Sometime in the middle of Day 3 hiking with The Commissioner, I had mentioned to him that it was obvious that there was no chance that I would be able to attempt the ascent of Mt. Goddard. It was patently obvious, of course; what I wanted to spare him from was him having to tell me that I could not go. No sense in adding one more uncomfortable conversation to an already difficult situation.
(This is - literally - the headwater of the South fork of the San Joaquin River)
Thus, before I drifted off to sleep on Day 3, I received my (non) marching orders: rest up, eat breakfast and wait for everyone's return.
I vaguely heard everyone else stirring around 0430 as they got ready to leave; I rolled over in my sleeping bag and awoke again sometime in the 0630-0700 timeframe. It was a leisurely wake up with none of the "I need to be about packing up and getting ready".
(An iceberg. In August)
Everything was quite still - there are few birds at this altitude and other than the wind blowing, there was really no other noise than the sounds of the stream nearby. I ate my breakfast of granola - my appetite was back at almost full strength, a good sign - and took a stroll around the area that we were encamped.
It was odd, being the only person there - or likely within two miles at that point.
After a stroll, I went back to my tent and laid back down. I apparently drifted off again, only to be woken up by a sudden stiff wind and a gray sheet of clouds overhead. I pulled things back under the rain fly and within 5 minutes, a hard downpour with wind started (so hard, in fact, it blew someone else's tent over).
There is nothing quite as snug as lying in one's sleeping bag as the wind blows and the rain falls, being warm and dry with nowhere to be and nothing to do but listen.
Admittedly, not being able to try for the summit of Goddard was a disappointment as that was a sort of goal of the hike. On the other hand, how often does one have an alpine lake all to themselves?