Monday, August 17, 2015

June 19 Day 56 - June 21 Day 56 Heart of Darkness

June 19 - As Guy was setting up the bear hang last night, and I was setting up my sleeping area, I heard a rumbling coming toward me. Something big was moving very fast in my general direction. My heart rate immediately increased as my mind jumped to the conclusion that it was probably a moose. Moose are NOT to be trifled with. They can and will attack if they feel threatened or annoyed. My eyes were scanning the dimly lit brush beyond my shelter for something I could make out. It was one of those times I wished I had actually brought my glasses on trail. I was convinced I would break or lose them if I did.

A head emerged and to my utter surprise it was a light brown horse. A wild horse? It looked awfully well fed and fit and it trotted very purposefully over to me and then toward Guy and then down the road. It had a destination in mind for the evening. We burst into laughter as the initial tension needed a release and the randomness of the encounter tickled us.

This morning we ran into a ranger first thing in the morning who was leading a pack of horses and mules out and asked us if we had seen a horse pass through. The mystery was solved. They had all escaped from the ranger station that night and that horse never came back. She said that he probably went to the trail head as he was prone to do. A 28 mile hike for her to catch him today.

We did about 30 miles today, though 34 trail miles, having taken an alternate that cut 4 miles off. It put us in front of Apache again, who passed us later in the day very confused as to how he was passing us again! We all had a fun laugh about his confusion. He hadn't seen the alternate and so we were conveniently placed just in front of his path when we emerged from our little excursion.  We camped in a burn area, surrounded by dead trees that make the eeriest noise as the wind blows through them.

June 20/21 - Today was a rough day. We only did 22.4 miles today and 25 the next day only because we just couldn't motivate ourselves. It was mostly me really. I have been down. I feel jaded, tired, emotionally exhausted. I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to do something more purposeful with my life. I feel selfish and purposeless. There is a lot going on in the world that I could be helping with and instead I'm hiking for 5 months. Completely self-indulgent. That's how it feels sometimes. Unfortunately my discussions about my feelings and my perceptions got Guy down too. That just made me feel worse of course. Now I was bringing him down, someone who hadn't had any hiker fatigue.

As we were taking a 2 hour break, staring at the Chinese Wall, a gorgeous part of the Bob where the Earth's Crust juts out of the ground, another hiker walks by and we chat with him. He talks about The Wind River Range, coming up in Wyoming. The Winds, he says, are so magnificent they make you remember why you fell in love with backpacking in the first place. I needed that. And I needed the bacon that some rangers gave us at the end of the day when we ran into them making dinner.

Just not feeling the motivation. I need to get my mental state in the right place. Even if I wanted to quit, I'd still have to get out of the Bob. All you can do is keep walking.
(Chinese Wall)

The evening of the 21st we found this amazing campsite at the bottom of a hill and decided to cowboy camp there. We watched the stars and had a campfire where I cooked some tasty noodles. We slept under a big tree to keep the dew off of us and though a later night, a lovely one.

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