Day 82 (Pete)

Squaw Valley Creek bubbles by not more than ten feet from me. It is a beautiful moderately sized stream that descends to us from plateaus at the base of Mt. Shasta. The path the river has cut leads it over boulders into wide deep pools framed by low granite outcrops. Dylan got in long enough to spin a somersault. Sun no longer struck the water but it was warm. I was satisfied with simply washing my feet. The anglers downstream from Dyl’s antics took them as a sign to pack up for the day. Off to their cars and roads and electricity and family. Now we have this wonderful stream side spot to ourselves.

We munched on our first not quite ripe raspberries today. In a month, when the both of us have returned to cars and roads and electricity and family, they will be bulbous and dark red. Then again, perhaps enough hikers of our persuasion will pass before then to strip the bushes of all their offerings. If we had made it all the way into prime Washington late summer berry season, our pace would have surely grinded to a slow gathering crawl.

Last night Dyl began to read the first twenty or so pages from my book that had separated form the binding. Tonight he went ahead and ripped out the next few chapters. We are taking it slow and enjoying life. The days are long and accommodating.

At dinner we talked for a long time about the surplus of memories we have accumulated over the past three months. When psychological time is factored in, this trip has taken years. Many large segments of my pre-hike life have been compressed to make room for this new stuff. Five years of sitting in college classes. Zip, compressed down to a seven to ten second memory montage. One of the most interesting memories I have is of the first day. I see us at the border, with Siri and Kim and Kurt, our send off delegation, as movies. My psyche is not located in my body for that recollection. Really, it is a confirmation of how little I can relate to the person I was that day. That naivet<8E> about what lies over the horizon is something I have had since I was a small child. I’ll never have it again. Dylan’s reply to my question, “Were you in a weird state of mind that day we left Campo?” Was, “Fuck, how could you not be.”

I’ve got to end this and tend to the water from the filter hose that will momentarily have my bottle full and be uselessly spilling into the dirt.

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