Day 89 (Pete)

Today we pushed through the heart of the Marble Mountain Wilderness to near the other side. In the morning we begin a day long 4,400 ft. descent from our perch on “The Big Ridge” to Seiad Valley and the Klamath River. Yesterday evening and the whole of today have been remarkable. These mountains are very rugged and secluded. More so, they were completely unexpected. The rocky ridge we stumbled upon merely minutes after leaving THE UNABONGER behind has stayed with us ever since. Its merely a matter of which side of it we are on. Marble Mountain is in fact a mountain of marble. The porous stone is abundant here. Consequently, there are many caves and fissures that could prove interesting grounds for exploring. As old habits die hard, we just kept pushing through.

Talking to that guy yesterday gave me some interesting insights. His fishing pole kept him preoccupied with lakes. All terrain to the north was described to us in terms of lakes. We passed many of them today; Cliff Lake, Man Eatin’ Lake, which the guide invited us to go for a swim in, and many others. They were spectacular sights. Perhaps I appreciated them more as a result of his enthusiastic descriptions. More importantly, I realized how varied peoples interpretations of the land are. When he described what was to come I had trouble following him. I don’t think in lakes. Patrick and Kay described upcoming terrain in terms of various places we could side trip out for ice cream. I can’t consciously say what my markers are now. In the High Sierras it was passes and dangerous river crossings. Even further back it was springs and other water sources. Most of the snow will be gone from those passes by the time THE UNABONGER gets there. To his disadvantage, many of the springs will be dry as well. His demarcation of lakes as he heads south from the mountains will be stripped to its essence. WATER. Where is water. How far is water. I guarantee he wont be pouring five oz. in his bong in order to give himself a case of dry mouth.

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