Day 48: Tranquility

6/4

Our little fir den stayed dark, shaded on all sides. I slept, or at least dozed, until 7:00, when the coffee was served and I got to work catching up my journal, the thing I was most looking forward to about today. That indulgence stretched until noon, and the luxury cannot be overstated.

7 miles slated for today. Aspen and larkspur surrounded us, skunk cabbage, irises and many other green plants unknown. I spotted the first blooming Solomon’s seal, fuchsia colored shooting star, and a handful of unknown delicate white flowers, one of which looked like a 5-pointed snowflake. Tons of yellow Trout Lillies. While I was inspecting blossoms, my calf prickled with a sudden itch. Weird. Then I noticed the cloud of mosquitoes swarming my legs. I guess it wasn’t too early to spray everything in Cuba! I changed back into my Permethrin-armored pants.

The slow, unpressured pace was so lulled it bordered on dreamy, and clouds floated across the sun, creating stripes of heat and cool. We crossed a few wide open meadows, and gently ascended several miles, until Canjilon Creek. Just past it was Upper Canjilon Lake campground, our goal for the day. We picked up some water from the stream and climbed to the lake.

The lake was nice enough, but not spectacular, shallow and surrounded by forest and slash piles of dead trees. A concrete picnic table and benches stood on a knoll, and we set up the water filter and stove to cook lunch. Several people were fishing, paddling an inflatable toy raft, splashing in the water. An idyllic scene.

Although we’d planned to stay, it just wasn’t what we’d envisioned, and there wasn’t really any privacy, so we carried on up the trail. In only half a mile a small flat spot, just the size of our tent, nooked against a stand of aspen directly above the creek appeared. How perfect. We pitched the tent against the mosquitos, and crawled in for an early, relaxed evening, the soothing flow of the creek shushing below.

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