July 26, 2009
Upper Brooks Lake WY
It may be too cold to type. This morning it was 42 and in the first week of June this year they had 6 feet of snow. This is definitely high mountain. We are camped at 9,200 feet but hiked as high as 9.500 today on our alpine meadow/lake/continental divide tour. We ended up hiking almost 11 miles and hope we don’t suffer for it tomorrow and onward! It was completely worth it and, in the end, only 300 feet change in elevation which eased the breathlessness a bit. We’ve tried to come up into the high mountains slowly, 5,000 at Medicine Lodge, 7,000 in Dubois, 9,000 here but nevertheless you can feel the alpine air in your legs sometimes. Sometimes they are just lead. You can definitely feel it in your breathing and your pulse.
What you hear up here is mosquitoes. Mosquitoes and flies and more mosquitoes. It is lucky that I have lived in the Adirondacks and canoed in Canada because it is literally swarms of mosquitoes. Yesterday because of the thunderstorms we had to seek refuge and sometimes (like now), when the wind dies it is not o.k. to be sitting still.
If you don’t hear mosqitoes (which is less than 30% of your waking time) you hear wind. Wind is very wonderful up here.