A short entry tonight—it’s later than usual and my battery charger seems to be dying on me, so not much juice in the wee phone.
It was a better day today. I suspect there may be many peaks and valleys along this trek, which is difficult for a guy who likes to work out patterns and systems to make things consistent and smooth. Part of the journey is working to find the joy in the uneven and rough, since that reflects life far more accurately. As many of you suggested, it really is about living in the moment, a task to which I am currently ill-suited, but which I hope to learn by doing.
The family met me along the trails and we shared a delightful few hours filled with chicken fried steak and eggs (the first time I think I’ve ever eaten that favored dish without feeling guilty), gallons of iced tea (I dream of iced drinks in quantity and Popsicles as I climb hot mountains), and just enjoyed their general nuttery. It was hard to leave them again, but the trail passed more quickly this afternoon, and my heart is lighter for getting to see them again (and holding on to the promise to meet up with them again in about a week).
The trail was up to its old, cruel tricks again today. After a long, lovely descent through oak-thick hillsides, trailing happily adown to the valley below, after a road junction I suddenly started to climb God’s own stairway: a series of switchbacks toward Mt. Baden-Powell that just will not quit. I stopped here at the first flat spot I could find. You know those terrifying pictures of mountaineers with tents pitched precariously on sheer rock faces ten thousand feet up, held in place only by a few guy lines? It’s like that.
Tomorrow, I rise early to finish the ascent and thence on toward the desert. Here’s to a safe night with no rolling over.