Hiking with a broken arm is problematic. I was told by my doctor that if it got wet, the effect would be the same as a river on a decomposing body, where long story short I would lose all of the skin on my arm. Thinking of zombies, I wrapped my arm with extra trash bags, hoping that it wouldn’t continue raining for the next two days.
The hike had a little bit of everything. We could be lounging in a glacial meadow one minute, and the next walking through a deciduous rainforest with lush green underbrush and strange bush like flowers, not to mention several rusty looking suspension bridges over roaring rapids. But it was just the tip of the ice burg.
Elizabeth Lake is nestled at the end of a glacial valley. Towering cliff like mountains form a massive bowl around the lake, blowing icy winds over their shoulders to the lake below. These would trade off mosquito infestation with chilling weather. We huddled around our stove with our jackets pulled tight, and hats under the hoods of our rain jackets.
It was 10 o’clock, but it still wouldn’t get dark for another hour. We watched our dinner of beans, potatoes and hot dogs come to a tantalizing simmer. It was a meal that I realized would be great with spices and vegetables back in civilization. When there was no wind we spent our time swatting the mosquitos away from the sides of our face, and when the wind came we danced around for warmth. No fires were allowed in the area.
Above us was a red faced mountain known as Red Pass. It had been clear when we arrived, but was now lost in a swirl of snow white clouds. As I stared into our red pot of beans, I wondered if the weather would permit us to get that high the next day, and if we could see anything when we got there.
I took the garbage bags off to make sure that the cast was still dry. It was, but my arm had started to go numb from being over my head. Now completely full, I tried to make myself comfortable in the sleeping bag. It was a three dog night, which means sleeping with three dogs is necessary to keep warm. But all I had were coats to throw on top of myself. Without a fire, there wasn’t much to do but try and keep warm. We went to bed early.