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Archive for August 27th, 2006

Destination: Glacier Way Trail
Starting Location: Sisters Mirror Lake
Today’s Miles: 14.70
Trip Miles: 1980.10
Sisters Mirror Lake (1664.3, 5980) to Glacier Way Trail (1979.0, 6370) ascent (2153) descent (1693)

As is often the case sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. I am hopeful that last evening was one of those times. When I woke up I had very little leg pain and for the first time in 8 days it is clear that this is an inflammation (of what who knows) injury. The anti-inflammatory had reduced the swelling significantly overnight and by taking it slow and stopping early I was able to keep the pain to a manageable level. At one point I was admiring middle Sister (mountain) and I said “okay it’s up to you, help me through your wilderness”. I laughed at myself for talking to a mountain, but I felt better almost immediately & I had an overwhelming sense that everything would work out.
The rules of the road in hiking are pretty simple. Uphill hikers have the right of way, warn someone if coming from behind as to not startle them . . so as I was working my way up a pretty good climb I figured I would keep moving even though there were hikers coming down. Then on second thought I figured I could use a rest and so I pulled over. The woman gave me a half smile and the guy just looked at his feet and kept walking. This struck me as odd & unfortunate. We are so into our own worlds that we do not even take the time to thank someone who has offered a simple courtesy. I have been noticing this a lot lately and have also noticed that the trail is having an opposite effect on me. I am so grateful for the help I have received that I find myself saying thank you every time I get a refill on coffee or water. I like this. Recognizing each other with courtesies is a way to connect with people at a very basic level. And the argument that it is a server’s job to refill coffee and thus you do not need to say thanks is a bunch of crap. You should be more civil to each other; it makes the world a much friendlier place. I said “you’re welcome” to myself after they passed & I am 100% sure I felt better about the non-encounter than they did.
The Three Sisters Wilderness is a remarkably beautiful place and it has that wilderness or wild feel to it. Before stopping for the evening I walked along a ridge covered in obsidian (volcanic glass). This had to have been an early tool makers dream location. I picked up many pieces & examined them for potential uses. A projectile point, a scraping tool, a knife. Some was imbedded in outcroppings the size of cars and some was pea size but reflected much light regardless.
Forget what I said about the trees being smaller. I am camped amongst a group of giants – 4 feet in diameter and 200+ feet tall. I look up their long bodies and try to detect where they first bend in the steady breeze. The tops move, the bottoms do not and somewhere in between is a transition but you can not see it.
I have taken to setting up my shelter every night even though the weather is perfect. I have found that I sleep better inside my tent. I think this is largely a function of keeping the bugs away. Between mosquitoes, flies, ants, spiders, bees, moths, caterpillars & amphibians there are a lot of things that crawl & fly around at night. Like now for example. I am enjoying a lovely late afternoon/evening in my tent & I just counted 22 creatures of different makes & models trying to access my world – sorry we are closed.

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