Two lakes, side by side
Called twins, but not to the naked eye
Nestled beneath towering Sierra cliffs
Peaceful, serene, and ready for a dip
They are part of what calls to me
“Come, adventure, live, see.”

Two lakes, side by side
Called twins, but not to the naked eye
They greet me when I arrive
I can hear them when I try
Close your eyes and listen for their whisper
“Come, live, see, adventure.”

Two lakes, side by side
Called twins, but not to the naked eye
Like guardians to the high mountains beyond
They’ll let you pass if you can hear their song
Always, always, I hear their tantalizing hum
“Adventure, live, see, come.”

Two lakes, side by side
Called twins, but not to the naked eye
Their call does not come without a cost
But do not fret, lay your worries on their cross
The mountains can take as well as they give
“Come, adventure, see, live.”

strap and throw


The last run of an extended season.  The snow was choppy and pooled with water that sucked the life from my board.  The heat of the day was nearly intolerable.  And yet, as I rounded the corner behind Facelift, I was once again reminded of the main reason I choose to strap (a piece of plastic on my feet) and throw (myself off the side of mountains)…  The mountains are so enchanting, always.  They call to me, as you – my most faithful of kingdomites – know to be truth.  And what can I do but answer.

i am home


Batter, Ritter and the Minarets stand guard over the snow-covered landscape of the Eastern Sierra.  The aren’t the tallest peaks or even the most imposing, but those sorts of distinctions matter little to me.  In the winter they are hardly ever long from my sight as I snowboard the runs at Mammoth.  In the summer they are a familiar landmark I can use to pinpoint my location while wandering the trails of the backcountry.  Either way, summer or winter, when I see these famous towering rocks I know I am home.

Truth and Fiction 6


Should I just break down and call this Truth and Fiction month?  Probably not…  I’m fairly sure this is the last of these completely misnamed posts.  I’ve reached the end of the photos I’ll be sharing from my recent trip into the mountains.  I’ve been having fun writing and sharing pictures though so I’ll see about digging up some other ones to keep scheduling these posts out for a bit.  Okay, yes, that was me mostly rambling.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.  Anyway…

The Truth:

The six pinecones were arranged from largest to smallest on a flat rock in the middle of the camp.  The odds against the placement having occurred naturally were larger than I cared to even contemplate.  The simplest explanation was likely the correct one, someone who had camped there before us left them.  The who and when and why will forever remain mysteries.

We left them too.  While we ended up needing the rock as part of our dinner prep, we carefully transferred the cones to another location and kept them in the same order.  Thus, we added to the unknowns of their existence for future travelers to attempt to unravel should they wish.

I was far more curious about who would find them next and what they would make of the six arranged pinecones than I was about how it was we had come across them in the first place.


The Fiction:

The message was left where those who would know its meaning would be sure to see it.  That was, unless the markers were moved accidentally, or purposefully, in the interim.  The possibility of sabotage, remote at best, was a real concern.  However, once the message had been left and we vacated the area the success of our mission was out of our hands anyway.

The days that followed were full of guilt and worry.  Had we done enough to secure the message?  Had it gotten through?  Was there more we could have done, or could still be doing, to further our cause?  The answers to these thoughts were always just more questions.

It had all seemed so straightforward when we discussed the plan ahead of time.  We just had to get to the rendezvous point and leave the message we’d been given to pass along.  But, no amount of talking could have prepared us for the actual task of forging across the land to make it to the designated spot in time.  Also, nowhere in the discussion regarding the message had weather been discussed.  Wind and rain were common enough and the slightest shift in our placements would confuse the intended directions.

We had done our part though.  It wasn’t our place to question the rest.  That truth did little to ease my troubled mind.


And so it was that here, at the end of this series, I finally delivered one complete truth and one complete fiction.  Though, perhaps the pinecones were a message for someone…  If they were, what do you think they said?

Truth and Fiction 5


This time it’s for real.  One story below is truth and one story is fiction and I’m leaving it up to you to decide which is which.  Are you up for the challenge?  I’m guessing you are.

Story 1:

I left the lake behind and ventured through the meadow in search of peace for the turmoil in my mind and body.  The mud sucked at my boots and I had to pick my path carefully, sticking to the sections where the ground was more soil than water.  I wasn’t always successful.  The chill and slosh of water seeping through my shoes to soak my socks and feet was proof of that.  The sensation did nothing to ease my pain.

The day tipped over and the sun headed down its western slope and still I trudged on.  There were miles yet to cover and peace still to find.  Each step forward took me further from where I had started but not necessarily any closer to where I was headed.  Perhaps it would have helped to know my destination, but so few actually do.  A vague notion, an ideal maybe, and a direction are usually the best any of us are afforded.

My quest wasn’t to uncover the why of those truths so I didn’t let their heaviness weigh me down.  The pack on my back was already doing a good enough job of that as it was.  Shifting the weight slightly by arching my back, lifting the mass away from my hips and swiveling my hips, I settled the sack of food, clothes and other essentials into a more comfortable position and then continued on.  My feet quickly regained the steady rhythm of my progress.

I didn’t know where I was going, but I was on my way.


Story 2:

The tiny frogs, arrayed in colors from the dark green of the reeds sprouting from the edges of the creeping tendrils of the lake to an almost ashen grey, scattered ahead of me.  They had no interest in being stepped on and that was fine with me because I had no interest in harming them either.  I stooped to try and catch one but it jumped away before I could even get close.

The soft marshy soil at the water’s edge oozed into my shoes despite my best efforts to stay on the dry patches of the fading animal trail I followed.  I couldn’t tell what creature had created the path around the lake, but I could clearly make out the tracks and droppings of others who had used it more recently.  None were ones that worried my thoughts but I kept my gaze vigilantly sweeping around me all the same.  Even the gentlest of creatures can be dangerous when startled.

I was attempting to circle the lake without resorting to climbing into the surrounding hills.  There was no real reason for the venture beyond it was something to do and I had made circling the high altitude lakes I camped at something of a goal.  As I moved through the muck, however, I knew I would be thwarted.  The ground was more water than soil and eventually I would come to a place where I would no longer be able to continue on and still remain mostly dry.

I went on a ways further anyway, up to the very edge, as far as I could before the water covered my boots, because it was important to see that point and live that moment.


So, do you have it?  Could you spot the truth?  Was it easier to spot the fiction?  Let me know what your guesses are.