Friday, May 14, 2010

Cymbals crashed

New leaf in Georgia

I'm trying to plan my trip to California, and it's not going so well. So far my plan is to spend about three weeks doing about 250 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, which is not all that ambitious, considering the scope of some of my previous adventures. But I'm trying to hike north of Yosemite National Park, in early June, which means that my problems with snow will probably be significant. If you've read any of my other journals, you know that I don't always do that well with snow.

I'm hoping that I've made progress since then, that I've become a better snow-walker. I did do a fair amount of snowshoeing in Maine, and also tried a lot of walking on icy snow in crampons. If you recall those journals, though, I also did a fair amount of wallowing. Wallowing is never good for one's psyche. Or one's daily mileage. I can't decide if my plan is ambitious in a good way, or ambitious in a dangerous, I'm-going-to-die way. Which is always the fatal flaw with any of my plans.

If you recall, this was my major dilemma with the boat, too. It's at this point that I always say: screw it. If I die, I die. A lot less amusing when I'm standing at the edge of a field of snow at 9000 feet by myself with only a pair of running shorts, a backpack, and an ice axe.

Bravery is an interesting virtue. We revere it, or at least I do, and I have a tremendous amount of healthy respect for it. And some scorn. What's brave for one person is folly for another. But what's wrong with folly? Only death. That's what's wrong with folly. And pain. Pain is always a significant companion in any hiking adventure, something else that I always forget until about the second mile.

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