Excuse the stream of thought, it was too chilly for complete sentences.
Thundersnow. Only 1.5 Miles today. As we walked away from the van, snow blown sideways, thundersnow. I was warm while hiking, very easy road walking. Quick start tomorrow good idea to get warm. New Schwag! GoLite packs and puffy coats. Couscous dinner, bear hangs. Next time: Neoprene socks.
Long cold night. Especially toes. Felt sick and achy into the morning. Ryan is serenading us. Evac this morning, Matthew had blood in his urine, we all joke how smart he was to get out when he did: it’s cold. Day hike then move when CL Matt comes back. Lots of Cat Claw Acacia. Much booze and cold on this trip. Via coffee break. Cold.
Let me set the scene for you. 10hrs of hiking ass-cold blowing wind steep slope no trail no water foot of snow don’t know where we are going hiking in the dark bouldering broke our aqua mira water freezing as we watch it.
Breakfast on a frozen slab of rock sunrise just a tease wispy frozen clouds water freezing as we pour it in to the pot. Nohl’s cold toes on warm stomach. Hiking hiking trying to find the trail up and over rather than around and down. Past the cat claw into a Manzanita forest through red split trunk trees in the saddle of giant’s cairns, the stone jaws and fingers of rough golden stone on the other side is a tumble of rounded blocks falling haphazard into the valley far below. Poles stowed clambering leaping squeezing climbing down, like Alice through the rabbit hole spit out in the land of Lower Holdout…a rainbow of windshirts jumping for joy, for the camera crew, to stay warm. A carved out creek sinuous and strong. Running singing laughing until—splash! A misstep and cold wet leg gross red gloop scrape it off! Stay warm walk for warmth.
Walk through the desert and onto our trail, pink flags leading the way through Upper Holdout, beauty in the desert rocks, weak sun in front, snow behind on the high ridge. We are walking so fast now, I am keeping up, but missing out. Light and fast, we are going, light is right, but where is the time to soak in the magic of this place? We’ve got to make it to Reef Tank—maybe even before dark? Leave behind the holdout, enter the mundane world of the Santa Teresa Wilderness. No water at reef tank, just lots of cow poop. Making dinner in a blizzard—it finally caught up to us. Coldest night ever, must have fallen asleep twice, because I remember that there were two dreams. One where we were camped at the branch and I couldn’t understand why we didn’t go and get extra sleeping bags from the issue room. Wake up and skip breakfast. Let’s get out of here.
Golden rocks gravel ribbon ridge road. Insolent mountain cows. Blue shadows white snow. Coyote tracks and cold cold sunshine. Sore knees, tender toes, dry throat. Stepping home. The first time I am able to meditate to wonder ponder think breathe and walk.
I am so glad I got to go on this seminar—such an adventure, so much laughter. Pushed at a lot of my comfort zones, skill levels. If I can get through that in good spirits, I can get through pretty much anything.