Before I settled into camp at Ruby Lake, the night of catastrophizing where I became determined to bring appreciation rather than fearful anxiety to what could have been my last night alive, I sat near the lake and prayed, is this the right spot for me to stay tonight?
The lull of the late afternoon ascended as the sun descended behind the craggy peaks of Ruby Lake. The stillness of water, save the champagne like glistening of sunlight dancing across the small expanse, sedated the day's activities. Birds flitted here and thereto find their last nuggets of seeds and bugs for their evening nourishment. The dragonflies, jokering around in two- and threesomes, swerved in and around me at water's edge, occasionally hovering briefly at eye level, as rainbow glistening wings reflected splashes of sun rays. A chipmunk came next to me, perching on a rock overlooking the lake while munching on a pine cone.
Paying me no never mind, I wondered if it had the same awe I did this time of day? Did it choose this specific spot for the view at sunset? Or was it just a convenient relatively flat place where which to eat dinner?
"They really are intimidated by humans," Sally said as we sat around the picnic table at Red's Meadow Resort eating our highly prized Red's burgers. "Just scare them off with loud sounds and act big."
I'd heard this numerous times along the trail. Brown bears--those bears we find in California--aren't interested in humans, but are interested in our food. How many evenings before bed since learning how to backpack three years ago were spent painstakingly going through the ritual of making sure that "everything that goes in or on your body" is safely sealed into a bear-proof canister and stashed some distance from the tent?
So many hours spent fretting about having residual mint fragrance from toothpaste lingering in my mouth or the scent of lotion on my dry cracked hands. Was it enough to be detected? Images of the young camper who awoke to a crunching sound--which turned out to be the sound of his own head being munched by a bear--repeatedly forced their way into my head. I shuddered every time.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.