Cold Truth

Start: Rockpile Lake
Camp: Big Lake Youth Camp (2001.5)
I knew that there was no hurry when I woke up this morning. I am strong and and getting stronger, and have finally gotten good at being what I am: a through hiker. I can hike the consistent 26 mile days I feel like I needed to complete the trail. I can make my town stops and lunch stops and pit stops and nightly breaks confidently quick. But none of that matters now. That’s not why I know there’s no hurry now. There’s no hurry because I’m too late. That’s what the cold wind that blew in yesterday has told me.
I’m not going to make it. I wasn’t really ever even close. A tidal wave of relief washes over me. I did not doing what I now knew for it was fact all along but now it is as real as that cold wind blowing in my face. (What is this supposed to say? I can’t figure it out now…)
I sat with my ear buds in listening to nothing, shirtless and cold in the morning sun and I let it sink in. Burning man will be cold this year.

My sunrise wasn’t all that great. I went to bed too late. I’m beat. I could easily sleep another three hours, and it’s already 7:00 a.m.!
Sometimes socks take up residence on the outside of my pack. Such is the case with my no show white cool maxes, one with a hole. I rinsed them three days ago and hung them on the yellow compression strings to dry and although they dried in an afternoon they’re still there.

I ate a lindt 70% chocolate bar and drank my last mouthful of water and I wandered up to the lake listening to The Eminem Show. Those cool max socks are too rough. I rinse my feet and dig out another pair and set them on the rock next to me. I sit to write while my feet dry and when I finally stop to put them on one of my socks is gone, blown away into the lake. I find it on the far side.

Cold clarity pervades my every cell, my every thought, brought on by just the right convergence of confidence, rest, low blood sugar and morning dreaminess. The most important part was going to bed hungry. I don’t really want my breakfast, cold mystery mix oatmeal, fearing it will wake me up, but I eat it so that I don’t have to carry it.

I dumped out two more meals this morning. I’ve probably dumped half my food on this section. I just haven’t needed it.
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