July 21, 2010

Part Three

Warning: This is a looooong post.

Day Three:
We woke up bright and early to mentally prepare for the big hike ahead of us.  A lot of mental preparation was in order because what we were about to do had never been done before on a Swenson Family vacation.  

What? We are actually going to do something that requires physical exertion?  But our vacations usually involve laying out, sipping fruity drinks, taking a dip in the water, and more laying out.  What is going on?

So, after breakfast, we headed out to the trailhead that would take us first to Watchtower and then to Heather Lake.  (Watchtower is the place I pointed out in my last post that we took a picture in front of.)  The beginning of the hike was rough.  This trail went straight up, and some people had their doubts about everyone making it all the way there. But, everyone persevered, and we made it to our destinations, despite the harsh conditions and the treacherous icy trails.
Do you see the treacherous ice!?!
Arriving at Watchtower made all the hard work and danger worth it. I have never seen any view like the view we had from Watchtower.  It was terrifying and mesmerizing all at the same time.  So much so, that we chose to take it really safe on the way up and not walk out to the edge.  One little misstep and you would be falling for a long time.  And I don't think the end of that fall would be very fun. So, we just enjoyed the views from a distance and laughed at the tiny ant people we saw on the falls trail, where we had been the day before.
We kept hiking up from Watchtower along the precarious trail until we got to Heather Lake.  This little lake was magnificent.  The boys went swimming, did a little shoe repair, and caught fish one right after the other. (Then threw them back).  And we Swensons actually got to do a little laying out.  It may have been in clothes, on a hard rock, next to an ice cold lake where there was no chance of us taking a dip, but we layed out none the less.  
 After eating lunch, when the clouds started to look a little ominous, we decided to head back down.  When we got back to Watchtower though, the clouds were back to puffy whiteness, so Nick and Sean decided to explore Watchtower a bit.  Some of us were not too thrilled about this idea, but we let them.  When we saw how easily they were walking out to the edge of the rock, the rest of us decided to join them.  When we got there, we saw the most incredible view I have ever seen.  Nick said the view rivals half dome.
 When we got back to our campsite, we decided to soak our aching feet in the icy river.  
Awwww....it felt so nice.  
 And then I took a steaming hot shower that cost me 12 quarters, ate dinner and called it a night.

See the final chapter of our trip tomorrow!

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