I slept miserably last night. I seem to have mostly gotten rid of my demons during the day, so they come to haunt me at night when my guard is down. While I'm asleep, I worry about silly things that I have no control over and my mind won't let them go. A hiker I talked to last year on the CDT told me it took him 1000 miles to really let go of stuff and my son quoted some Buddhist teacher as talking about having to practice something 1000 times to get it right. Oh well, perhaps instead of dwelling on my failure "to let go" I should visualize myself as being half way there.
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Colorado Trail Memorial Yurt
It rained and the wind whipped at the yurt all night long, I was glad that Mr. Cody and I were inside and out of the wet. At five a.m. when I usually get up it was still raining and miserable so I decided to sleep for another hour. It was after 7 before we got on the trail.
After that things got better immediately, the sky still threatened but the sun came out a little and things continued to brighten as the day wore on. But the best part was the incredible scenery, again. I went over or close to 13,000 feet five or six times today--I am exhausted but it was worth it. Everywhere I looked was like an incredible original landscape painting in 3 D. The camera couldn't begin to capture the glory of the vistas. Every time I walked over a ridge, saddle or pass a new valley would open up below in those glorious colors that come when the sun manages to peak through leaden skies. Predictably, in the afternoon, the storm clouds gathered again, but they were behind me, chasing me the rest of the day. Other people hear music when they walk, I hear snatches of old poems that I haven't read in years. Today, as I moved ahead of this impending storm, it was Francis Thompson's " the Hound of Heaven":
"I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of in my own mind, and in the mist of tears
I hid from him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after."
A little out of context but it captures the feeling of inevitably I felt for the storm.
I kept praying the rain would hold off long enough to get the tent up and it did. As I sit here writing, I am listening to thunder pounding in the distance and the rain has started its own symphony on the tent. I pray we stay dry tonight. I've been doing a lot of praying lately!
About the mountains: with all the rain, the grass, tufty and alpine like, is a bright luminescent green. It shines when the occasional ray of sun hits it. Up the sides of mountains this grass grows to the very summit--there are dark patches of willow to add contrast and the occasional small and scattered trees. The big trees seem to be confined to the valleys far below.
Imagine walking through a field at more than 12,000 feet with views in every direction, any one of which would qualify as a place in heaven. That was my day. Bloody hard work pulling myself up those mountains and it doesn't seem to get any easier. Mr.Cody, the old codger, gets fed up with my slowness. Usually happy to trail me, he gets impatient with my slowness on the up part so I have taken to inviting him to lead. He immediately trots ahead of me with an attitude like "what's up with you old woman?"
In my last resupply box I had some salt tablets and I find that helps a lot with my energy level. Judging by the way my pants keep falling down, I may not be eating enough either.
I was thinking about Kerry today (well, I do all the time!). Specifically, I was thinking about cocktail hour and those wonderful martinis he makes, I fantasized about how nice it would be to have one.
I see tomorrow, in addition to 4,000 feet up, I will go 5,000 feet down--another hard day. That is if I don't drown in the rain tonight!