Thursday, August 12, 2010

Midweek Mountain Worship

Cathedral Rock & lupine

The bulletin board at the Cathedral Rock trailhead had a notice page from a ranger who had recently hiked it. It mentioned bugs and wildflowers and, in the space that summed up the overall conditions, it basically said, "It's as good as it gets." And it gets damn good, if my memory served me correctly. And, though I didn't remember the trail up to Squaw Lake at all, my mind went back to a photo taken of me while beyond that point, up on the ridge, meandering in flowers in the meadows while in the holy place of Cathedral Rock.

Mt Hinman from trail junction

The pews were sky-high, about 5,600' to be exact, and the ceiling was clear and blue. Let's face it – I don't know much about cathedrals and will soon run out of metaphors but I do know plenty about mountains and this place is one of those primo spots along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that can be reached after a not-too-long of a drive from the city. 

The elevation past Cathedral Rock is made more dramatic by the view down to Deep Lake, 1,300' below and up to Mts Hinman and Daniel, at a heavenly 7,500' and 7,900', respectively (who can't respect that). The trail up to Peggy's Pond is chopped right out of the rock face of the lower reaches of the Rock and is a place where you either know you were meant to be a climber... or not. In my case, not, as I carefully turned around and headed back toward the meadows and to where I felt more comfortable, below the surface of the water in an alpine lake, taking the baptismal plunge in the holy mountain waters.
Want to see more photos? Go here.

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