We arrived at Shepherd’s Pool in the late afternoon, noodle-like relaxed from the hours spent at Travertine Hot Springs. The road to Shepherd’s was familiar. It was good to see the markers we have come to know so well.



Moxie and MacQ slumbered in the cab of the truck as we pulled up to the hot spring. Mikey set up camp quickly, and as the last of the people that had been enjoying the hot spring left, Micah and I quickly stripped in the freezing night air and slipped into the perfect warmth of the water.


The sky was darkening, the clouds above the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada were heavy in their snow-laden glory, eager to spill their crystalline froth. If they weren’t already. It was hard to see.

Micah and I sat together in the water in silence.

Some moments are so perfect, I can hardly bear it. This was one of them.


The next morning came slowly.

Mikey and I had planned to set up a tent for ourselves and have the kids sleep in the camper, but with it being so cold, that idea flew out the window. All of us were in the camper. I think the word for that is… cozy? Or we could say squashed like sardines in an overstuffed can? Yeah, that’d work too.

Mac and I ended up on the small convertible sofa and Mikey and the kids were above us in the overhead bed. Pugsily on the floor. The furnace was on and it was fine. It worked out. It worked out better than we thought it could have because when we went outside, we were stunned to find that everything had frozen over – the water in our portable toilet! Our drinking water, frozen into a solid block of ice! You name it, it was frosted and frozen.

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Even the cow patties


Amazing how even poop looks great when iced over, huh?

Think then of what actually beautiful things looked like:

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And then the sun came


And the kids woke up

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And the coffee was hot, the water was waiting.

Life can be perfect.

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Here are the coordinates:


And our trusty book:

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