Eye of the Earth

September 25, 2016
Tenaya Lake to Lower Sunrise Lake
Roundtrip distance:  7.5 miles

Just a week into autumn and I strolled over beaten earth heading to Sunrise Lakes.  The trail was easy to start: flat and wide.  The fall colors had my spirit soaring.

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Loved this colorful area.

After a dry summer, the stream crossings were mere puddles easy to jump.

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Even the flowers near the streams were dry.

The path narrowed and led into the dark forest.  Wind blew freely through the trees.  My pace slowed when the trail became a tangled mess of roots and rocks.

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Beginning to climb.

The climb was slight at first, a granite staircase led the way.  It became harder rising 1,300 feet before leveling off.

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There were many sections of stairs to climb.

I was encouraged to keep climbing when I passed a group of winded millennials.  Being much younger, I figured they would pass me once they caught their breath, but I never saw them again.  As I climbed above the tree line, the view opened up to mountains of granite.

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Mt. Hoffman

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At two and one-half miles, the trail leveled and stayed steady eventually leading somewhat downhill to the lakes.

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Approaching lower Sunrise Lake.

Sunrise Lakes are a group of three small lakes on the way to the High Sierra camp.  The lower lake was a gorgeous blue eye of the earth and I had it all to myself.

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Mt. Hoffman in the distance.

I walked around its shore and found the best spot to sit for lunch.  A breath of wind ruffled the water.  Trout jumped for the fun of living in paradise.  Dragonflies skimmed the water’s surface with singing wings.

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The early autumn sun warmed my shoulders while I sat.  Squirrels romped over the rocks oblivious to my presence.  One brave rodent even grabbed my water bottle and chewed on it.

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Climb a tree, it gets you closer to heaven. –Anonymous

Alas, my time at the lake amidst God’s creatures came to an end.  I ambled back to the car.

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Heading back.

On the drive home, The Rivieras blasted through the radio singing, “Well they’re out there a-havin’ fun in that warm California sun,” the perfect lyrics to describe the day I had in Yosemite National Park.