Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 7- Death

I've never been this exhausted in my entire life.  I hiked 8km today but an additional 2 or so trying to get my bearings.  While the terrain itself is difficult (a lot of rocks to climb, swamps and long grass to navigate through, and of course the incline) it is my 80lb pack that's proving the biggest obstacle.

EVERYTHING hurts.  My feet (even individual toes!), my ankles, my calves, my thighs, my butt (especially my butt), my lower back (ok- especially my lower back!), my shoulders, my chest... even my jaw from eating so many hard nuts for protein.  It is the first time that I can recall that I noticed my elbows- which also hurt from carrying the dry sack didn't fit into my main pack.

I worry about tomorrow and whether I'll be able to finish the trip.  I know I can make the next 7 days without a problem but I'm worried about starting the treacherous 16 day hike in the Western Uplands.  A lot of hills, a lot of long (10km+) hikes.  I don't know what I'm going to do.

Another problem that has presented itself- the poorly marked trails and no indicators of distances.  I missed my site last night (because I was supposed to turn down the side trail... no one told me that!) resulting in an extra few kilometers, and today I couldn't locate my campsite at all.  Eventually I became so tired I decided to just take a nap right in the middle of the path.

Now this wasn't as strange as it sounds.  I could walk for hours without seeing anyone else so I knew I wouldn't be in anyone's way, and I knew I wouldn't be disturbed either.  I just pulled out my pillow, lay down in the middle of the track and fell asleep.

Suddenly I was woken up by the sound of growling.  I didn't open my eyes- I knew a bear was about to rip my face off and I simply accept death.  Then I opened my eyes.

It wasn't a bear.  It was a hummingbird.

It was hovering inches from my face, it's wings beating so hard and fast it simply sounded like a growl.  Grrrrrrrrrr.  I was struck by the juxtaposition of a tragic expectation to a beautiful surprise: instead of being mauled and eaten I witnessed something wonderful I had never seen before.  It was amazing.

Other things of note- struggled to put up my bear-hang but got it up eventually, and I gave up on making a fire because it started to rain, relying instead on the little stove I brought with me. What a piece of shit that turned out to be- it doesn't even boil water!  Eventually I ate, then headed to bed. I love being out here.


1 comment:

  1. thats three times now that you have accepted death! LMFAO!