This morning I turned a bend in the train and saw what looked like a giant fat mangy dog bolting away from me at a lightning pace. A bear! I saw a bear! The first time in my life. It wanted nothing to do with me.
We have begun to discover what lower elevations bring; green meadows, Aspen trees, warm sun, and thick incessant clouds of swarming whining mosquitoes. It is a struggle to write this as I have hundreds bombarding me now. We need mosquito nets BAD! The snow and high passes must have really been slowing us down. We did twenty three miles today and its plenty light enough to write by. Seldon Pass was easy. We didn’t even bother changing out of our running shoes, let alone unsheathing the ice axes.
I had some memories of the time spent in Ridgecrest tonight. Siri most of all. Well, and the food. My mom had my graduation cap from high school out. It went unused as I was rafting the Grand Canyon on the night of my High School graduation. I didn’t get to have the traditional formal ceremony. Then again none of my classmates were probably forced to drink a tequila shooter by a bunch of bearded men at the culmination of their graduation ceremony. I mentioned the cap to Mom. She smiled and said, “There’s a gown too.” Its almost as if she knows.