Day 14: Backpacking with our kids – our 200 mile summer: Immersion

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Day 14: Sandpiper Lake to Marie Lake, easy 4 miles.  Then a 2-mile cross-country trek around the lake
It’s definitely happening.  Our rhythm is syncing with life on the trail.  We are no longer talking about “what we’ll do when we get back”.  Our energy output has adjusted so it’s no longer too much work to set up and tear down camp, sitting on the ground to eat has become as comfortable as sitting at a kitchen table, spending the entire day walking has become what the body craves versus dreads.
As I have never spent more than 5 nights in a row out of civilization, these feelings are new to me, surprising.  I have never really immersed myself long enough to completely feel the clutter of that world slip away.  Short trips seem to make me feel like a stranger in both worlds.  After 14 days out here (8 in a row so far), I am feeling less like a stranger and more like a friend to this place.  A healthy respect for this wild land yields a deeper understanding, a new comfort that assures my heart that the promised peace of the place has spoken and is speaking to my soul.  To be in love with all that God Has created is to be amazed.  I am beginning to see the phenomenal, the incredible, in every moment out here – that nothing is to be taken for granted or overlooked.  Oh, there goes a toad! 
When we marvel at and care for His creation, we marvel at and care for God.  Being out here makes it an easy distinction for me that we do not worship creation – but that instead, creation is pointing us to worship the Creator.  Nature is the way that God communicates to us with power and force in its marvelous perfection and details. 
Just like God, there is nothing nature needs from humans to continue on but as humans, we derive much from nature (and from God).  Today, the perfect beauty of the glistening lake under a summer sun has fed my soul and clicked me over into existing out here naturally, and not fighting against it.
We spend the afternoon taking a stroll around the lake traversing past quaint coves with Golden Trout abounding, small streams gurgling over rocks, grassy tarns and rolling green hills all under the 13,400 ft jagged edged peaks of Mt. Hilgard, Mt. Gabb, Mt. Abbott, and Gabbott Pass.
Our campsite is tucked away from the crowds on a flat granite slab with a perfect grassy ramp that leads to the lake.  Six days in a row without a cloud in the sky adds more to the California charm of the area.  These Sierras are simply comfortable mountains to play in, with warm days in the 70s to 80s and a constant summer blue sky.  About every nine days, clouds start to accumulate and the predictable afternoon thunderstorm quenches the thirsty land.  These are the storms that Cory lives for, as a photographer who loves to capture moody skies. 
As we sit here at Marie Lake, the gentle breeze and warm sun suggest we have a few days still until the moody skies grace the evening.
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