Splendor of Sierra

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How I love the high mountains. Every time I venture in I am captivated. I am listening to my body in so many ways. I must. If I am to complete this walk, I must always be aware, always listen .
We have just completed a short but intense three day stretch . We are re-supplying in Independence. By car, only 14 minutes from our last re-supply. It was tough in many ways.
Davey McCoy, a really cool guy I met, the owner of the Lone Pine Hostel gave us a ride to the Horseshoe Meadow campground, which is the trailhead for the PCT. We awoke to the chilliest morning thus far. My hands would not do what they needed to do. The cold was biting and I couldn’t warm my hands. They hurt. I cried . I was afraid I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t pack my pack . My thinking mind had me finished. Of course I pulled through. But I learned what I needed to do throughout the rest of our walk. Amazing that I was going to let cold hands take be off the trail. I was afraid. Fear plays such a huge part in what goes on out here. Actually, in life. Fear governs many of us and prohibits us from so much. To look at fear, straight on, and say no! , not today.
We decided not to hike up Mt. Whitney . The majority of our group had already done it . Forrester Pass was looming in the distance . The snow pack was high. We all had a little fear around it. The uncertainty was big. I had pulled a muscle in my gluteus . Walking down hill caused much pain . I couldn’t possibly do both Whitney and Forrester.
We camped in the shadow of Whitney and had a very early start towards Forrester. The magical hour, the hour to be off the snow was 11 am. We hadn’t even reached the base of the mountain by 11 am. We were determined.
The mountains are so beautiful blanketed in snow.
The low snow year changed. We had a lot of snow. Trails were not visible. Post-holing was common. It was crucial to hit the passes at the right time. The mountains were alive. They were calling.
Climbing up Forrester was a challenge in many ways. Similar to life . The unknown filled the air. The grandeur of this mountain filled me with a wanting. Like life, this mountain invited you, yet it begged you to be present , to experience it’s essence.
Climbing up, the air was thinner. The hours already on the trail beginning to have its affect on our endurance. The desire to reach the pass safely, overwhelming. Every step important . My time earlier this year in South America taught me about respect versus fear for the mountain .
Upon reaching the pass, I sat. I gazed and inwardly expressed my gratitude. My gratitude for my life . My gratitude for the ability to climb this spectacular pass.
The walk down was difficult. The snow was soft . I post- holed so many times. Each time I had to pull my leg out, my gluteus muscle screamed. It took us hours to go a couple of miles. The trail was non- existent . The sun was beginning to go down . We were cold. We had to get out of the snow , to find a campsite for the night.
We were exhausted. I wasn’t even hungry. I wanted to get into my bag, and sleep. But sleep, didn’t come .
The mountains reside within. My thoughts of the day pulsates through my being. My heart beats fast. I dream. I hope. I pray.
I walk on
With love

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