Today’s trek was about 11-12 miles, I think. Since we got off to a late start, I was inclined to kick into gear right off the bat. My miles of weighed-down training seemed to pay off. I had to keep backing off to let the others catch up. I didn’t mind stopping to regroup; I would prefer it over easing up as slower paces tend to make my knees and low back ache more.
The views along the way were beautiful. Tall pines, green ferns, colorful wildflowers, waterfalls, and STEEP granite climbs. Picturesque, yet painfully hard at times. This is just the beginning. It’s the easy stuff. I know that there are far more difficult ascents ahead of us but my body is still acclimating to the higher elevation. Thankfully, I have diamox to assist in the acclimation.
TheMAN and I are trying a new approach to hydration that I read about on the ultralight backpacking websites I discovered just days before this trip. At each water stop, we’re drinking a liter in full, then carrying a liter to keep us hydrated until the next fill stop. It saves 2.5 pounds of weight yet insures that you drink well along the way. It’s only problematic if there are too many miles in-between these fill ups. Since I seem to be drinking much faster than everyone else, I tend to run out of water sooner.
Today was a lesson in patience, letting go of preconceived expectations, and finding calmness when panic sets in. When I am woozy, tired, angry, hurt, I am not in the moment. For when I focus on the here and now, I realize that all is well. I show no signs what-so-ever of dehydration. In fact, because I have drank far more than my companions, I am actually better hydrated than them. Panic falls away and I see beauty all around me.
We are in Paradise. Upper paradise to be exact.