Thursday, August 02, 2007

I am weary, let me rest

Ok. In the last six days I: have watched fire dancers shake it in a drum circle, listened to more bluegrass and cabin funk that I thought existed, danced like a maniac, hiked so long I thought I would never walk again, climbed mountains, saw/ate more blueberries than a grizzly bear in fall, camped on top of a mountain, wondered if life gets any better about a zillion times.
These fabulous events began with the Anderson Bluegrass Festival on the weekend where whole bunch of us camped together including some musicians, so when we weren't at the maain stage there was always banjos and guitars going at camp. Sam compared the whole festival to a Grateful Dead show with the diversity of festivalgoers, the music, the vendors, and rows upon rows of tents. In a word, it was trippy. I vow here and now to make Anderson part of our summer routine.

We got home from Anderson Sunday night and early Monday morning I grabbed my pack and headed to the White Mountains with Richard. The first day we did 12 miles (18kms). We made it to Lee's Cabin (A BLM public-use cabin) and then tried to go on to Moose Creek Cabin but our plan was thwarted by water and mud that made the trail impassable. We went back to Lee's, sat on the porch and enjoyed the scenic vista. The next day we headed back the way we came in, but cut across Ski Loop Trail to Summit Trail. For about the next four hours we climbed. A lot of the trail was marshy so our feet were soaked throughout. I thought my shoulders and legs would never recover. My pack was only about 30 pounds but since I haven't backpacked that long before, my body just wasn't used to it. After six and half hours of climbing up mountains, down ridges and back up, I was done. We still hadn't found the shelter that was on the map so we turned around and found a sweet spot on top of a mountain. It was windy but a small stand of trees sheltered us from the wind and it wound up being the best camping I've ever experienced. The view was amazing. We cooked dinner and played cards before turning in. I slept really well except for the full spasms I experienced about every hour. Wednesday morning we got up and out early and hiked the last eight miles back to the truck in about four hours, climbing back up and over the domes we had summited the day before. It was a little hard to get going that morning as it was a little chilly and my boots and socks were still wet from the day before. Rich, of course, had no problem with any of this as he's a maniac hiker, but I had trouble walking last night when we got home. We figured we did 35 miles in two full days. Rich and I both had to work last night but I'm feeling much better today and can't wait to do it again.
We saw lots of bear and moose tracks and scat, but no animals.

Bear track.
Blueberries o' plenty.
The view from our camping spot.

Rain's a comin'.
We were trying to decipher how long this boardwalk had been there.

Rich climbing.

Magic mushrooms.

Into the clouds.

It was too cold to even get out of my sleeping bag for breakfast. Rich took the pics of me.

Rich, above, and me, below, climbing. Always with the climbing.

I got to work last night and got a call from a woman who said she found Ruffles in her front yard when she got home from work. I went to pick up the old girl, who was apparently playing like a puppy when they found her. They thought for sure there was another dog but sadly, no, Ruffles was playing by herself probably imagining another dog with her. She made it five miles. When I got her home, I opened the car door and to the other barking dogs said 'Look who's back again.' It reminded me of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' when the grandmother wanders off and is repeatedly brought back by the neighbours. 'Look who's back again. Hi Yaya.'
I laughed all the way back to work.
This Saturday is our annual RibFest so for those who I haven't called yet (Libs, Mary, Jeremy) the keg is tapped is noon and ribs are served at four. The party goes all night.

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