The day dawned. And we slept in. So there.
To recap: the hike the previous day had wiped us both out because the altitude, the incline, and the weighty packs were more of a drag on us than we thought they would be. So today’s Plan was to hike something more reasonable.
We chose the Queen’s Garden loop, so named because of the stone formation shaped like a statue of Queen Victoria at Covent Garden.
This trail is categorized as the most popular in the guide. And this fact could be determined by the fact that there was little snow and ice left on the 3-foot-wide path, which was churned into the stickiest, splurch-iest mud I have ever seen (and I am something of an expert on the subject). In fact, we were so impressed by the consistency of the ick-factor that we took an audio recording. And because I was in a mood, I named our sound equipment “Einstein.” In a world that produces fuzzy whats-its in every color conceived by those people who used to make Troll dolls, Warren bought a gray one. So there was just no other name that fit, really.
Rather than describe the hike in excruciating detail, I’ll just show my favorite photos from that day:
Following the hike, we retired to our campsite (or, as we started calling it, “home”) and I pretended to try lighting a fire again. After satisfying myself that I had not acquired magical fire-making powers in the last 24 hours, I made us something cold to eat and we gave all of the firewood to the folks at the campsite next to ours. They were a very nice couple and did not even object when we gave them business cards and pitched our Project idea to them.
Since Warren still had an experiment that he wanted to do and we were not flat-out exhausted from the hike, we piled ourselves into Tank and drove back to Sunrise Point. The experiment? Painting the hoodoos. Yes, you read correctly. As it turns out, using a long exposure and a couple of laser pointers, you can impose bright lines on surfaces within a certain distance while taking night photos. That was fun, too. At the end, we realized that you could make designs and write things, like you used to do with sparklers as a kid. Being the more practical of the two of us, he tried to write out “GFG.” Being me, I tried to draw a cat. Guess which one of us was more successful. See below to confirm your answer.
We ended the night sleeping in the car. Warren pitched the idea as something that would increase our comfort level. After all, he said, the car is insulated and the tent was not. The tent was great and all, and our little snow bank did help keep the wind out. But it was not the same as having insulation.
When I finished laughing and calling him derogatory names, he pointed out that sleeping in the car meant my tent would be dry in the morning, and I would not have to store it wet until I got back to Michigan.