After an intense block reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, crafting sermons, and writing my own Canto (a 150 line piece of poetry written in the terza rima rhyme scheme, for those of you who are interested), I did just what I needed to do over block break; flee to the mountains.
Lake Lovely Water, to be precise.
And what lovely water it was. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let me tell you how I got there.
During my Divine Comedy course (the block I mentioned), I signed up for one of the Quest Adventure Club trips. For those of you who have figured it out (probably all of you), yes, this was the Lake Lovely Water trip. Everyone who signed up met before hand to go over gear and equipment and policies, and people got into groups to buy and bring food up (very worth it).
When it was time to go, at 8:00AM on Thursday morning, the Quest shuttle picked us up in front of the Atrium and drove us down to the river. Once there, we waited for our boat we had scheduled to come and pick us up. While waiting, we saw a curious sight.
In the middle of the wide, fast flowing river, we saw a deer cruising by! We were all shocked. It wasn’t struggling, it was more treading water than actually swimming, and it wasn’t trying to get to one side of the river or another to exit; it was simply going for a ride. Bobbing its head up and down ever so gently, like it was listening to a sweet song with a chill beat, the deer just rode the current by us, leaving us all stupefied in its wake (pun completely intended; I also considered saying mist to both allude to midst and dust as the common usage, but wake worked just as well, I figured). Unfortunately, I think we were all too captivated by the sight for anyone to actually take pictures. But don’t worry, my fine readers: more pictures will come.
A little while after that, our boat picked us up. Sliding up to us on the water Tokyo Drift style, the man driving was an artist with a boat. It was a pretty fun ride to where would start our hike, about 20 minutes downriver. Along the way we say our second animal episode of the trip — two bears, a mom and cub, walking on the beach towards some people walking their dog! We had enough time flying by on the boat to see what happened next. Everything was going as one would expect, the bears just ambling on towards the unexpected people and dog, and the people not seeing past the few trees and shrubs blocking their view. All of sudden, before the bears came into the people’s line of vision, the dog cocked his head and took off towards the bears like a bullet from a gun. We all held our breath, waiting to see what would happen next. Would the bears take out the dog? Would the people realize what was going on? WHAT WOULD HAPPEN?…
The dog ended up scaring the bears away, much to our surprise. I guess bears are more timid than I thought. The people just saw their dog run off barking and then come back through the brush, none the wiser of the close encounter that had just occurred. We moved on.
We got to the other side of the river, and bid farewell to our Captain, after establishing the time he would pick us up on Sunday. Then, we began the 4.5 hour hike up steep terrain – what a blast!
We also saw some amazing views on the way…
So the hike, which was already fun by its own merit, was even more worth it. Especially when we came to the Lake itself, which I have shown above. To get there you have to cross a small bridge where you go one at a time, which is really quite fun!
Just look at that! Once we had crossed the bridge we all went to a little dock on the lake, overlooking glaciers, rock slide formations, mountains (of course), and the clearest, bluest, just loveliest water you have ever seen. We stayed three nights at this amazing little cabin with a wood stove (for heat), gas stoves (for cooking), gas lamps for light, and wooden ladders leading up to sleeping quarters with mats. It was fantastic.
During the days we swam, hiked for hours around the area to explore glaciers and waterfalls, and GORGE ourselves on wild blueberries! Delicious! During the evenings we hung out, played cards, and had Ultimate Trivial Pursuit (Team Edition) competitions (my team won both the original match and the rematch — it was pretty glorious). We all cooked dinners (We had Italian sausage, salmon sausage, Alfredo pasta, and pesto pasta – just like everything else on the trip, it was also fantastic.) On the last day we hiked back down to the river, which took about 2 hours shorter than hiking up, hopped in our boat, and cruised back to where the Quest shuttle was waiting on the other side of the river. We saw no wild animal along the way, though our Captain did have a baby strapped to his chest and a bloodhound in the boat. We took the shuttle back up to Quest after our retreat, all ready to challenge our next block. For me: Logic and Metalogic.