact triple digits will not bring relief, so why bother.
 
Hot is hot no matter what the number.
 
Which makes the current task of gathering warm layers needed for my week on the trail ironic and painful. I don't want to even handle these harbingers of heat. They seem kind of revolting today. 
 
The down puffy. The wooly knit beanie. The ultra-insulated long underwear. 
 
These misfits and other cold-weather brethren are unwanted guests in my bedroom.
 
Into my pack they go. Good riddance. Until . . .
 
A few days later, I am back in love with my warmies. The high-altitude sun flirts with monsoonal clouds streaming in from the southeast. The shade creates a shiver and oh-yeah, these warm layers are so nice. 
 
Such twists are unavoidable when launching from Southern California. 
 
The heat, however, this intense and not-really-diminishing heat puts you face to face with climate breakdown. This shit is real and it's starting to get scary.
 
Hiking into the high country does give you some cool-down. But the Sierra range is suffering its own fever.
 
Notice the low water levels. The pine die-off. And the lack of year-round snow fields. 
 
It's heartbreaking and seems criminal. 
 
The what and how and why all point to a hot planet that takes all the rain elsewhere - usually where it's not needed - leaving the places that really need it - literally high and dry.
 
And ridiculously hot.
 
But - yes - we had a great hike. The water isn't gone  (although way too warm for its own good) and the forest still looms large, but up close you can see the fragility. 
 
And getting up there (and way out there) is still a nice - if not totally necessary - reprieve from the city noise and digital media barrage. Even when the climate is on a freak-out.
  
Where else can you doze off in your tent for a midafternoon nap, listen to the whooshing sound of the pine crests catching the wind, then as if I might be half dreaming - hearing Ed strumming a Jackson Brown tune on his back-packing guitar - those chords floating - and Brooke chiming in with the harmonies.
 
It's all so angelic and other worldly. A memory made in perpetuity. 
 
These special times are worth all the effort. But it can be hard to get momentum.   
 
Make it happen. Plan. Do the things required. Redo the plan again. Then get the heck out there. You need special moments like this more than ever. 
 
Some photos:
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Hilton Lakes
Horses and mules. A common sight near the trailhead.
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 Hilton Lakes
 Hikers. Another common sight near the trailhead.
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Hilton Lakes
Boys will be boys.
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Hilton Lakes
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Hilton Lakes
Daughter and father. And Russ.
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Hilton Lakes
Los tres amigos.
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Hilton Lakes
2nd Lake. 
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Hilton Lakes
The northeast face of Mt. Huntington, 12,355 ft. 
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Hilton Lakes
Sage, desert paintbrush, and granite in the morning light.  
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Hilton Lakes
Russ takes in the morning. 
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Hilton Lakes
Off road, off trail, off grid. 
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Hilton Lakes
Thomas will always chuckle at your bad joke.
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Hilton Lakes
Guitar and two vocals. Ed and Brooke.
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Hilton Lakes
Purple flower majesty.
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Hilton Lakes
No wind.
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Hilton Lakes
A rock scans its territory on Davis Lake. 
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Hilton Lakes
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Hilton Lakes
A bear scratched the tree. 
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Hilton Lakes
Magic? I'll never know. 
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Hilton Lakes
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Hilton Lakes
Sometimes you need to figure out the way when the trail ends. 
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Hilton Lakes
Osprey. If you're a fish, swim for your life. 
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Hilton Lakes
A beautiful little lagoon. 
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Hilton Lakes
Bearproof food containers. Mandatory in the wilderness here.
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Hilton Lakes
Mt. Huntington follows you everywhere.
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Hilton Lakes
Got a problem? Call The Squad. We'll be sure to make things worst.
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Hilton Lakes
You really don't want to be anywhere else.  
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Your thoughts and opinions are highly encouraged. Use the form below. Use the password: Life is good
 
 

Comments (2) -

Elizabeth Gindroz
Elizabeth Gindroz 8/17/2021 5:03:57 PM

Oh heck, what can I say! It's so freakin insanely beautiful that it doesn't seem real. I think it's your mega cool camera! A pretty magical place. You all look great in the photos too!

Doug

Thank you! Camera is Lumix gx850, but I'd say camera is fraction of the story. Camera user, post production and beautiful setting all help in getting a good shot.

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