saphires

part 8 We reached the top and rested before heading down the other side. The sun was low and a warm light graced canyon that lay before us. The lakes Piute, and Loch Leven and all the little tarns in between shown like sapphires nestled amongst rock and tree. We quickly made our way downhill to Piute Lake and then on to Loch Leven. At each we took a break. The mosquitoes, if there were any were not out out. After Loch Leven the trail began to switchback as it descended. For Chase the miles dragged on, while I was feeling great. The trail opened onto bright sunlight and barren mountainside. Eventually we descended enough for an aspen and pine forest to rise around us. The dusty trail turned to mud in places where springs seeped from the earth among lush flower patches. Soon the sun set behind the mountains to the west, and now that the burning rays were gone the mosquitoes left their hiding spots. We crossed a creek a few times and the forest thickened. The shade deepened and in the growing twilight trails end appeared through the trees, though we still had to hike another ¾ of a mile to the parking area. At the water spigot in the campground we washed our hands and faces and filled our water bottles. The mosquitoes here were particularly bad. We walked the road to where my jeep was parked, threw our packs in the back and hurried to get in away from the swarm that had arisen out of the marshy banks of the creek where it flowed into North Lake. Once in, we quickly shut the doors and violently killed all the mosquitoes that had followed us inside, blood splatters were all over the windows. The sun had set and we drove down the mountain in the dark. As soon as we had cell service Chase ordered a pizza for pick up and reserved two beds at the hostel since I had told him about it earlier. The pizza place closed at 9, we got there at 8:59 and had to knock on the already locked door to get our pizza. We at some right away and took the rest back to the hostel and finished it there. I hiked 15 miles that day, he hiked 22. We both set personal records for ourselves. His girlfriend was going to arrive in 2 days to pick him up, and I have a whole week left before I have to go home and back to work. 9 days turned into 4... what do I do now?

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