When you are camping, primitive or not, it is essential to bring along something yummy for dessert. Fortunately, I had recently made a chocolate-orange version of our favorite healthy homemade treats
, so they happened to be ready and available in my flustered, last minute packing. It just tops off a beautiful day, that little morsel of something sweet to savor as the sun sets on your peaceful outdoor retreat.
Once the sun sinks behind that granite ridgeline, we usually head to the tent for a good night's sleep. It used to be we would rise with the morning sun and hit the trail to climb one of those High Sierra peaks. Lately, our focus has turned to the night sky as the season for capturing that galaxy core is about to come to an end. So, instead of a good night's sleep, we took a little nap, rising with the stars to wander and wonder in the midnight hours.
The thing I have come to enjoy about these sleepless midnight adventures is coming back to the tent, curling up snug in your sleeping bag and snoozing late into the day. After this sort of leisurely snooze time, we got up the next day and took a short hike to scout out nearby Ruwau Lake as a possible location for the next Milky Way photo shoot. We scouted around, then hiked on to the summit of nearby Chocolate Peak. At about 11,700 feet with an easy class 2 route, it is not an impressively grand Sierra giant, by any means. But we do always enjoy this hike and that feeling of freedom one finds in the view from any of these granite peaks.
Returning to camp we puttered and lazed about, prepared another backcountry dinner (simple soup, this time), then sat together watching the evening clouds until the sun set on another beautiful day.
This night, we rose at 1:00 a.m. and hit the somewhat snowy trail to Ruwau Lake. Not exactly comfortable hiking in the dead of night, it proved to be quite an adventure for me. Once at the lake, I did my best to relax into the rhythm of Hubby's night sky photography. It was cold and I longed to be in motion, simply to stay warm. But I tell you, to watch the Milky Way rise over a frozen mountain lake surrounded by granite peaks, to watch it slowly move across the sky, then fade into the early morning light...what an experience! I am quite sure I would gladly do it again.
The next morning, we slept late then packed up camp to head back to the daily grind. It is always so hard to say good-bye to a peaceful, cozy backcountry camp. However, that quiet peace of solitude, the cool shade of swaying pines, the meandering pace of a mountain stream, the wonder, the awe, the adventure...it all seems to follow you home. It refreshes, rejuvenates and revitalizes your energy as you move into another busy week.
I am so grateful for these adventures. I am so thankful for this season. They say that home is where the heart is...
well, in these backcountry camps, my heart is always home.
Where is your heart most at home? Find it. Live it. Love it :)