Day 43 (Tape)

Okay I just realized that during the interview with Pete we turned over the tape back on to the side that was already recorded on, so I’ve erased some of my Journal. I’m going to stop doing that right now, and whatever is left is left. So if you’ve been confused listening to the beginning of this tape, it’s actually a continuation of what’s on the other side of the tape.

just makes me kinda hobble along, just that pain, until it subsides a little bit. Eventually it goes away and just turns into a dull, reoccurring pain, but it starts off bad. (laugh) So we start to climb up Cow Creek, and, uh, Cow Creek is really pretty. And also today I started to miss Camella. It started at lunch, and got worse, to the point where I was … here’s an absurd image for ya: I was walking up the trail by Cow Creek and its like, the ground is covered with pine needles, cause its forested, but the creek flows kinda at the bottom of this little valley, and on the sides of the creek are green grass and wild flowers. The rest of these trees are just vivid vivid green pine needled trees, and deep dark green spruce trees. They’re just, it’s just a really beautiful scene. I’m trouncing up the trail and my eyes are watering cause I’m missing Camella and trying not to cry. I’m looking at it and these greens are just kind of splurging into streakes of light and wierd collages.

But uh, it passed, and I still miss Camella but I started feeling better, and I started being able to walk; my hip quit bothering me. And uh, we walked and climbed up Cow Creek, and I stopped once to put some mosquito stuff on cause the mosquitos were starting to eat me alive, but other than that we just plowed straight up it, and uh, at the top we got some water and took another rest. Still feeling like we taking really frequent rests, but took one anyway and got some water. And I ate my seed bar to power me to Olancha Peak Saddle, which we figured would be 19 miles for the day. At that point I figured we still had quite a ways to go, but it wasn’t long before we were there… and my still hurt but I thought, Jeez, we’re makin’ miles. But we weren’t really there, cause it was a fake-out… there was a low saddle and then a high one, but the low saddle actually had the better view so we stopped there and played around a bit and went on to the high one, once again cringing with every step after I put the pack on until I could get into it. And uh, the high one, the view wasn’t as nice, but we decided to stop there anyway and cook dinner, even though it was still pretty early in the day. And then uh, continue on towards camp, so we did, and uh, it took us forever to cook dinner cause it was at 10,500 feet. Oh, the snow! There was snow, but I had envisioned just fields of whiteness, and, you know, I had envisioned above 10,000 feet, you know, unless we were on the south side of something, seeing no trace of the trail. Well it wasn’t near that bad at all, we had a patch of snow here and there… The trail was usually pretty clearly discernable. And uh, we even went down the back side of the first fake saddle, which was kind of facing north, and it had more snow but still, still an easily manageable amount. So I’m stoked about that, and uh… Oh, it took a long time to cook dinner, cause of the high altitude, an uh, but we sat there and did it anyway and talked. The fateful moment came to uh… ’cause our strategy now is to cook dinner and then amble on a little ways down the trail so we’re not camping in the same place as the odor of our delicious dinner for the bears.

So I painfully put the pack back on and, really it felt like my legs were just going to cramp up with every step. I wasn’t sure how far I was going to make it. But uh, as I walked down the trail… and my other hip had been bothering me too, and I was worried about that… and uh, I started down the trail and slowly but surely it just got better. And not only did my body start feeling better, I started feeling better in general, and I was feeling pretty good to begin with. Now we’ve stopped, probably less than a mile from there, probably close to a 20 mile day for us. Actually I’m sure it was a 20 mile day. And it was a really good day, we started at Kennedy Meadows at 6,000 feet and we climbed up over 10,5 and uh, back down a little bit to camp. It doesn’t seem like its gonna be too cold here, I’m not even in my sleeping bag. And uh, damn, I just feel really optimisitic. And, just the mountains ahead just look like a huge playground. I can’t wait to go see ’em, and climb on em, and just hit the Sierras, see what they have to offer us.

So uh, that’s how I’m endin’ the day today. That’s a good way to end it.

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