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Archive for September 6th, 2006

Benadryl again

Destination: Lava Springs
Starting Location: Trout Lake Creek
Today’s Miles: 25.90
Trip Miles: 2194.60
Trout Lake Creek (2232.5, 3110) to Lava Springs (2258.3, 4520) ascent (4744) descent (3560)

It must have been quite a site as I tried to run through a heavily vegetated under story with my silk weight long underwear around my ankles. I was just getting into position when the local tribe of wasp decided they were going to do something about my planned waste disposal project in their neighborhood. Sting 1 – right thumb, sting 2 – right ankle, sting 3 – left wrist, sting 4 – right calf, sting 5 – right thigh. I took my project across town and then hurried back to camp. Best piece of equipment on the trail? No question – benadryl. I quickly got to the pills, asked Thunder to stand by and sat down as the sweat began to pour off my forehead. The stings were swelling faster than zucchini grows and boy did they hurt. We packed up and headed up the trail. With 5 stings & 3 benadryl in me I would have been the perfect zombie for one of the classic “Dawn of the Dead” B horror movies. And now they itch like crazy. We do this for fun you know.
Lava Springs is impressive with gallons of ice cold water flowing out of the bottom of a lava field. The water is so cold I could not keep my hand under while I washed them. And it tastes good . . . We have a great spot just above the spring & I can hear the water flowing under & through the rocks.
My hike, if I make it, is going to officially end at the monument. Yes, I rewrote my rules & I am so happy I did. I have had a classic case of summit fever and thanks to the help from Rolling Thunder I really see it clearly. I set out to hike a contiguous hike along the PCT between Mexico & Canada. Well that became impossible with the fire closure. I have been bummed and decided the way to deal with it would be to go hike the closed section immediately after I reached Canada. Thus I have been focusing too much on the goal (summit) and not the journey. This thinking always leads to disappointment because if I write a story and the story is not implemented perfectly my expectations are not met & I am disappointed. Wrong thinking.
I have had the summer of my life and to be disappointed is simply crap. So I wrote the rules & now I am changing them. I am now hiking the PCT from Mexico to Canada – and oh yea part of the trail was closed when I got there and so I had to miss it. Oh sure I will hike that section. In fact I will likely do it after our family reunion in mid October. But, if I make it to Canada I am not going to stand at the monument and say “well this is nice but I am not done”. Rather I plan to scream my lungs out that I hiked the PCT from Mexico to Canada. No asterisk, no qualifiers. This change in perspective has been great & as a result now Thunder & I are planning on slowing down a bit. Planning on taking a few more zeros and enjoying our last weeks on the trail rather than trying to figure out crazy logistics of getting back to Oregon and through a section that is likely to still be closed. On mountains, summit fever kills people. On the trail, summit fever takes you out of the now and has you projecting into the future. But the now is the only thing that is of real importance. I can not change the past, nor can I always meet my expectations for the future. What I can do, is live for the present.

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