It was early September, the lees of summer. I read a suspense novel next to a window in my parents’ house. Sometimes I looked up, through the window, into the back yard, watching the green lawn and shrubs bake under an unblinking sun. Summer would end soon, and I would leave my parents’ house and head off to my senior year of college. But for the time being, I could enjoy the last few days of my vacation. I sat in a big chair with my legs draped over the side, engrossed in my book.
My kid sister interrupted the afternoon calm.
“Christopher,” she said. “Let’s go to the lake!”
I dog-eared the page I was reading and looked up. Sara, my sister, stood over me, all blond hair and long limbs, a wide grin and shiny eyes lighting up her pretty face.
“What?” I asked. I had no idea what she was talking about.
“The lake,” she said. “Let’s go backpacking to the lake. There’s a little time left. Before we go off to school. We haven’t been there for years.”
I stared at her, confused for a few moments, until I understood what she meant.
My family had gone backpacking in the mountains every summer since I was a young child. We’d gone many places on many different trails, but there was one place I remembered as a favorite destination. We’d hiked there several times — Baskin Lake. It was a small lake — remote, seldom visited, and set about on three sides by thousand-foot walls of granite. But we hadn’t been there in years. Sara and I had not gone on any backpacking trips with our parents since I had begun college, several years earlier.
“Um,” I said, flustered. “It’s kind of last-minute, isn’t it? We’d have to get a permit. I don’t know if we have time to get one. What are you thinking about? We’re both leaving for college soon.”
“We’ve got time,” she said. “This weekend. I already went online and got the permit. Two days, and one night. At the lake. This weekend. It’s been years since we’ve been backpacking, and you and I have never gone together. You’re not doing anything — be honest. You’ve got time. Let’s do this. Please?”
Sara was right. We’d gone camping and backpacking with our parents many times, but we’d never gone by ourselves.
“You mean just the two of us?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “I asked Mom. She and Dad are going to a wedding this weekend and can’t make it. But we can go without them. It’ll be fun. We’ve never gone backpacking before, just you and me.”
She was right about that. We’d always gone backpacking as a whole family. It would be strange going without Mom and Dad. But Sara and I got along well, for siblings, and she could be a lot of fun. Still, the suddenness of it was a challenge for me. My sister was a spontaneous person, constantly dropping whatever she was doing to try something new. I was more deliberate. The idea of getting ready for a backpack trip in only a few days seemed daunting. But Sara was right: I had nothing else to do. I was ready to go back to college and was just biding my time until I had to leave for the airport the next week.
“OK, I guess so,” I said. “I’ll do it.”
“Yay!” Sara cried, throwing her arms around my shoulders. My nose caught a pleasant, fresh scent in her hair as she embraced me, and a strange feeling swept over me. I shrugged it off.
The next few days saw a flurry of activity as we prepared for the trip. Sara initiated it, but with my more disciplined and thorough nature I soon took over the job of preparing the trip checklist and making sure we had everything we needed. We drove to a nearby camping goods store and bought supplies, including food and fuel for the stove. We didn’t have to buy too many things. We were fortunate to be well-stocked with gear from previous trips.
Sara and I woke up before dawn on the day of the hike. We finished packing, loaded everything into the family car, which we’d borrowed from my parents, and left home for the mountains just before the sun broke over the eastern horizon. Three hours later, we reached the trailhead. It didn’t take long to get out of the car and get our packs loaded and slung over our shoulders. We were ready to go.
A weather-worn wooden sign marked the beginning of the trail, pointing the way to our destination. I held out a hand to show Sara she should go first, and off we went.
I noticed at once how differently we were dressed. I wore standard backpacking gear: khaki shorts ending just an inch from the knee, a pine-green t-shirt, thick hiking boots, and a broad-brimmed tan hat. Not Sara. She wore form-fitting blue short shorts and a skin-tight white top. She wore trail running shoes and anklet socks. A white scrunchy gathered her long blond hair into a ponytail. She looked like she was going to a yoga workout, not on a backpacking trip. But I couldn’t complain. She might have been my sister, but she looked good — really good — and it was a surprising pleasure to see her skimpily clad body rock and sway as she walked with swift, steady paces up the mountain.
