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The High Sierras: Day 3

September 15, 2013
Day 3 was a zero day.  This meant a day in which we complete zero miles.  I adore zero days.  We made huevos rancheros for breakfast.  I sipped some green tea first just to test how my stomach was doing.  The tea tasted great.  The eggs tasted heavenly.
After breakfast, I decided to have a swim in the lake.  I climbed out to a rock and stepped cautiously in.  It was cold!  I waded in up to mid-calf.  Then I just jumped in.  I swam a little bit.  It was very refreshing after how dusty the trail had been.  I changed into my clean change of clothes and curled up with a book.  For lunch, I snacked on some trail mix.  My dad had been hiking around the ridge, exploring and calling for my brother who had not joined us the night before as planned…
My mood for most of the day was cautiously optimistic.  My brother is a pretty good navigator.  Also we were where we were supposed to be and I saw it as fairly feasible that he may have spent longer than planned with his high school friends before hiking out to meet us.
I climbed to the closest ridge.  The canyon we were looking down on is by some measurements the biggest in North America.  The views were breath-taking.  I looked around, did some calls for my brother.  Then I sat down to meditate.  In my meditative state, my fears looked to me like a black sticky spider-web, wrapped tightly around my mind.  I did some imaging picturing myself dispersing the web and freeing my mind up from it.  I did some relaxation breathing techniques and imagined myself free from the black webs.
I returned to camp, a much calmer, happier self. My mom was starting to show a lot of fear about where my brother was.  After dinner, she hiked to the best spot and called and called.  As I got ready for bed, I could hear the calls echoing around the canyon.
“I bet when there’s thunder storms, this whole canyon just booms with it,” I said to my dad.
“Yeah,” my dad said, “This would not be a fun place to be during a thunder storm or in the winter for that matter.  But its beautiful to visit right now.”
“You know what Dad,  I think I can pull off a ten mile hike tomorrow if [my brother] doesn’t show up before then.”
“You think so?  I won’t hold you to it.  We can camp part way if you have to but I know your mom will appreciate it a lot.  She’s worried.”
I climbed into my tent that night a much happier, calmer person than I had been that morning.  I’d cleaned up my body and mind and now felt ready for a push the next day.  As the day faded quickly into night, a sense of unease invaded the calm that I’d constructed for myself.  I wondered where my brother was.  Was he well and whole and happy.  I hoped maybe he had just had a chance to do something fun with his friends and decided to meet up with us after the trip.  But I feared he was lost in the woods and needed me.

From → Hiking, Monsters, Travel

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