Today's picture is of a place particularly special to me, because I visited it on my very first backpacking trip to the Sierra Nevada. I was a student at Caltech, working at JPL that summer, and one of the engineers there invited me and my boyfriend of the time on a weekend backpack from the Mosquito Flat trailhead into the Recess Canyons. I've talked elsewhere about the life-changing moment when I first saw the jagged pinnacles of the Sierra looming above the Owens Valley. The beauty of the Recess Canyons only sealed the deal. Gorgeous blue-green lakes, so clear you can see every pebble on the bottom, under shining white cliffs...oh man. (Sadly, pic was taken with teensy little point-and-shoot camera, so doesn't do the area any kind of justice!) Colorado lakes are pretty, but I tell you, it's just not the same. Lakewater here tends to be much murkier and not nearly so blue, and the mountains are far less rugged.
|Lake in Fourth Recess Canyon, Sierra Nevada
The pic is actually from a much later trip to the same area, this time with my husband-to-be. I wanted his first experience of the Sierra to be as beautiful as mine, so we backpacked into those same canyons, scrambling up trailless cirques and lazing by the lakes. (Afterward, we climbed Mt. Whitney via the mountaineer's route and spent the night stargazing on the summit, but that's a topic for a different adventure post.)
The picture's also serving as motivation for me right now: it's inspired the setting for a scene very late in The Tainted City. Can't wait to get to that point in the book, and see if I can evoke for readers some of the same beauty that I experienced while camping in the Recesses.