The trail started in dense forest, büyükesat escort and the scent of conifers drenched the air. The views at first were limited. Gradually, however, our trail wound its way up a mountain slope, switch backing from time to time, until it emerged from tree cover and revealed a sweeping alpine tableau. Mountains rose in sharp granite spires all around us. A creek tumbled noisily downslope of the trail. A few white clouds here and there pock-marked an otherwise perfectly blue sky. The trail climbed in rough steps, cut into the rock, and my breath grew ragged with the seemingly unending ascent. The 35-pound backpack didn’t make the way any easier.
A couple of hours into our hike we stopped, took off our packs, and sat upon a broad flat rock that perched above the deep valley from which we’d hiked. We looked over a small lake, its shores crowded by green lilies. The air was clean and pure, no city smog in sight.
“What’s for lunch?” Sara asked, stretching her lean, sculpted legs out over the rock surface before her.
I wondered if Sara was aware of the impression she made. She was beautiful. There was no question about that. The sun overhead lit her up, and her exposed skin glowed against a backdrop of gray peaks, verdant pine, fir, and spruce, and a baby-blue sky.
I caught myself admiring Sara and looked away. I didn’t think she’d noticed me staring at her. She was gazing in another direction, across the lake, into the woods. I wondered what she was thinking. She seemed to be lost in reverie.
I pulled food for lunch out of my backpack — salami and tortillas, with some lettuce and cheese — and passed some to Sara. We ate lunch together, slowly, admiring the scenery, saying nothing at first. Finally, I broke the silence.
“Are you looking forward to starting your sophomore year of college?” I asked her.
She didn’t answer right away.
Her answer surprised me.
She looked at me, a question obviously hanging over her. She seemed to wrestle with herself before replying.
“Christopher, why are guys such assholes?”
I didn’t expect that answer.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Did something happen?”
“I’ll tell you,” she said. “But I don’t want you to tell Mom and Dad. OK?”
“Sure, whatever,” I said.
“I had something happen last semester,” she said. “With a guy.”
My skin grew cold. Alarm bells went off in my head.
“What do you mean, something happened? What is it, Sara?” She put her hand up.
“It’s OK, now,” she said. “I’m fine.”
“What happened?” I asked again.
“There was this guy,” she said. “He was a senior. We met through friends. At a party. I liked him, at first. He was cute, and smart. And he was funny. He invited me to watch a movie at his apartment. Then . . . he started rubbing my back. I didn’t ask him to, and it felt . . . I don’t know. Like he should have asked. I was uncomfortable. But I let him do it. Then, like, suddenly, he started kissing my neck. I tried to push him away, nicely. I said something like, ‘Woah, I’m not ready for that.’.
“And then he changed. He said, like, ‘I’ll tell you when you’re ready.’ And he grabbed both my arms, hard, hurting me, and pushed me back on the sofa and got on top of me. He started grinding on me.
“I said, ‘No!’ several times. Louder each time. I think I almost screamed. But he stayed on top of me. He slapped me on the face. I was shocked, and so scared. Somehow, I kind of wiggled out from under him and I fell off the sofa and rolled on the floor. Then I looked up at him. I was terrified but I tried to look as mean as I could and I said, ‘I said “No!”‘”
I was shocked to hear Sara’s story. I had no idea she’d gone through this and felt horrible for her.
“What happened then?” I asked.
“He looked at me, and he had this look on his face, like it was full of hate. Like he was a monster. And he said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’
“I said, ‘What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you? I said, “No!”‘
“He shook his head, like I’d said something stupid, and he said, ‘Fucking bitch.’
“I ran out. I ran back to my dorm. I cried all night.”
“Did you do anything about it?” I asked. “Tell the police? Report him to the university?”
“No, I didn’t. Thought about it. I talked about it with some of my girlfriends. They’ve been great. They won’t have anything to do with him. I haven’t seen him since. But I didn’t report him. I just wanted to forget about it.”
“He shouldn’t get away with that,” I said. “What an asshole.”
“No, he shouldn’t,” she said. “But I didn’t have the heart to go through reporting him. He would have denied it. I had no proof. He’s popular and well-liked. I just didn’t want to go through it all.”
“I understand,” I said. “I’m so sorry, Sara. I had no idea.”
“You’d be surprised how common it is, Christopher. I hear it from my friends all the time. There are a lot of asshole guys out there. They çankaya escort think they’re entitled.”
“I guess you’re right. A lot of assholes.”
She looked up from her feet at me, in my face.
