06 Aug, 2007 ARRIVING

All distant views from the day before are obliterated by the white mist. But these very conditions that mean not painting what I wanted to yesterday, have opened up other opportunities. The weather has turned the Rock Garden into a fantastical place, with boulders emerging in and out of the fog. One in particular caught my eye and again I started a new painting. By the time I wrapped up, we had a very late start hiking. Not leaving camp until 2:00 p.m. with the fog hiding most of the landscape we weren’t distracted and were able to cover some ground. After stopping to film for an hour at the bridge crossing (over the weasel river that is) the ground was flat for a while. Of course, it’s not all flat hiking though. There are rivers to cross, sandy uphill sections, and places that have serious consequences if you’re not careful. And the worst for me at the end of the day, when I was already exhausted, was the ridges of boulders that needed to be scrambled over.  They are fun to play in, but not if you’re carrying 80 lbs of gear. With the fog so low it was like hiking with blinders on, with no sense of the land above. I knew from the map that Mount Thor should be similar across the river, but it wasn’t until we arrived at camp (at 10 p.m.) and dropped our packs that we retreated to the shelter. The fog lifted slowly around us to reveal that we had indeed arrived. Thor showed himself as a majestic granite face rising over a mile high, and behind us a series of peaks shaped like shark teeth pointing in all directions emerged from the fog. But the fog didn’t just lift, it had been tantalizingly slithering in and out of the mountains revealing parts and covering up others. None of the photographs that I had previously seen had quite prepared me for something like this. It’s going to be a great two days ahead.

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