I don't sleep much, well, or often, as most folks know. My insomnia has endured through a thousand suggestions from hundreds of people. I try. That's the best I can do. At any rate, I was very much awake when Any Minute Now awoke early, set water to boil, stirred up a trail mocha and brought it to my tent as a breakfast in bed. Perfect start to a trail birthday. She sat next to the vestibule and drank coffee with me as a spectacular sunrise appeared.
Drizzling rain gave way to a fairly clear morning and afternoon. There were no massive climbs, lots of breaks, and plenty of Sierra lakes to draw our eyes and lead to stumbling. I chased a marmot down into its hole and chattered back at it. Any Minute told me all about the area, having hiked and fished it many times before.
We both regretted the pace of the trail and lack of fishing time. Clouds creeped in again, and we decided not to bother worrying about them, but to camp before they could catch us in a shitty campsite again.
With water all around us, we settled on Lily Pad Lake, just off a little side trail and completely unoccupied. Water skippers and mosquitos skittered on the water's surface; granite and sparse pines ringed the shallow pool. I watched the fairly colorful sunset through a thin haze of passing mosquitos and biting flies. Clouds broke apart above, at least for a little while.
I've had better planned and more social birthdays, but this one, alone in the woods with an excellent companion, was incomparable.