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Grant Bates

Sleeping on a dinner of PB&J, a banana, and half a beer, we huddled, well underprepared, in our humble tent until the temperature sunk to 25 and the clock reached 5:30. We left in our makeshift winter clothes, dark and quiet. The night before, we'd tackled the walk up Crater Mountain to the highest lake overlook for sunset, but at dawn it was ours. We chatted between breaths up the hill, all in whispers. As the sky began to lighten we reached the top and waited. In the cold stillness, it was something special to take in. The silence across this sublime ancient lake seemed to build as the ochre sun crept towards the mountain horizon.

That shared moment of sun, silence, and nature's solitude won't soon be forgotten.

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