Day 75 – Daze

I always feel like I’m the first one up. Probably because I am – everyone else is faster than me, and I feel like I need the headstart to get a-goin’, make it… somewhere. I don’t know what everyone else’s plans are for the day, but I’ve got that itch in my soul. I should’ve been gone yesterday, but this morning will have to do. Continue reading


Interlude: And I Must Go

The drips from the roof of my apartment – dulled, distant, metallic – sound nothing like the drumming of drips from the pine trees onto my tent, but they keep me awake anyway. I’ve been having a hard time sleeping, sheets feeling strange on my skin, my pillow alternately my favorite part of civilization and just another accoutrement that I don’t need. I’m either too cold or too hot, and while I control the climate now, changing it’s not a simple matter of zipping or unzipping my sleeping bag. So I lie in bed, uncomfortable with comfort, and listen to the persistent plunk of the outside trying to get in.

I’ve been home just under two weeks, and everything I experience is this strange same-not-same, similar in ways, but muted in others. It’s pretty much been town chores on steroids: I’m constantly working, writing, doing laundry, eating food. Too much food. More food than is tenable for this new, sedentary, hunched-over-a-computer-writing lifestyle I’m living. Still, for whatever reason, the real world – what we call the real world – seems much less real than the world I left behind, the world of moments defined by distance, miles, steps. Here, the days just blur, one right into another.

It’s been hard to keep up with a writing schedule – I’m doing a lot of writing for Backpacker still, and I’ve found that writing for myself is harder than I expected. I think the post-trail blues are settling in, and writing my daily entries means exposing myself to my feels. I miss it, miss the trail, miss hiking. Even my body’s conspiring against me in that regard: muscles have memory, too, and they miss being sore, being challenged, seeing new things as much as my mind does.

So I’m headed off to Rocky Mountain National Park to spend a couple of days out. Work all my muscles, jog my physical and emotional memory. Maybe deal with a little bit of snow, although it’s not supposed to be terrible. I’ll have Day 75 up for you folks on Monday – and maybe I’ll even post a schedule I can stick to.

Thanks for understanding.


Day 73 – Never Gonna Make It

I wake at the appointed hour of 5am, roll over in my sleeping bag to feast my eyes on the scene: sleeping hikers, sky growing lighter, lake as still as glass. I almost never want to leave this place – or maybe it’s just this feeling, the peace in this morning – but there are miles to make, and it’s time to start if I’m going to make them. I stare at my shoes like they’re traitors, like they’re the ones forcing me to move, and putting them on is one of the harder things I’ve done on trail. But putting them on lets me wander over to Powder to share her coffee, and enjoy the coming light a bit before I head out. Continue reading


Day 72 – Worrywart

I’m up early, looking to make miles after yesterday’s half-day. I’m starting to get nervous – it’s the middle of July, and we’re not even through the Sierra. We’re not necessarily behind in terms of timing – but we’re not necessarily in a good spot either. I’m ready to go, ready to walk, but the others are enjoying the morning. Eventually, Homegrown and Sprinkles are ready to go, and the three of us make our way off up the hill. Continue reading


Day 71 – (H)Aulin

We’re up late – by the time I’m conscious and poking my head out of my tent like a turtle, the last of Sprinkles’ family is packed and pulling out, raising hands and friendly smiles in well-wishes. With a night’s sleep distancing me from the madness of yesterday, I’m feeling a lot better, though I’m not in a huge hurry. The others, even after their zero, aren’t in too much of a hurry either, so we head to the shop, charge things, relax our way into the morning. Continue reading


Day 70 – Half Dumb

My alarm goes off at 3:15, and it’s basically like Eye of the Tiger is playing in my head. I’m awake, I’m focused, and I am going to get up Half Dome for sunrise. I’m just gonna. There’s not a doubt in my mind. Weeell, enough of a doubt to push me up and out of my warm sleeping bag in the dark, stride over to fetch my bear can, pack up as quickly and quietly as I can. I’m out just before 4, right on schedule – and as I run into the second trail junction for Cloud’s Rest, it turns out I’d camped exactly where I thought I had. Everything’s falling into place. Continue reading


Day 69 – Wait and Hurry Up

It’s nice to wake up among friends – so many hikers all in one spot. They’re all in for a zero today, relaxing among the exuberant children and ever-patient adults of Sprinkles’s family, but me, I’ve got miles to do. I’m waiting on Outro in particular – she, Wolf, U-Turn, and Evac should be pulling in this afternoon, and I’m excited both to get the whole band back together and to get started on our JMT/Half Dome side quest with Yoda. Should be a good time. Continue reading