August 5th . . . day five . . .

Sitting here around seven p.m. last night, we looked doomed to rain and wind and then, at last light, after I’d closed myself into the tent, the birds sang and the sun beat away the clouds on the mountain tops––all the thunder and grey monsters, dripping with rain, moved north. 

I went to sleep with the wind, pushing my “suburban tent” around. 

It did rain, but only a little and just enough to make me worry if the tent’s fly was really going to keep me dry––it did and you’d never even know there was any rain at all. 

I do a lot of that out here––worry about bears, marmots, rain and now that I might need an emergency appendectomy, or that I might just die from lack of attention. 

I can’t really feel any pain, but that part of my body––my gut––gets really tight when I sneeze or cough in a crouched position, or like I’m doing crunches––actually, I think I am due for a major mountain movement––a super cleansing of the bowels. 

. . . Amazing day. Didn’t quite know what I was going to do this morning, but luckily I stayed right here. 

There was a Japanese family camped right next to me––very nice.

They left around 10 a.m., and then I went up here behind me (up towards Lyell and McClure) assuming that there would be a lake hidden out of view, just past the lip at the bottom of the cirque

. . . but there was nothing more than another small, clear, beautiful body of life-less, blue water!

I could see water coming down from other levels, other places, so I just kept going up, over lush green grasses and petite flowers and drifts of melting snow, all red, for some reason (red algae, I would later find out)  . . . and right now, 6:40 p.m. I’ve got the tent loaded with rocks and the outside tethered with rope and . . . 

I got so high I decided to try for one of the ridges and I made it up there! Amazing view, but even more amazing that I made the climb. 

It wasn’t incredibly hard––just climbing up granite faces, boulder-hopping––but to get up there, up so far away and out of the picture––that was wonderful––this was the first time that I could say that I was here––in the middle of nowhere, alive and doing something so heavenly and alright, so darn macho! 

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Going up towards the peaks there was so surreal, so remote. I always recommend that is up there, do it with someone, as one mistake–––something as simple as a sprain even, where you couldn’t walk, and you might be dead before they found you––but I think I left a note on my tent. 

And the weather just played with me this first night . . . After a happy day exploring up there, the night’s adventure was yet to come. 

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