Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 13, May 1, 2010

Yesterday I stayed at the campsite - stretching, taking a few photos, journaling, and napping. Especially considering the new plan we intended to spring on Greg about hiking out the next day (today) this turned out to be very wise.

Katie, Meredith, Matt and I packed up and headed out at 9:30 (Saturday). Slogging through the sand was once again a bear and I felt slower than ever but of course I was with the faster hikers. We took breaks about every 50 minutes.

When the upper trail was in view I faced the fear of
the vertical dirt scramble. We took a break just before attacking it. I sat with my traveling buddha statue (he as a little hobo bag!) in hand, back straight, trying to let go of fear, meditating that some way or another I would get up this crevice of dirt and rock, even if it meant asking Matt to take my pack. Meredith went first, and Matter was below when I begin my ascent. "Go up sideways, that worked going down", advised Matt. "Use your stick girl!", called Meredith.

Amazingly I made in it one attempt. Meredith beamed at me when I stood at the top - "You did that in one move, no stops. You're awesome!" It was one of my best moment of facing fears, digging deep for strength during a trip that had many such internal rallies and moment of pride. The accomplishments of this trip were many, and this might have been the best one.

We made it back to the car in 5hr, 40min - two hours less than going in. Janet said I sucked when she found out I made it up that pass in one go with my pack and how fast, "And without
training for this!" Yep, I'm proud of myself.

More later just too tired, need to shower (YAY!) and brush my teeth before heading to bed. Tomorrow we drive to Salt Lake City.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Day 12 April 30, 2010

Wednesday the winds from the night before were worse and I stayed behind. It was an odd day of solitude, I spent about 6 hours in silence - reading, writing, thinking, and a nap.

The sound of the winds were inescapable except when I was in Katie's care, which was so hot and hadn't the energy to ask Matt (who was cocooned in his tent) for the keys to open the windows. I think I associate these kings of wind with storms so it was interesting not to have clouds most of the day.

When the sounds of air moving at howling rates across the mesa were too enervating to do anything but to lie still, I was able to compare the changes in speed and the resultant sounds to ocean waves. It was fun to do that, for a while, not the entire six hours. Unlike the ocean tides hitting the shore there was no grand great plan or order, it simply was.

Yesterday's hike to the Arch, pushed my limits hard. It is estimated we hiked around 7.5 miles. With stops and figuring out the trail, whether to take the high route or not, it took us just shy of seven hours. Matt and Meredith had gone up ahead of the rest us during the final stretch, and bless Matt's heart - he not only carried my tent (which was actually his since the one I borrowed for the trip was killed by the wind storm) during the hike, and my therma-rest pad for half of it, but he had set up my tent first thing when they hit our camp site before us.

Greg said, while I was climbing up from yet another river crossing, refusing a hand again, that he was surprised by my strength and determination on this trip but he didn't know why given how it's there in other areas of my life. I responded by saying I was just stubborn. He said stubborn isn't always such a bad thing to be.

Once getting to Jacob Hamblin Arch I was please to see very little in the way of cow patties that had marked most of the hike out. While it has been sweet to see cows not penned in, to see them along the road, and especially idyllic to see that fawn colored mama and calf in a shaded glen on the trail yesterday, one has to wonder about the impact on the land and water we have been transversing. Though fun in a twisted way to see shit piles in various phases of petrification, many looking like interesting sculptures, it is a reminder that this is a wilderness study area and not protected. What is the impact for the native wildlife, the soil, water sources? How does one get a dead cow out of some the places we hiked yesterday - what happens if they can't.

At one point during the hike Katie said she felt she had aged 25 years doing this march in. I rolled that phrase around in my brain, on my tongue but it had no resonance for me. If anything despite the exhaustion I felt, and would feel upon arriving at our camp site, it seemed this whole trip made me feel younger somehow, as if doing something far out of my scope, experience, and comfort zone fed my soul, made me realize how much could lie ahead for me if I so choose. It was an enthralling realization and probably helped to get me the next 3 miles despite feeling completely depleted of resources.

Friday, May 06, 2011

A year onwards

A year ago today, at least in terms of the day of the week, the first Friday of May I arrived here at my cabin - sad, actually distraught, confused. Actually as I type this it is close to the exact time I arrived here. Funny that.

Once again, like last year, like two years ago, like many times, I am not where I thought I'd be. However, I have also been happier in the last year, than perhaps ever in my life. As it's been a year, I will in the next week finally finish posting the journal entries from my trip to Utah last year. I know that I delays writing them because of all that happened after I returned. Though I knew there was a shift between BC and me before I left, I had no idea how big, because she never shared any of what was going on with her, with me. I returned from Utah on Monday with hope and had a glorious almost 2 days of reunion with her before everything fell apart. Friday morning at 6am I was pulling out of her driveway with my car loaded to the brim. Writing about Utah would mean facing everything. And in truth I have faced but it seems I still needed some more time before finishing those posts. Now it's time to fully move on in this other somewhat symbolic way.

When I left Dayton in March 2009 I wanted to shift my status quo, question my assumptions about myself. I have done that a great deal, and continue to - or else I would have never done a lot of what I've done in the last two years. Lived like a gypsy - happily, traveled, rode rollercoasters (literally and metaphorically), walked a 5K in less than an hour, hiked and backpacked for two weeks in Utah, began rock climbing, wrote for internet content mills (and even got a few dollars for it!), journaled daily for over 13 weeks, etc.

Through working off personal loans, and actually paying off other debts- I will shortly have cleared over $6000 off my plate. This is huge. Soon I hope to only owe my student loans, which is a huge amount but so much better. As it turns out I will be adding to that amount as I have been accepted back into graduate school and will be returning in the fall.

So despite some ups and downs of late, what with the anniversary of the ending of the relationship, some deaths, the nail biting wait to see if I got into school, and a stressful but satisfying new job, I remain happy, still growing, and stretching my boundaries of self definition.