Day 84

I had a big plan for a perfect hiking morning, but was foiled by beating the breakfast place open. Instead I just got an early start to the hike, in the rain.

I climbed up through a ski hill and joined the Colorado Trail – a well signed and graded trail. Apparently I get to follow it for the next few days. The trail climbed and the rain turned to snow and sadly I couldn’t see more than glimpses of what should have been great views. The trail then dropped back down into more rain. For once I actually liked snow better (don’t tell my friends from out east!) because the rain was just super cold.

Anyways, I’ve ended up in another town, Leadville and it looks like I’m back in the wilderness for the next 4 days.

Today is the four year anniversary of finishing the PCT. The end of the CDT still seems an awful long way off… I remember being met at the end of the PCT by my family, friends and girlfriend and being really touched/surprised that they all cared enough to be there for me. At the same time, the end didn’t seem as huge a deal to me as it ought to have. Really, I was just exhausted and glad to be done. There wasn’t a big sense of accomplishment. Relief is probably a better word. Relief to be done walking, that it hadn’t started snowing, that I didn’t get hurt near the end.

So here I am with a thousand or so miles left to go. Scary.

Daily Summary
Date: Sept 15, 2011
Day 84
Daily Distance: 21.1 miles
Trip Distance: 1595.5 miles

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3 Responses to Day 84

  1. susan says:

    Leadville? Is that the place that the great Casey (at the bat)struck out?

    Four years ago that you finished-wow I remember it as a magical night that we camped out at the end of the trail and how weird it was that we thought to go and see where you would cross….and then we heard voices and there you were! It’s always better not to think of the end too soon, don’t you think? Although I was thinking that you could miss both Canadian and American Thanksgiving. That can be remedied however. xo

  2. susan says:

    Mudville not leadville.

    The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
    The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
    And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
    A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

    A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
    Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
    They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –
    We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

    But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
    And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
    So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
    For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

    But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
    And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
    And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
    There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

    Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
    It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
    It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
    For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

    There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
    There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
    And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
    No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

    Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
    Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
    Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
    Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
    “That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
    Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
    “Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
    And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

    With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
    He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
    He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
    But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

    “Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

    The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
    But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

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