Monday, December 06, 2010

Gennett Poplar to Double Top

The massive Gennett Poplar

7.6 miles

It's supposed to be even colder tonight--the lower teens. Last night snow was falling on my sleeves--tonight a water bottle froze while my back was turned. I'm getting into a zone, though. I had forgotten all the tried and true tricks about preventing hypothermia. 1. Change immediately out of any and all clothes you were wearing upon hiking once you get into camp. 2. Dry base layer!

I'm hiking with far more clothes than I had on the Appalachian Trail, and I don't know if that's because I've gone soft or if it's really that much colder out here. I think it's because it's that much colder. Tonight's forecast was for eighteen degrees, in Chattanooga, and there's a lot more elevation out here. I thought the highest point was less than 2000 feet, but in reality it's 3700 feet, and I crossed over that mountain eysterday.

The truth remains: it is cold. Tonight I will sleep with my down jacket on inside of my fifteen-degree sleeping bag, and I will probably not be warm. It is supposed to be the best time to hike in this region of the country, because hikers don't need to worry about water, but water is still scarce. The thing is, it's not so cold that I really need to worry about dying either.

It's so worth it to realize that although it's not easy to live out here, exposed to the elements, it is possible. It makes me so happy, knowing that I'm capable of living this way. Every day that passes, I remember the things I'm capable of. I knew I was, but it's good to be reminded physically every once in a while.


Just Me:) said...

Wow Melissa, I have just spent the last 2 hours, at work, reading a bunch of your blog! You are even more amazing than I knew, & I thought I knew. When I first met you, I thought to my self, now there’s a kindred sprit (yes occasionally I channel Lucy M Montgomery). But as time went on I realized that if I had died, oh about 30 + years ago, you are who I would have wanted to come back as. Strong, beautiful, womanly, confidant in your spirituality and wonderfully human and now I know I really do want to be you when I grow up. What an amazing life you have lived in such a short time and on your own terms, that’s the important part, on your own terms. So many people find it hard to live the life they know is theirs to live, they settle, or make compromises, I mean we all compromise but when you let little pieces of yourself go because it benefits the many instead of the one (star trek, sort of), and you do that for a lifetime, you wake up one day, say at 50, and realize you’ve grown stiff, inflexible and it will take more than Yoga asanas to break through the scar tissue. Never doubt yourself, you keep doing what you know is the right thing for you.
And keep bloggin’ baby, you are incredibly articulate (I think I may envy that about you, but that’s not very yogi is it LOL) and wow what a writer.


Cheryl Murman

Melissa said...

So great to hear from you, Cheryl! I'm missing you, and missing my yoga--I do try to get a couple of down dogs in by the fire in my down jacket (my down dog jacket!!) but it's rough. I'll need some serious shoulder openers when I get back. Glad you enjoy the blog, too. I've been writing all along, but I have 43 minutes at the library to see how much I can get done.