What quote am I vibing? "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." John Muir
Road Day: 60
Trails Hiked: Heart Lake Trail from Castle Lake (Shasta-Trinity National Forest). 2 miles officially, but I did about 3. Elevation change: 682 feet. Surface: Dirt and then rocky with a little scramble.
I saw two more sacred spaces today - I drove to Castle Lake which is super near where I'm staying, and then did the one-mile trail to Heart Lake. Well...I got to Heart Lake, the trail was sort of another story. That brings my Sacred Spaces total to 9/12 if you're keeping count!
Castle Lake is a stunner - gorgeous colors and sheer cliff walls surround the lake. It took me a second to find the trail which is actually well-trodden, it's just that the trailhead was sort of hidden behind a bush. I don't know what it was about this hike, but it made my heart pound with exertion. The ascent was intense - I intended to eat my lunch when I got to Heart Lake, but I just stopped on any old log I found about half a mile into the hike to chow down on my delicious sub from Mount Shasta Super Market.
After I left the very clear trail through the woods, and got into what seemed a European fairyland - rocky paths, gorgeous green hills, sunlight and colors to lull you into a dream...I got lost. But I didn't really fully realize I got lost. In fact, when I found Castle Lake again, I thought I had made it to Heart Lake! I sat gazing at what I thought was Heart Lake for 45 minutes, soaking in the breeze, living my best quiet life, thinking that everything was perfect in the world. Then when I consulted my AllTrails app to confirm all was well and make sure I was heading back in the right direction, I realized that I had gone wildly off trail, I was looking at the very lake at which I started my journey, and I still had a little ways to go to Heart Lake.
I went that little ways - which was probably more treacherous than the little ways I had already gone, and did eventually reach Heart Lake. Had I known what she looked like, I would have never gotten her confused with Castle Lake. But I can see how she would be very appealing when the weather hasn't been so dry for so long.
I am happy that I got a little lost and spent time on the cliff overlooking Castle Lake. The autumn colors and mountain views were so quieting for my mind. A beautiful place to continue to gear up for my journey back East, which starts in only a few days. Eeek!