I wake up at 5:30 am. Today we are gonna be fast. Pack our stuff and go. Breakfast will be a probar to go. Everything goes exactly as planned. We still need 45 minutes. Damn. Soon we realize the plan sucks. Not having a decent breakfast means having no energy. We start climbing the first climb of the day and after only half an hour… BAMMM I hit the wall. The wall that has a big STOP sign painted on in. I hit it hard. My head hurts… and my mind. I’m exhausted, I crash. O my body could keep on going, my legs are strong now, with nicely defined muscles. It’s my mind that is tired. After more than 1000 km I am so tired, so exhausted, I almost wanna quit. I wanna go home I say to HQ, I wanna go home. Knowing it is not an option and I don’t really wanna quit. What I really want though is a break, I desperately need a break, away from all these twentysomething hikers, away from that herd of people.
I feel hunted, haunted by the hundreds of hikers that are behind me. I feel the pressure, I feel chased. Cats don’t like that. They need to roam free, need solitude. I know most people don’t care about the people that are behind them, but I do. In a way I feel their presence getting closer and all I wanna do is run. The last few days I feel we’ve been rushing. Hiking hiking hiking, forgetting what we are here for. We’re not here for running from A to B!!!. It’s time to stand still. How funny is that. A few days ago I wrote in one of my posts that I don’t wanna stand still, that it won’t take me to Canada, that I need to keep on moving. O how quickly the tide turns. The wall tells me to do exactly that: Stand still, reflect, learn from the trees, feel our roots in the earth and listen to the whisper of the great spirit in our crown and what our inner voice is telling us, remember what our heart is beating for.
HQ and I talk, we agree. O I am grateful for this man at my side. He is a good man, a very good man. Not because he agrees but because he understands, feels the same, supports.
Let’s take a few days off. Let’s give our bodies and our minds some rest. We still have 6 days worth of food in our bearcans. Enough to summit Whitney, hike over Forester and Kearsarge Pass. I can’t. I can’t summit Whitney, I can’t dance on Forester. Not like this. I can’t rush into my beloved Sierra. I need time to rest first, to gather new energy, to remember why we are walking this path. It is time to slow down. There is no need to rush no more, no waterless stretches to overcome, no desert and heat to beat. It’s time for mountains and streams and an afternoon nap in a meadow.
We hike down trail pass and hope to get a ride to wherever someone will take us. We wanna take a few days off. Spend a night or two in a motel and then maybe a few days in Yosemite valley. And then we might just hike the Sierra southbound. Just like I did almost two years ago. I think about the plan while we hike down to Horseshoe Meadow. It feels good, it feels right. It’s time to hike our own hike. We don’t wanna go with the herd no longer. O yes we will meet them all while we hike southbound and they hike northbound but it’s gonna be different. O well we’ll see, maybe we change our mind again in the next two days… Who knows… We can do whatever we want right? Right!
We arrive at the parking lot of the horseshoe meadow campground. No living soul around. We wait for two hours and then Chris, a director from Hollywood, and his awesome dog Jasper come down from a three day backpacking trip. He is happy to give us a ride to Lone Pine. Lone Pine… Memories… Lone Pine. We check in at the Dow Villa. Our students from our wilderness education program had given us gift at the end of the program, a gift we were only allowed to open when we’d need a break and a rest. This is the time. Time to unwrap the gift. Omg! Thank you soooo much!!! Thank you for paying for our stay here. You all rock!!!
First thing I do when we get our room is take a shower to rinse of the tons and tons of dirt and then, forgive me California, I take a bath. Ahhhh! This is heaven.
Newborn in still dirty clothes we head over to the supermarket. Guess what we buy? Salaaaat, tomatoes, avocado, mango, grapefruit. I enjoy every bite of it and now I’m gonna sleep. Deep. And long. Ya like till 6 am or so hahaha.