Here I am, brimming with stories to tell you, and no time to do so.
In the past 48 hours, a time during which I meant to write at least two stories, I came down from the Sierras high summit (Sunrise on mt whitney, highest point in the lower 48) and passes (I have been over 10,000 ft for a week now), came into Bishop exhausted but happy, completely out of food and under ominous stormy skies, looking forward to sleep, food and more of each. Instead, I was whisked away to my beloved Death Valley for more adventures. I met Weather Carrot’s friend ProDeal, a man who loves the valley as much as I do, something I would not have thought possible. The three of us soaked in a natural hot spring surrounded by infinite land below, infinite stars above. Meanwhile, a coyote ate all our leftover food. Beauty and hunger seems to be my main companions these days. For the past week, every day I am surrounded by more and more beauty and my heart can sometimes hardly contain how greatful I am for the gift of being here.
I wanted to tell you about all this in detail so I don’t sound like a flipped out elated looney, which I might still be,but the library was closed and I lost my wallet, ID, credit card, and the picture of a bobcat I carry. My day was therefore high jacked by todos.
Everything has been very different for me since Kennedy Meadows. Different pack, different clothes, different mood, different crowd. I feel like Igraduated to a new level of freedom, a new level of joy. What used to be great joy is now my base level, any spike in emotion is as a result much larger than I have previously known. The inconveniences of the trail, such as feet aches, pack pain, long days, shortage of food, stomach ailment, gear failure, etc. only add depth to the experience.
Yes, I’m in love with this trail, its landscapes and its people, addicted to the lifestyle and not sure I can ever (or want to) go back to whence I came. In fact, I’m applying for a park ranger job in death valley as soon as the application process open. That little side trip just dripped with serendipity. I’m the friggin’ luckiest person on the planet.
I’ll write, i hope, an actual story when I get to some computer in the next town, 7 days or so from here. I already filled my second camera memory card. It took 1.5 month for the first, 1.5 weeks for the second. I hope to be able to share some of those with you as well.
Hi to LB. I miss you and my gang. Sorry I had to climb Whitney before you got there, mrs peacock and Power Nap. Glad I met you, Maddog. I expect we’ll meet again. Just heal fast, I’ll keep my miles at 20 or so. Weather Carrot and Prodeal, I am glad I have you as alter egos in the world. Moss, I miss my sidekick. Even-keeled Scout, KristoKat, Quest, Hallmark, Shameless and all my peeps, thanks for choosing this year to hike the trail.