The Golden Staircase

We are camped on a grassy patch that slopes into a white sandy beach that dissipates into a shallow turquise in between kind of lake in the middle of upper and lower palisade lake. At the top of the world half way in between the valley and the 12,100 ft Mather Pass. Brian is happily organizing the bear bin on the grass while I take a hot bath next to him. It looks like a scene from “into the wild” but before you get too jealous let me detail the horrors of what it took to get here. Since we jsut came over a huge pass yesterday we walked through a canyon for the first part of the day. Yes we did get up at 4:30 again and this time we had breakfast after we hiked a few miles (too spread out our food) because we are starving all the time. This is all good and well and then we get to the end of the canyon to this place called “the golden staircase”. Which I can describe as no less that 400 switchbacks of crumbly granite, completely exposed to the 90 degree sun with a meager patch of shade every 150th switchback or so. We hadn’t even eaten lunch before we started and couldn’t stop because we didn’t want to be frizzeled like fritters in the heat. After two hours of this we were soaking wet and dizzy and saying things like “get mad at that golden staircase” and “what the hell is this”? We finally got to the top and climbed around the lake to eat our meager lunch which just made us hungrier. Everything hurts on our bodies and we are only half way up this pass. These days will be beautiful if they don’t kill us.

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~ by elenimonos on August 28, 2008.

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