Tuesday August 10th, 1999

6:45 a.m. Sunshine on a distant peak . . . well, there was a few minutes ago. This has been another one of those nights, here at Squaw Lake, wondering if we’d wake up, alive!

Yesterday, Matt and I ended up at Virginia Lake, sitting under some trees with John and Dave, while the sky thundered and dropped hail on us.

We waited about two hours for it to clear, but finally, in a dry spell, Matt and I moved out.

I think it was the smart thing to do, as we had a good window of time and made it all the way here by about 7 p.m.

Coming up on the lake (Squaw) we could see back towards Virginia Lakes––not the lake, but the mountains and they were shrouded, covered, gobbled, by clouds.

There’s a possibility that those two never left Virginia Lake.

We dragged ourselves up here to find a few moments of heaven––the zen of the lake––watching the far-off clouds, the horizon of misted peaks . . . lovely.

Matt’s attempts to hang the bear bags failed, but first he ended up climbing up a tree, just to rescue a snag.

Once the rope was set, we waited until dark and went back to hang the bags––his little system failed and the line snapped, sending his heavy bag of food from “20 feet or so” to smash down at my feet––it was dark and I had no idea which way to turn, run.

The entire evening just got better and better, sky-wise and by the time we each crawled into our tents, the stars were able to be seen.

BUT . . . sometime later the wind picked up and of course we spent the night in the rain and thunder. I just slept through it––almost an old pro at not worrying about the consequences and now here we are––another wet morning.

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Twice, I’ve almost got nailed by a bear bag coming down in the dark––the THUD of the rope rock. Did I mention that I still have no idea who Matt and crew are . . . I have their long-ago contact info, but it doesn’t work . . . just wish I could put a name to the face, or the other way around.

This was the last night I think I spent in the company of Matt. Actually, we must have hung out at the VVR for at least a night . . . we got up the next morning, up there at or near Silver Pass and the weather still sucked––we both got wet and stayed wet, all day, but by the time I got to the boat dock, I was feeling pretty good.

Got there and the rain didn’t follow us––just stayed up there, dancing across the peaks and there was a giant fire blazing at the Lake’s edge and then the boat ride into Vermilion and all its charms.

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