Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Air That Angels Breathe; or Reviving an Egyptian Mummy

I am burned, blistered, and smell of smoke. My shoulders are sore, knees are scraped, and my feet may never forgive me. Man am I totally loving it. Yes, I have been camping with My Sweet at Lake Tahoe. Mark Twain, in Roughing It , described campin at Tahoe like this:

"Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor, and give him an appetite like an alligator. I do not mean the oldest and driest mummies, of course, but the fresher ones. The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? -- it is the same the angels breathe."

Our first day there My Sweet and I went on a truly gorgeous hike from our campground to Emerald Bay, very aptly named for the pure turquoise and blue of the bay's water. Because of this years late spring weather, we were there before the flowers were budding, but to balance this there was a remarkable lack of flies and mosquitoes. The hike was true to its label of moderate (we have been fooled by outdoorsy ranger types before) and skimmed the lake's edge. The trail ended at Vikingsholm a "cabin" that was built after the fashion of Scandinavia. I just love when there is a way to give props to my Viking ancestors. Go Norway!

On our way back, I kept thinking of the song lyrics, "But I would walk 500 miles/And I would walk 500 more/Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles/To fall down at your door" But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, after walking 10 fantastic, soul invigorating miles, there is no way on God's green earth that I am going to walk 100 times that for anything less that the salivation of an entire continent, and I am talking a really populated one, you know with China and India in it. During the last half mile or so, My Sweet, who whenever I ask him what he is thinking answers "Nothing", decides to suddenly get philosophical. I know he had a lot of time on his hands while he rested, waiting for me to catch up, but jeese Louise - the last stretch of a wonderfully long day of constant movement, all I am pondering is if the cold beer at the camp is 15 minutes or 30 minutes away.

Before I sign off, I have to comment on the wildlife here. These animals are fearless! Down at the beach I saw a goose come up to a pudgy little toddler and with bill aimed tell the hapless child, "Your gram cracker or your life!" Another time we had a dive-bomber blue jays spear the heart of our butter cube. But my favorite animal show was this chipmunk who decided to check out what we had on top of our bear canister. Now these are huge metal canisters over five feet tall that were designed so that bears would not attack your food supply, and to keep out other critters. Well this little feller grabbed on to the lower part of my bike chain, hoisted himself up to the top part of the loop, scrambled to the seat, and then after a moments consideration hurled himself towards the top of the canister. On his first attempt he could not get a secure grasp after his leap, and fell to the dust below, but this did not dissuade him. He made the same grab, hoist, scramble, and lunge again and made it. I almost wish there had been more up there than a bottle of oil and drying dishes.

Well, I have to go. My Sweet says there is something exciting happening in the World Cup right now. And the U.S.A. is playing Italy, so I had better go and cheer them as much as possible.

1 comment:

doodah! said...

Great post!!! I feel like I was there myself. I hope the beer was cold and slaked your thirst well. Go Norway!