Day 65 (Pete)

I’m writing this on little line notepad paper because the usual unlined 8.5 X 11 sheets in the resupply box never arrived. Along with the guide book, film, all our FOOD. Really, if it had to happen anywhere, this was the place. My Uncle Keith and Aunt Jan have a cabin right near Echo Lake Resort. They came out from Marin County to visit with us, feed us really well, and drive us into to town for an emergency bulk bin raid. In the unfortunate event that we would have had to buy four days worth of food from this dinky little resort shop, I fear we would have had to pay an arm and a leg to eat nothing but Top Ramen plain oatmeal and fish bait. Some lady from the job Dyl quit to be here sent us about four dozen homemade cookies packed in buttered popcorn. A nice dietary supplement that I’m sure would have pulled us through. Keith had a PCT guide book at the cabin as he is an avid hiker as well. He graciously let us cut out the section we needed. Its an old edition, 1985 I think, but will do just fine.

I’m missing Siri and house life. It’s easy to forget simple basic things. Like the fact that if I were back in San Diego I would spend a huge chunk of waking hours as a wage slave. Still, I would like to be with her again.

We are camped early by a little lake just north of Echo Lake in the Desolation Wilderness. Late this afternoon we said good-bye to the family and strolled three or four miles up and over “Poop out ridge.” There were many a wry joke about the touron that gave such a little rise such an ominous name. Yet, here we are, not much further along, all pooped out. Elevations are consistently lower yet there is still some snow cover on the north facing slopes. Our little lake still has some ice on it.

I’m tired. We have noticed if we get up and eat real food all day without any exercise our bodies get very lethargic. After a night on a mattress we are back on the ground. We’ll still sleep.

I was thinking of some of the inversal symbolic relationships that the trip as originally intended was to bring out. We are in a rite of passage. Burning away the last vestige of youth. Becoming men in more of an old fashioned, ritualistic, “primitive” way. The package lost at Tuolomne contained powerful symbols of the relatively meaningless and surface aspects of what demarcates adults in our American culture. They would retain their symbology yet be strangely out of place in use on this walk. So, in a way, their presence would constitute a satire on our cultures loss of spiritually significant rites of passage. Events that, in “primitive” culture, were meant to create an everlasting intimacy between the new adult and the natural world that, ultimately, sustains all of civilization. Ironically the symbol that was to provide an ironic comment on the loss is lost. Now isn’t that a strange turn of events! It has effectively pulled my tongue out of my cheek. I have always felt that my ideas aren’t necessarily interesting when succinctly explained. Such direct explanation leaves no room for interpretation on the part of the one receiving the information. Really, that’s not true. There is always room for interpretation as that, as much or more than initial construction, shapes the recipients interpretation of the information. Leaving out the direct literal references, or statements about, my ideas would have simply acknowledged this give and take. Certainly, if the package had arrived, no mention of its contents being symbolic of satirical would have been made. Previous writing about rites of passage, about importance of symbolism, and about Dyl and I as Americans watching T.V., eating sundaes, and graduating from college were intended as a subtle conditioning for the arrival of concrete symbols. They would have simply, and innocently, entered the narrative of the story both in image and description. Arrival would have, in turn, marked the end of any direct reference to an ever implied thesis. On one hand I think such openness is honest. It reflects a symbolic, rather than literal, mode of interpretation. It also leaves conclusions about the implied thesis in the hands of the, though admittedly preconditioned, information recipient. On the other hand, perhaps it is really the result of insecurity. When the ideas are not very profound, or very well described, such technique is really reduced to a trick. It spares the one creating the information the responsibility of making it sound. So, the package being lost, my bluff is called. If I want to continue, my ideas and their explanations have to be that good. I’m not sure they are. I am not sure I can explain them that well. The representation of my ideas about the trip is going to turn out to be as much of a test as the trip itself has been and will be. It makes me apprehensive. I know, however, that this is the test I needed. This is why, I feel, it has come to pass. Dylan put it well, “Its as if we are not going to be allowed to tell this trip what it means to us.” Yes, at least not without a great deal more introspection.

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