LAT 48.840000 LONG 88.120833
The river was loud and the ground was hard, but neither was loud enough or hard enough to stop us both from sleeping well. It was a magic spot with the river foaming white as it raced round the rocky bends, speeding past us roaring. I didn’t want to leave.
And yet, from the moment we set off, seen in this photograph above, walking was more than wonderful that whole day. I felt truly in a groove, comfortable with the weight of my pack, secure about food and water, I started to fully notice, enjoy and appreciate the flowers and insects, the different succulents sprouting out of rock crannies, the sounds of kites, hawks and eagles, the scurrying land squirrels...
We continued to gradually climb, the terrain a combination of arid gravelly paths over rocky outcrops, clear dirt tracks through patches of forest and bog like wetlands on the lower sections of the valley… fast moving streams cascaded down the side of the hills around us.
LAT 48.859698 LONG 88.109055
We came across a tranquil lake where it would also have been magic to camp. Next time, I thought to myself.
Walking over the wetlands kept us alert, leaping over deceivingly shallow puddles to avoid drenching my boots.
LAT 48.947222 LONG 88.060556
Finally, we found the path we had to veer slightly east on and climbing got tougher and steeper, our breaths quickening as we ascended above the valley and up the mountain.
Eventually, sweaty, puffing and feeling the weight or our packs we once again found ourselves walking close to the edge of a not so shallow, wide and fast-moving river which we knew we were going to have to cross. We tried to find stepping stones so that we did not have to get our feet wet but in the end we waded across boots around our necks, backpacks unclipped – the glacier water bitingly, painfully cold.
LAT 48.980000 LONG 88.135278
The sun was already going down when we got to a spot (above) and camped on the softest, warmest grass.