Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chasm Lake: The Bad and the Ugly

I love hiking, but it's not all pretty waterfalls and sweeping mountain vistas. Today I'm sharing the other side of hiking with you.

When I start a hike, I'm usually feeling energized and ready to go. Chasm Lake was no exception. In fact, for the first half to 2/3's of the hike, I was feeling really good. As the hike went on, and I started to get to higher elevations (around 11,000 feet above sea level), I could tell it was slowing me down. No problem, just take my time. When I got near the top of the trail, after hiking for 3 or more hours, there was a sight that popped the last little bit of bubbly energy that might have still existed.


The Bad

See the little hikers at the bottom starting to wend their way up? Yeah. Let's just say it wasn't pretty when I went up. It was even less pretty when I came down.

Then there's the fact that you go on these long hikes, and you go early in the morning, and you have to drink plenty to stay hydrated. See where I'm going with this? Trying to find a place to do your business far enough off a trail to be hidden is tricky. Trying to find a spot when you're above the tree line on a busy trail? Good luck! Now for me, though I try not to take it to unhealthy levels, I'd rather try to hold it than try to use the great outdoors as my toilet. In fact, I'd not only rather wait for the trailhead outhouse, I'd rather wait for civilization and running water. However, I find myself less fastidious as time goes on (or more desperate?) Therefore, I was actually sort of grateful that this was such a busy trail and that there were some accommodations.

I said "sort of".

The Ugly

It took me a second to realize there was no roof. That felt a little weird, but I was hoping ventilation would at least be better. The really weird part was that when I was standing up, my head was over the top.

Hello all you fellow hikers! Don't mind me. I'm just over here in a disgustingly dirty, smelly box, taking care of business.

You know how I know I've been hiking too long? As gross as it was, I barely cared.