Our navigational mantra becomes “Trail Schmail”. The more we try to stick to our imaginings of where the trail might be under the snow, the harder the going gets. So we give up and just go where we’re going. Trail Schmail. Going up Kearsarge Pass Pete has a conversation with a nearby coyote. They both sound totally unworldly to me. At the top of the pass we catch a glimpse of the now distant coyote making his way easily across a steep snowfield, following his own tracks. We lose a water bottle, leaving us 3.
Our lives are filled with contrast. By nightfall we have hitchhiked to Independence. We sleep in the desert outside of town.