High Sierras — Wanda Lake to Little Pete Meadow
The water here is so clear, so still in the morning that it seems to
be one and the same with the air. Thicker, perhaps, but just as
transparent, just as breathable. It wouldn’t surprise me to see fish
swim up into the air, or birds flying through the water.
On the east side of Muir Pass, the water is still clear, but darker,
more turquoise than sapphire blue. The rocks are more varied, too,
more colorful metamorphic rock versus serene white
granite. Bronze, green, gold, orange, black – some
glittering with crystals, some smooth as slate.
Because the water is so clear we see many frogs (even at Wanda Lake,
at 11,400 feet). Rainbow and golden trout glide in and out of the
currents of the stream, and countless tadpoles rest in the warm, sunny
shallows of the lakes.
Our camp is overshadowed by the massive 2500-foot granite face of
Languille Peak. The sun sets early, but the valley glows around us.
As we eat dinner a mother deer and two fawns make their way down the
meadow. The fawns are young, mottled grey, black and tan, with white
tails like rabbits. A hummingbird darts between us, hovers, then darts
away. Two bucks come by at dusk, poke their heads into our camp
and move on.