Saturday, August 19, 2000


Boring picture of my tent. you can't see the tent because I forgot to take a picture of it before I took it down.

Lunching on the shore of Lake Virginia. Nothing at all like the picture in the Winnett book, but possessing a certain austere beauty. A very open area, scoured by a persistent, surprisingly chilly wind. I've settled against a log in full sunlight, just dined on salami, crackers and hummus, some dried cherries and a rather bland corn tortilla. It's a touch lonely here. The wind starkens the effect of the openness but there's a peace here as well. The rays are warm. I'm bundled in my fleece. The lake is sparkly and alive.

Looking ahead to the slope I have to climb. Tully Hole is around the bend.

The bridge marks the bottom of thevalley, spanning Fish Creek.

Turning 180 degrees and looking back.

A nice view of the river on the way to Tully Hole.

Tully hole was very nice, including the climb up to it from the Cascade Valley junction, though the switchbacks above were murderous and ugly. Winnett's book says something about "metavolcanics" and whatnot. Ugly slate and dust trail is he should have said, with a big-ass switchback at the top to make things extra-thrilling. Still, it's a short day today. Can't complain about a little bit of uphill.

First glimpse of Tully Hole.

Meadows, shade, water...what more does one need?

A classic high view of Tully Hole. The trail to McGee Pass is visible.

Looking south back the way I came. See the first picture in the row above for the reverse view.

I think I'll make departing motions soon. A soon as this kind gentleman obscuring my view moves on and I can take a few pictures. .

The trail heading to Lake Virginia.

Looking toward tomorrow's trail and the valley beyond.

First glimpse of Lake Virginia

Windswept waters.

Looks candid, but I sprinted to that sitting position. Still, says a lot, don't it?

Another casual hiker pose, taken at my lunch spot at Lake Virginia.

Short day today. Total mileage: six miles. But that's not counting the hour I traipsed around Purple Lake in search of a campsite. There are a few people here. More than a few. Like, a thousand and six. I ended up choosing a site high on a ridge above the lake. Dry, rocky and off the trail a ways. I rinsed off creekside, filed my two water containers to capacity and trudged up to camp. The nice thing is the 270-degree view, which encompasses a big chunk of the Silver Divide and the peaks surrounding Purple Lake. Incidentally, the lake's not purple. It's deep green. I'm guessing the name "purple" comes from "bruise," which, thanks to overuse, is an apt name for the place. I pitched the tent and crawled in for some TROPIC OF CANCER and a short nap, after which, somewhat rested but hardly invigorated, I hobbled around on pain-gutted ankles in search of the motivation to make dinner.

Corn pasta tonight with dried peppers, spices and cheese. The usual. Tomorrow's a big day. Crater Meadow appears to be a good ten miles away. Fortunately, a big chunk of that seems to be downhill so I foresee getting there by naptime. The corn pasta should help. So should, I hope, the dessert, which was one of the more peculiar concoctions on which I've had the pleasure to dine this trip. I had expected cheesecake pudding, but maybe the milk I used shouldn't have been soy milk, or maybe it wasn't cold enough, or maybe I didn't stir it long enough, or I stirred it too long. Who knows? The end result was "cheesecake milk." So I drank it.

Campsite at Purple Lake

Another view of same campsite. oooooh...

That's Purple Lake peeking through the trees.

Facing the other way, we overlook Cascade Valley.


Final note of the day comes from Henry Miller. An interesting passage:

"It seemed to me that Papini misses something by a hair's breadth when he talks of the need to be alone. It is not difficult to be alone if you are poor and a failure. An artist is always alone--if he is an artist. No, what the artist needs is loneliness."

Then just below it:

"A beautiful nap this afternoon but velvet between my vertebrae."

Both quotes quite cool.

The wind has stopped it seems. All afternoon it's been prowling around like a beast, bending the landscape beneath its tread. Maybe I'll venture out again. While there's still some light.