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Banner at first light
Today I tried to cook oatmeal - and failed. One downside to Whitegas stoves is that when you run low on fuel, the fule-to-air ratio spins out and the stove no longer functions even though it has fuel. I looked at my options and decided to head into Mammoth a day early for the sake of food. While I could have made it into Red's Meadow today there was not guarantee the store would have been open, so I went with my surest bet - Mammoth Lakes.
This angle on things was upported by a park Ranger who said jumping of at Garnet or Shadow Lake was my best bet given the shuttle from Agnew Meadows to Mammoth. As it turns out, you can pay for your bus ride at Mammoth Inn AFTER riding into town - with plastic if necessary - and there is a free shuttle into town. This service - available June - Sept 9th, is Awesome. I was fed and into a Motel Room by 7:30. Don't even try hiking down the road from Red's/Agnew Meadows into Mammoth, the road is treacherous!
This morning at the lake sunrise was amazing and I took about 100 photos of Banner. Emeral and Ruby Lakes were also beautiful, though I took no photos. Garnet was amazing - and windy. Banner AND Ritter jump at you from all sides of this lake and I took quite a few photos there.
I also discovered what one of my filters could do today; I have had a Hoya polarized filter for 8 years (thanks to Debbie, who turned me on to photography by gifting me a nikon FG w/ additional lenses, etc.) I never knew it was capable of adjustable shading! Hoya is no BS, that's for sure! The polarized lense is also great for lake photos that are full of diffracted light.
Shadow lake is also beautiful and quite close to the Agnew Meadows trailead, likely the reason it has been closed to camping. Cell phone reception is available from around Shadow Lake into Mammoth, as well as on Island Pass; I mention this because your cell phone is one of the most important survival tools at your disposal these days. I had not had cellphone reception since bridgeport, although I did see some folks using their cell phones in Tuolumne (I had no such luck).
I had a strange, but sort of nice - dream last night. I dreampt I was in Wilmington, in highschool again, though time had elapsed. Scott, Heather, Sarah, and others from AHS theater were prominent, as well as Natalia and Jason. I doubt anyone from wilmington will read this, but just in case... The jist of the dream was that I had been distant and some - notably Heather - were mad at me for this. I was not bothered.
I said looks guys, I'm sorry I've been distant but listen to what I've been through. It felt good to be in their company, expecially Scott, Jason, and Natalia's. This is how I feel about all of you that I've been close to and drifted apart from. I didn't want to - it just hapeened. Life got crazy. I'm not sorry in the sense thatI shouldn't have, but many of you still have a place in my heart.
The same applies to you guys from College. Haiz, Billy, Adam, Ian, Kelly SHannon, and so many others... I wish things had happened idfferently, but they didn't. I had to take care of my family. It was what it was.
I hiked by Waugh lake yesterday and thought of Jay's class and especially of Haiz, Ian, and Adam. Waaaaaaaaaaa, remember?
Why did we meet the people that we met today? To prepare us for the people that we will meet tomorrow. Why will we meet the people that we will meet tomorrow? To prepare them for the people that they will meet, and so on.
We are like magnets, attracting kindred spirits and repelling others. The sun rises and the moon, she is born again. All of it so beautiful, so raw, and so tender. We are all engaged in Barthe's Night Sea Journey, swimming on and on and on. Whence we began unknown, the end always just beyond our grasp - and still we push on, and on, and one.
Heaven so clos, but so far away.
Tonight I write in the key of A minor. Bittersweet, beauty that will make you smile as it brings tears to your eyes. If I were a key, this would be it. If only I had my guitar...