After two months of preparations, working out at a gym and buying $987.94 worth of backpacking gear.
We are on the John Muir trail in Northern California and have been hiking for two days. But, for the past two hours, we have sat on a precipice overlooking a valley into the Sierra Nevadas at just over 8000 feet.
We were enjoying the unnerving silence of the moment equaling the bewildering sights occupying our eyes when suddenly Jennifer said, we have a problem babe.
I turned to look at her a little perplex, and she said the problem is, I don’t want to hike anymore today. I want to watch the beauty of the valley. I looked back into the valley and thought for a moment or two and said I have no qualms with staying a while longer, I think.
She asked, what’s your worry?
Slowly I responded, I have no worries now, just contentment, I’m sure of it.
Another hour went by, without a word spoken and a little while later we set up our tent with the opening facing the valley and the clear blue sky. An hour or so later, several hikers passed and one stayed to watch the view. Her name was Melinda from San Diego.
We shared the general backpacker conversation of who, what, when, and where, but most of the evening was filled with silence listening to the beauty of the valley.
By nightfall, the valley features cloaked in darkness, while the sky above filled with millions of twinkling, sparkles of lights. As the temperature dropped into the forties we wiggled into our sleeping bags falling asleep watching meteors streak across the sky and we tried to locate the slow moving satellites above.
We awoke to the sounds of chirping birds, and the sun projecting streak of early morning light as it rose above the mountaintops. We ate breakfast, watching the shadows in the valley below while the heat of the sun dissipated the mist from the lake.
We packed up, saying our goodbyes to Melinda who continued on up the trail and we returned to the trail hiking two days back to the car overwhelmed with the beauty we consumed with our eyes, hearts, and souls, feeling replenished and dreaming of our return to the trail, and its beauty.