Saturday, August 25, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye

     Summer is coming to an end; time to update those blog posts.  Within the last week several of the bloggers I follow, who are as remiss as I am about posting, have updated their sites;  I thought I should follow suite.  Being the youngest child of three (and the only girl),  I am constantly scrambling to catch up, and this is no different.
    I openly apologize if this post sounds like an annual holiday letter, but it has been a year and there has been a myriad of change.  Oh forget it, I'm not going to go through my grocery list of changes, so banal -I'm having a brief love affair with my thesaurus so forgive me-, instead I will tell a story (she says chewing her pencil into pulp).
     The last backcountry excursion I took with Trevor before my TM onset was July 2007. We were in the Cascade mountains for four days and we spent our days hiking from our base camp to explore the mountain.  Even though it was July, there were still snow patches to traverse and we hadn’t bought crampons, but we were not concerned and felt well-prepared.  We crossed one such patch in the morning and the snow was firm and we were sure-footed as we continued down to one of many lakes, all alone save for the beasts and one fanatic, yet inspiring, ultra marathoner out for a run with his dogs.  I enjoyed passing through the soft meadow dotted with wildflowers down to the surprising starkness of the lake, but my thoughts would drift with anticipation to our eventual ascent to the top of the mountain where the promise of the yet unseen vista beckoned.
     Hiking back from the lake we discovered that the firm batch of snow we handily crossed was now soft, slippery slush.  This alone would not be a problem but the trail hung narrow on the side of the mountain and to lose our footing would mean a serious and dangerous slide.  We crossed together and it felt like walking on a pile of banana peels, soft and slick. Trevor had a frightful moment as his foot slipped off the trail and (thankfully) landed on his butt.  We managed to navigate safely across, and now had to cross another narrow strip to continue toward the vista or we could  return to base camp.  Trevor, sweaty and out of breath, declined to cross with me. Try as I might I could not persuade him, so I headed over on my own.
    Grabbing two pointed stones I made my way across like a spider, toe jamming into snow followed by stone in hand buried in the snow, securing my place. Once I hit the hard packed soil, I scrambled to the top and caught my breath.  It may not have been one of the highest peaks on earth, but the expanse of the valley floor 8,000 feet below coupled with the adrenaline rushing through my veins and I felt I was in the presence of something greater than myself.  My only sadness was that Trevor was not there to share it with me.  I ambled along the narrow ridge breathing in the thin, clean air and caught a glimpse of another version of myself following that trail onward towards more adventures.  I looked down again, had a moment of vertigo and envisioned myself falling off that mountain. I decided then to turn around and make my way back to Trevor, who was patiently waiting on the other side.           
     There is no doubt that I desperately long to be able to throw my backpack on my back and go wherever the hell I want, but there are still an infinite amount adventures out there for me.  I have been enjoying challenging myself to explore new territory - taking public transportation solo and pursuing new interests and a new career.  But above all- I always have Trevor patiently waiting- that is my greatest treasure.

5 comments:

Graham said...

you continue to amaze me. Trevor too. always a bright side. here's to crossing a few patches of snow this year and safe return.

Anonymous said...

beautifully written. and inspiring. thank you, with much love, mom

Jennifer Homan said...

Loved this piece. I felt i was there on that trail too. Beautifully written!

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