“But not you,” she said. “You’re not an asshole.”
“Well, I’ve never done anything like that. That’s for sure. Never. We’re not all like that.”
“I know that. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who the good ones are and who the assholes are. I haven’t dated since that happened. Still trying to build up my trust again.”
“So sorry, Sara. Really sorry.”
“I know. Thanks.”
We spent the rest of lunch in silence. I felt terrible for my sister, and I felt guilty, after listening to her ordeal, about having ogled her during the hike. That was the last thing she needed.
We finished lunch, and half an hour after sitting down we stood up and resumed our hike. The air grew thinner and the trees sparser as we followed the trail threading its way higher into the mountains. I was in good shape, but I felt myself huffing and puffing more as we climbed higher.
Most of the time, I let Sara lead the way. I tried to tell myself I was being chivalrous, but the truth was I liked watching her. Her figure was lithe and sexy, with long, sculpted legs, a thin waist, and a cute pert butt encased in form-fitting shorts that ended no more than an inch below her cheeks. I almost stumbled a few times because her butt distracted me from paying attention to the rough, rocky trail. I felt guilty about it, but I couldn’t stop myself. I tried to be discreet, so she wouldn’t catch me eying her figure.
At last, we came to the pass — a cleft in a high, serrated mountain ridge that marked the divide between two watersheds. Behind us lay a broad valley covered in a green blanket of pines and firs. Ahead of us spread an expansive alpine basin framed by still more mountain ranges, trailing into the distance. The basin was mostly rocky and barren, but here and there it was dotted with small stands of trees. Our destination — Baskin Lake — lay partly revealed, partly hidden behind a ridge in a low area of the basin to our left.
It was every bit as breathtaking a view as I remembered it. And the best part? Not a soul was in sight of us. The crowds thinned out after Labor Day, and we were in luck. We had the whole wilderness to ourselves.
Sara let out a high-pitched yell, and it echoed down the mountain, fading at last until we heard nothing but the whisper of a slight breeze over the rocks and the faint call of an unseen bird nearby.
“It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?” Sara asked, staring ahead.
“I could never get tired of that view,” I replied, but I was looking at Sara’s butt when I said it. I caught myself and glanced up to her face before she turned around and looked at me. Then we both turned forward.
“About a mile left, I think,” I said. “If we get going, we can swim in the lake before dinner time.”
“Let’s go,” Sara said, and we went.
It was downhill all the way to the lake, so we made faster time, although the steep trail was tough on the legs. The accumulated weight of my body and my pack pounded my knees on every step down the mountain path.
The twisty trail ducked through a thick stand of firs. The scent of their pitch hit my nostrils. Sara continued walking ahead of me, setting a brisk pace. I sensed her eagerness to get to our destination.
A few more twists and turns on the trail later, the trees parted and there it was: Baskin Lake, sparkling like a sapphire in the stark mountain setting. I’d forgotten just how beautiful it was. The rock cliffs that framed it loomed improbably high and steep above us. Patches of snow fields clung here and there to the steep shoulders of the surrounding peaks. Off to the right, a waterfall borne of snowmelt cascaded a hundred feet over a vertical pitch of rock. Stunted, twisted trees held on to the forbidding mountain slopes where they could.
We scouted for a camp site. It didn’t take us long to find an ideal one — a flat space, set about by rocks and trees, sloping gently down to the lake’s edge perhaps a hundred feet away. Sara and I flung our packs to the ground, relieved to be free of their weight. Sara skipped forward, toward the lake, thirty feet or so. She flung her arms wide, toward the lake shining blue under the sun, and then turned back, toward me, arms still high above her.
“It’s amazing!” she said. Her tight top rose, exposing her flat tummy.
It WAS amazing: breathtaking, majestic, too much to capture in words or in a photograph — and my sexy sister standing in the middle of it all was like the cherry on top of the sundae. I felt bad thinking that as soon as I thought it.
I’ve got to get a grip, I told myself.
“We’ve got this whole lake — this whole wilderness — to ourselves, Christopher,” she said, waving her hand over the scene. “Nobody’s here. I can’t believe it.”
Sara was right. It felt strange being so isolated. In years past, coming ankara escort to the lake before Labor Day with my parents, we’d encountered other hikers on the trail and shared the lake with other camping groups. But not this year. We had seen no one on the trail for the past several hours, and it was clear we were the only ones at the lake.
