Day 56 (Pete)

Dylan and I had a conversation about marriage and children today. Siri and I had talked about each. Dylan and Camella had recently, and seriously, began to plan for marriage. All that stuff is for the future though. It used to be that I just deplored the idea of reproducing. The old cliché, “How could you bring a child into this horrible world yammity yammity.” Walking the 950 miles so far has affected my thinking on the matter. It’s not at all a horrible world. It is, based on what I can see from here, an inspiring and beautiful world. Granted, certain aspects of modern humanity leave a lot to be desired. Humanity, however, is such an infinitesimal component of the whole picture. Anyhow, its all relative to where one goes, and what they do, and how they interpret what happens. There is easily a lifetime of enjoyment to be had.

The desert is so far behind. Every day we are sloshing slogging and bogging through creeks, mud, lakelets, rivers, snow, and ice that under drier circumstances would be known as “the trail.” At any given moment of the day, I could wring enough water out of my socks to quench the thirst of any parched desert trecker. It is the height of the spring runoff. A whole long winters worth of snow is thawing and racing down the hillsides. As we pass into lower elevations, the snow has abated; yet, the creeks we must cross are bigger and come in greater frequency. We waded five today. Well, three really but we made a wrong turn and had to recross two.

Perhaps in retribution for not having one yesterday, we had two cross back to back snowbound passes today. Island Pass and Donahue Pass. They were both of fairly low elevation, 10,200 and 11,000 respectively. The string of Forester, Kearsarge, both two and from Independence, Glen, Pichot, Mather, Seldon, Silver and the two today makes ten passes in eight days. We were elated to descend down to the Lyle fork of the Tuolomne river this evening. The High Sierra is now behind us. As we looked back south to craggy snow capped peaks from Donahue’s crest, we toasted them and all that they had shown us and taught us with our two remaining Snickers bars. The celebration continued at dinner further down the canyon with double rations of Pop Tarts purchased in Mammoth. I had some trepidation as to whether the Tuolomne Meadows store was yet open for the season. Dyl irrefutably argued, “Well, if it is closed extra pop tarts aren’t gonna’ get us through.” He has come a long way from the meticulous saver he was at the beginning of the trip.

It will be nice to refill the resupply box with all our heavy cold weather gear and ice axes and mail them home. We are still way under half way done. Coming into Yosemite, however, marks the completion of a very symbolic section. Neither of us, we found out today, has done so much as to even imagine what it will be like beyond the high Sierra. They, and the arid deserts further to the south, provided that daunting of an obstacle. Now, walking away from them, we are both curious about days to come. Coming down the avalanche torn slopes of Lyle Canyon into the green valley this evening was very emotional for me. I felt a current running through my body that made me want to scream out like the coyote. It was hard to see the trail through teary lashes. The pull toward Canada was very strong in me. Though I was very charged tonight I was holding back a great deal. The real epiphany will come crossing the international border. At that time I feel that I will feel fully prepared to let the animal all the way out.

All my dreams now, regardless of plot, characters, or setting involve walking continuously. It doesn’t bother me as dreams of working do after a long stretch on the job. Many are peaceful and pleasant. The walking isn’t even a central component in the dreams narrative. It is simply happening, like breathing. Dyl said that he was experiencing the same thing yet it was so subtle that he hadn’t even realized it until I mentioned my dreams. It is an activity that has become completely ingrained into our identities, our sense of selves, even our physiology. We walk.

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