a member of an American Indian people of the southwestern US. The Comanche were among the first to acquire horses (from the Spanish) and resisted white settlers fiercely.
With 25 lbs. of stuff on my back, I was looking at 4 miles up, up , up. The path before me was a steady incline and I had to stop a couple of times so I could lean backwards, pressing my pack up against a tree. It had been ten years or so since I backpacked into the mountains to spend the night. When I wasn't craning my neck to the sky or searching the ground for "fool's gold" rocks, I found myself admiring my hiking stick. The blonde wood, smooth and varnished and sturdy, it was just the right height and weight for me, and it felt good in my hand. My own father, Guitar Whitey, Jack of all trades, had made that stick for me with his own two hands.
The old forest of spruce and fir stood proud on either side of the trail leading the way to an opening. This is what we were promised. An alpine meadow, wild and lavish of willow and moose, the Fall Creek winding through it, this way and that.
The place was cool and quiet, except for a soft whir through the pines. You know the sound. We set our tent up at Fir Camp, site #4. We promptly boiled water, brewed some 'Morning Buzz' coffee and dove into a mixed bag of hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds. We sipped our coffee by the creek, drinking in the remoteness, the natural beauty of the snow capped peaks towering above us at 13,000 feet.
After a good foot soaking in the creek, we took off on a trail that would eventually lead to Emmiline and Cirque lakes. But, along this path we got somewhat distracted. There she was. A mama moose and her baby. The cinnamon calf was making awkward leaps and curious nose dives as they sauntered along, pausing for breaks in the shrubbery.
Animals in the wild can beckon you. They are enticing and captivating and they can sweep you off your feet. And that's what this little family did to us. The rest of the day was given over to watching them and Cinnamon Girl was the star of the show. Lake Emmiline will just have to wait for another time.