OK, so this is a good one. I had intended to call this post Chasm Lake but I must keep myself honest and call it instead Peacock Pool because at no point during my hike today did I ever actually make it to Chasm Lake. Instead, I hiked to the lovely lake shown in the photo above and then promptly turned around, dragged myself back down the mountain and called Phil to say something like “I just hiked to Chasm Lake! Weird though, it didn’t really look like the pictures.” Yes, I can be just that clueless at times.
What I had managed to do was to hike to such an altitude and achieve such a level of bleary-eyed exhaustion that I mistook the first body of water that I saw to be Chasm Lake. Then later, at home, after declaring to Phil the great success of my hike, after referring to my GPS route, after studying the topographic map that I should have referred to when I was hiking, I realized that I had, in fact, NOT hiked to Chasm Lake but had hiked instead to Peacock Pool. There was at least another quarter mile of trail to conquer before I would have reached Chasm Lake.
It is entirely possible that I am the first person ever to hike to Peacock Pool, claim victory, and go home without bothering to continue on that last little stretch to Chasm Lake. Who does that? No one I hiked with, that’s for sure. I remember wondering, as I turned back towards the trailhead and everyone else continued on towards Longs Peak, where the hell are all these people going? Aren’t we all done for today? I figured maybe they want to just see it from a different angle. Whatever.
I suppose there is a little bit of good news in all this: if I was delirious enough to mistake Peacock Pool for Chasm Lake, perhaps it really was time for me to turn around and go home. Barring any interplanetary disasters, Chasm Lake will still be there next year, waiting. And I can try again to see it.