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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Precious Gems of Turquoise and Sapphire

Above the stifling morass of a dreary, bug-infested forest, in the cool, uncluttered, wild-flowered atmosphere of Heaven on earth, lies not one, but two, alpine pool gems. One is sapphire, hemmed by a fiery crown of ragged ridge-line, the other turquoise, cupped in the bosom of a glacial cirque. So beautiful are they that neither Frost nor Yeats could ne'er pay them their due in verse. At least, I will fail in good company.
It would be our third arduous outing in as many days; back to back to back. It's easy to feel pressured this time of year, scurrying around, checking off favorite gardens one by one before blossoms go to seed and closes the greatest show on earth. So we hike and climb and scramble, chasing "Eden's Garden," the "Holy Grail," alas, the "Last Supper."

It is a bountiful year. Bobbie stands eye to eye with deep-purple delphiniums, and toe to toe with rainbows of fluorescent paint brush.

Along the way, I am reminded that we are not the only ones scurrying around... 

Creeks have settled down. Most of the alpine snow has melted and is well on its way to the Pacific Blue. 

We are distracted from our climb by trailside attractions, forced to pause and admire and photograph. This "show" is like any good movie; it never gets old no matter how many times you've seen it.

And then Ice Lake comes along with its radiant sapphire blue, and blows your fucking mind...

It's times like these when my agnostic cynicism grows weak in the knees... Have mercy, there must be a God! 

Then I remember all the unfortunate children in the world, how they suffer and die from disease and poverty and the greed of war, and I think, Alas, there is no God. By definition, only a monster would allow a single child to suffer and die.  

 So the dilemma is, at least for me, who does one thank for the luck of a draw such as this, my beautiful, beautiful world? How did my "dart" land here in the "bullseye" of paradise and relative wealth, while others land in the cesspool of barrenness and poverty? 

 Yes, in places like this I am prone to have this discussion all over again... and arrive at the same empty, dead end as always and accept that, Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die. (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

From sapphire to turquoise... On to Island Lake. 

 She wants to jump in, but is hesitant. She has the waterproof "Go Pro" on a "Selfie Stick," but can't seem to jump. I encourage her :)

 Finally she jumps into a sapphire pool that reflects the sky.
Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die...  


  1. Man-o-man...those meadows carpeted with wild flowers what a show of summer. As if they know that the show must excel as summer up there will be short, and frost and snow can come back in a another few weeks.

  2. Oh so pretty! Alpine lakes are the best...

  3. Wow! What beautiful colors! Nothing like alpine lakes and mountain wildflowers. Thanks for the gorgeous photos:)

  4. Ah, I loved that hike! Looks like more flowers this summer. Glad you made it to Island Lake. I thought it was even more dramatic than Ice Lake.
    By the way, you do remember what Jim always says: "We're just killing time until we die". So just keep doing what makes you happy and quit thinking about it ;-)

  5. The flowers on the way to ice lakes look really great this year, and then a bathing beauty in the lake...you must be living right my friend! Island Lake is still on my to-do list, better start working up to it way in advance.

  6. Exquisite! That woman has some cojones!

  7. Mark isn't it funny how when you are in the presence of the awesome beauty of Nature you find yourself thinking of God....a mystery millions have pondered as well. You wonder why God allows all the suffering in little children and in the world, I pondered that one for a long long time as well and the simple answer is God doesn't but Man does.
    Six years ago a friend gave me a copy of U.S. Anderson's "Three Magic Words" and I have not had to ask that question again.
    Stay Thirsty My friend


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