No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction at anytime.
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction,
a blessed unrest keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others.
-- Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille
Was || Will Be || Past Moments || Now || Notes

2001-07-23 - 1:04 p.m.


okay, so i started this morning with some bile. but you've come to expect that by now, right? now i think i should dwell for at least a moment on this weekend, and how nice it was.

because it was very nice.

i took off early from work on friday, and went and met up with the gang for our backpacking trip. we went up through Georgetown, and i got to try the outback out on an honest-to-goodness nasty dirt road. and she did a great job. rolled right over those rocks like they weren't there. four folks and a dog and bunch of gear loading her down and she just chugged along like it was nothing. i love my car.

got the the trail-head around 5:30-6:00. hoofed it up to 12k feet and set up camp for the night next to silver-dollar lake. CandleMan, Lo, and the pups caught up to us pretty quick. good dinner, early bed-time. a little rain but not too bad.

saturday i was up at 6 am.

you may want to read that again.

yep, i was actually awake at 6 am, and even content about it. it was a beautiful day, and the pups were running around like goons. we got on the trail by 9:30 and hoofed it up a pretty steep incline. made camp again at 13k feet by noon. i was feeling pretty tuckered by then. i'm not in very good shape right now, and normally when i'm hiking at that altitude, i'm not wearing a full pack.

it rained a little and HippyJoe and i took the opportunity to nap. then he and i and Lo and the pups took a short jaunt up to a nearby ridge-line. saw some rocky mountain goats on another ridge. they'd just stand around for a while, then for no apparent reason, take off running. boy, they could haul ass. there's this big power-line running over the ridge they were on, and once when they were running, we heard this big metallic clang, like one of them had run into the support tower. they must have been the better part of a mile away, but we could hear it plain as day. goofball goats. i loved it.

back to camp in time to have a quick early dinner and then wait out another rain storm. HippyJoe and i played canasta in our tent. rain stopped at about five. HippyJoe and i decided to make a run for the summit. only light packs, but the altitude was kicking my butt and it took us another hour or so to get up to the summit at 13.6k. saw a herd of fifteen or so big-horn sheep down the other side of the mountain. hung out for a bit and took some pictures, saw more clouds rolling in. got back to camp at about 7 pm.

everyone wanted to pack it out that night and not wait for morning.

it seemed like a good idea at the time.

really, it wasn't.

i'd already done a fair amount of hiking that day, and i was already tired. more rain started as we packed up camp. i figured we were going downhill and it wouldn't take as long.

mostly true.

as we descended, the clouds rolled in after us, and there was this really cool, creepy fog all around us. looked like the scottish highlands. it was pretty cold, but i had brought enough layers to keep warm. mostly it was my feet and thighs that hurt at first.

once we got back under treeline the rain slacked off. by then my thighs were screaming at me, and my knees were starting the backup vocals. dark was coming on, and i was getting to exhausted pretty quick. i hadn't had enough food before we started down, and i could feel the lack of energy. unfortunately, the bit of food i had had was beans, and now i was fighting a losing battle with my bowels. i eventually surrendered and ran off the trail and squatted. i *hate* crapping in the woods. i always imagine some badger or other short, vicious animal sneaking up behind me and biting sensitive bits. i don't know where this phobia came from, but it's strong.

by the time it was full dark, we were close to the end and knew it, but we weren't there yet. i was beyond the point of tired where Frank's pain mantra did any good, and i could feel the muscles in my thighs trying to compensate for my now-wobbly knees. difficult to describe, but if you've ever felt it, you know what i mean.

my flashlight batteries were dying, and i didn't yet feel the need to dig through my pack to get the spares. there were a lot of things i should have done, but kept putting off with the thought that i'd just push through and be to the car any time.

then we got off the trail. or more appropriately, got on the wrong trail. we knew we were very close by then, probably less than half a mile. but we didn't recognize the trail we were on. the eleven-year old with us wanted to set up camp and wait for morning. it was 9:30 by then and i was feeling pretty far gone. fortunately HippyJoe was still feeling pretty strong. i put a lot of faith in him to get us home. if it didn't trust him, i would have been more with it, but i just wanted to follow him until we were done.

i did just that. turns out the "wrong" trial was actually just a closed-off short-cut for the "real" trail. we just kept pushing and pretty soon we were at the car. CandleMan and Lo had gotten ahead of us before the whole lost in the woods bit, but they waited by their car till we showed up. then they skeddadled. we were maybe five minutes behind them.

i actually felt pretty awake driving home until about Floyd Hill. then i started to get sleepy. the stop to let everyone else out at their cars helped. the rest of the way home, i just turned up the a/c and cranked ani.

got home after 11 pm. unpacked only the things that would rot if i didn't, took a loooooong, hot shower. chatted with eRoommate for about five minutes. couldn't sleep until after 1 am.

for those of you keeping track that was 6 am to 1 am with about an hour nap in between and well over 3k vertical feet travelled and close to 10 miles horizontal, most of it with full pack.

j$ tired now.

i'm still sore today. my legs are still in really bad shape.

gosh, this whole thing turned into much more of a gripe than i intended. it really was a good trip. i loved the views. i loved the fresh air. i loved the silly puppies running around like goons. i loved eating cup-of-soup and drinking hot chocolate. i loved walking barefoot in mountain moss at 13k feet, and dipping my feet into cold, cold, cold water that had been snow maybe an hour before. i even loved the dark clouds rolling in and the creepy, cold fog that blanketed us on the trip down.

i'm proud that i was able to hoof it that far in a day, take my sorry ass way out into the country and back just on my own two feet. carry everything i need and more on my back. get home in one piece.

really, really a good weekend.

and to top it off, yesterday i got to sit inside my air-conditioned apartment, playing playstation, drinking pepsi, and eating doritoes. and feel no guilt for being a slug.

sometimes ya gotta revel in the other extreme, too, ya know?

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