Thursday, August 24, 2006

Misty Mountain Hop

There's nothing quite like an 8,000 feet elevation gain to make you breathe easier. It feels a bit like walking on the moon. Over the weekend, my family and I went to Highland Lakes in the Sierras off Highway 4. On the way, we passed through mining and Gold Rush towns with intriguing names like Copperopolis, Angels Camp, and Murphys. After some interesting mishaps with a hummingbird and a looney mouse at home the past week, I was a bit reluctant to confront nature once again. However, the only animals we saw were a family of chipmunks living in a giant log, a marmot, a few blackbirds, and some fish. (Thank God poison oak and rattlesnakes can't exist at that elevation.) We roasted hot dogs over the fire and made smores, collected firewood and tried to show Lily how to "rough it" in the wilderness. At night, cuddling by the fire, telling stories, and snuggling in our sleeping bag were a sweet comfort. Our noble mutt, Pablo, playfully romped through the creeks and bounded through the soft meadows of wildflowers- Indian paintbrush, lupine, Alpine daisies in lavender and white, and red tear drop flowers- that carpet the valley amid rocky granite outcroppings. I highly recommend a stay near here.


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