Gem Lake; finally

     The weather the last few days in the Sierras has been all over the place.
      We wake up snuggled in sleeping bags in freezing cold tents covered in frost. By the time the sun is rising over the hills it’s in the mid seventies.
     Because this is camping of course we are not ready to go, after making breakfast and cleaning up until about ten thirty so the hike is of course in the hottest part of the day.
     Today’s hike takes us less than four miles up hill but the oppressive heat makes it feel like six.
      All I can think about as my feet find their way past rocks and chunks of granite, is jumping in a crisp and cool alpine lake.
     Gem Lake (When I finally reach it)  is so serene and silent.
It’s three miles up a very tough trail and the day I did this hike it was 75 degrees when we started hiking.
     We had dreams of jumping in the lake when our sunburnt exhausted bodies finally made it all two thousand feet up the trail to this massive alpine lake.
     I had ditched my friends miles behind me at not so impressive Agnew Lake and gone ahead to do a solo trip to Gem.

     There was no one else around for miles and the forest was perfectly silent as I sat on the shore of this deserted lake and soaked it all in.
     Than I tried putting my toes in the water and it was fucking cold!
     Yes it was all melted snow run off and absolutely freezing!
     I did dip my hat in the lake and I removed my sweat soaked shirt and rinsed it in the lake before heading back down the mountain.
     Have you ever put on a wet shirt you dipped in a icy mountain creek?
     It hurts at first it’s so cold and painful, but two seconds later it’s refreshing and you feel way better!
     And ready for the long, long, hike back down the mountain side.

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