Day 88

Another cold morning, this time though the sun didn’t find me until I had been hiking for two hours. I climbed up a pass then and out of a deep north-south valley and the sun instantly warmed me. I then had a long descent to a junction where I could go to the highway and head to town, or climb back up to the divide and loop to the same highway further up, in about twice the distance. I debated on the way down, that I was too tired, my legs too turned to mush to keep going up when town was right there. What did I have to prove by going the “hard” way?

My pro arguments were pretty lame – I had food that would be wasted, and maybe the views would be worth it (the cynical part of me certain that it would all be the same as what I had already seen in CO). When I hit the junction, I went the hard way and all I can say is that I’m wired to do things “right”. Or I’m too stubborn to take the easy way sometimes. That’s not as profound a reason as it could be, but seriously I don’t know why I do what I do sometimes.

It turned out well. I stopped for lunch high on the climb up to the divide. Marmots frolicked around me while I lounge in the sun reading my book (actually I think I was near their nest and they were mad). When I got up to the top, the loop was mostly on good trail with a bit of snow. I had great views that managed to be unique and interesting. Can’t complain 🙂

I eventually got back to the highway and quickly got a ride with an RV containing an older couple and their 20-something daughter, Tanya (?). By strange coincidence she had planned to do the CDT this year but had it derailed by some career stuff. They drove out of their way to drop me off at the post office in Salida. I got my box, checked in at the local hostel, then went out in search of Monday Night Football, beer, and food. I’ll probably take tomorrow off and let my legs recover a bit before heading back up into the mountains.

Daily Summary
Date: Sept 19, 2011
Day 88
Daily Distance: 19 miles
Trip Distance: 1683.8 miles

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3 Responses to Day 88

  1. susan says:

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same, 10

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    I couldn’t resist

  2. Dave Rodenhuis says:

    Hooray for doing things the hard way; your way. I was not disappointed!

  3. susan says:

    I’m really on a roll here–Further to our conversation about Walt Whitman and Leaves of grass-this is the section I was thinking of, but other parts are wonderful too…..

    A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is, any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, A scented gift and remembrancer, designedly dropt, Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say, Whose? Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation. Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic; And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones, Growing among black folks as among white; Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same. And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves. Tenderly will I use you, curling grass; It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men; It may be if I had known them I would have loved them; It may be you are from old people, and from women, and from offspring taken soon out of their mothers’ laps; And here you are the mothers’ laps. This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers; Darker than the colorless beards of old men; Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths. O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues! And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing. I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women, And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps. What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere; The smallest sprout shows there is really no death; And if ever there was, it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas’d the moment life appear’d. All goes onward and outward—nothing collapses; And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

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