I looked up, to the sky, to the position of the sun. It was only mid-afternoon, but sunset would come early because of the granite mountain wall that blocked the horizon to the west. Once the sun dipped behind the ridge, the temperature would drop fast.
“Let’s go for a swim!” Sara said.
“I think we should set up camp first.”
“Pooh,” she said. “I want to swim. We have plenty of time to set up camp.”
“Well, you go ahead. I’m going to get the tent and stove set up, at least. I’ll join you in a minute.”
I unloaded my pack, focusing on the things I would need to set up our campsite: tent, groundsheet, stove, expanding water jugs.
While my hands kept busy assembling the tent, my eyes flickered over the figure of my sister walking away from our site with something blue in her hand, until she ducked behind a clump of bushes. The shrubbery was high enough and thick enough to obscure her body up to her shoulders. She hid from me to change into her swimsuit. Her arms swept off her white t-shirt and set it on top of the bush. Then I saw her head disappear, and I realized my sister had shucked off her shorts and now was completely naked behind the bush only thirty feet away. I felt my cock stiffen. I didn’t want it to, and I felt guilty when it did, but it did, anyway. The thought of Sara being completely naked so close by, with only scraggly bushes obscuring her body from me — it was intoxicating. My head swam. I tried to focus on the tent, but I couldn’t.
In another minute Sara emerged from behind the bush and approached, clad now in a tiny, sky-blue bikini. I recognized it. It was her “wilderness” bikini, which she’d worn on previous backpacking trips. It was years old, if I recalled correctly, and the fabric was a bit threadbare and thinning. And, now that her figure was fuller and more womanly than before, the suit didn’t contain her curves as well as it had when she was younger. The triangle-style top exposed a lot of boob on either side, and her nipples poked prominently out from under the time-worn fabric. The triangle bottom was barely enough to conceal the mound of her pubis, and it clung so tightly to her that it showed a prominent camel toe.
I felt my cock stiffen still more. I hoped she wouldn’t see it under my shorts. I made sure the tent, which I was having a hard time concentrating on putting together, was between Sara and me, to conceal my growing erection.
She pranced into the camp on tiptoes, lightly over the rocky ground, and dumped her clothes on a log. She took her scrunchy out with nimble fingers, shook her golden mane of hair twice until it spilled over her bare shoulders, and then she smiled at me.
She was a golden goddess, almost naked save for two tiny, nearly worn-through pieces of pale blue nylon. She was my sister, too, and I knew I shouldn’t be thinking what I was thinking. But she was a gorgeous woman, and I couldn’t control my lustful thoughts, however much I wanted to.
She stretched her arms out.
“Isn’t this amazing?” she exclaimed.
She pirouetted and faced the lake. I stared at her bikini-sculpted ass and the blond hair that cascaded down her upper back.
“Hello!” she bellowed joyfully, away from me, to the lake and the trees and the mountains all around us. A faint echo answered her.
She turned back to me. “I think we’re all alone here, Christopher.”
I nodded. “I think so. And it probably will stay that way. It’s late and it’s unlikely we’ll have any more people showing up today. We’ll have the lake to ourselves.”
That suited me fine.
“I’m going swimming!” Sara said. “Finish the camp stuff and join me.”
I watched her as she skipped over the rocky soil to the water’s edge and waded into the lake.
It didn’t take me long to finish the campsite. I erected a simple two-person, dome-style tent, and I laid out the camp stove nearby. When I was done, I fished a pair of swim trunks out of my backpack and put them on from behind a bush while watching Sara splash in the lake. The lake was still sunny and warm, but the sun had progressed far enough in its path to the west that I knew sunset wouldn’t be far off. If I was going to swim, it would be now or never.
Now done with my chores, I walked in bare feet to the lake. Pine needles and rocks pricked my soles and I hopped along until I reached the lake’s edge. I stepped in. The water was cold, as I expected it would be at this altitude, but the air was still warm and I walked farther into the water until, ready at last, I plunged my whole body under its surface.
“Cold!” I shouted when I emerged and spied Sara twenty feet away, standing waist deep. Her suit was wet, and her nipples, dark and protrusive, poked out under the pale blue bikini top. I dove into the water and swam to her.
“It feels great, doesn’t it?” she asked, when I stood up.
“It takes a little getting used to,” I said, “but yes.” I looked all around us. “This is an amazing place.”