Monday was uneventful, save for a community fire and stargazing. Matt, Anna, Andrea, and I traveled up to the overlook chapel to stargaze. The overlook chapel is an outdoor chapel with a stage area. That is where we laid out our blankets and snuggled up close to one another, with me and Anna in the middle. Shooting stars shot across the sky, and slumber enclosed upon us as Anna, Matt, and I dozed off under the stars, while Andrea was left to listen to my snores in her ear.
After seven days of work, work, and more work, I finally got a day off. I woke up at 9 but didn’t get out of bed until 11:30 to grab lunch. At around 3, Ben and I ran into town to get Baba’s Burgers.
At 6, Ben, Sam, Nolen, and I entered the national park and went on a night hike. Word of advice, avoid night hikes if you are prone to getting hungry. Elk will stop you from getting pizza. Our destination was Emerald Lake, a lake that rivaled the beauty of Mills Lake. On our way up, we ran into a few hikers that warned us about defensive and angry mama elk and their babies being near the trail. This stalled our hike a bit as we waited for the elk to move away from the trail. That didn’t happen as they moved on to the trail, the babies frolicking around. We wormed our way around the elk and made it to our destination. We thought we were in the clear on our way back, until out of nowhere, the elk walked out of the lake and on to the bridge that was our only way back. Everytime we tried to cross the bridge, one of the babies would try to run at us. After making a scared phone call to Matt (who is a hikemaster), the elk finally moved enough for us to finish our hike and get pizza.
I don’t know what I was thinking when I signed up for this hike, but I obviously wasn’t. The hike to falcon lake and fan falls was the craziest, grueling, fun, and scariest hikes I have ever done. When we got to Wild Basin, we were greeted by two different encounters with moose. The first encounter was when we were driving and a moose was just trotting along. The second encounter was closer than that. Our hikemaster nearly ran into a moose as we began our hike. We trekked 16 miles up steep snow fields and scrambled up a near vertical incline to the falls. The snow fields cause me many issues including a massive fall that taught me how to self arrest and duck walk back up. It left me with scratches on my stomach and snow burn on my elbows. This wasn’t the first fall in this hike that I endured. The hike was well worth it when we got to the secluded Falcon Lake, a hidden lake that doesn’t receive many visitors.
When we got back, Ben (the amazing person he is) took us to get the world’s best milkshakes.
After work, Nick, Anna, Andrea, Matt, and I went into town where we went shopping for climbing shoes, a hobby that I want to get into. We then went out to the bars where we enjoyed a night of dancing, one too many drinks, and dancing on tables.
After regretting the amount I drank that night before, I laid in bed until lunch. I went into work at one where I painted signs for our 4th of July parade float and led a night walk.