I know you are all probably sick of me singing praises of Oregon, but when has anything anyone else said ever stopped me? (All the time, it turns out, but didn’t that sound good when I wrote it?)
We woke up in a nasty weather funk this morning, right next to the most hideous little mud pit that held the grossest bit of water. It was grey and cold and I didn’t want to.
We wandered through death for miles, almost the entire day, actually. I have never known death to be quite so awe inspiring.
The trail took us up and down, showing us stunning vistas of thousands of bare white trees, leeched of life by a fire some years ago. They went on and on into the forever, making me realize that death isn’t antithetical to beauty, that it too has its place on this planet, that while I can mourn the loss of the lush green life that used to reside here, I can exclaim, “how magnificent,” to what exists now.
The day continued that way, up and the “wow” of death and down and wriggling through green and fern and moss and life. It kept moving like that until the day was coming to a close, just after the alpenglow threw heart throbbing splendor over the massive mountain we ate dinner under, wondering at the frosty tip of the mountain, so many thousands of feet above.
It had just become pitch black when I heard a true rush of water. It was big and loud and awfully close. I fell down a steep pitch to a scary water crossing. Halfmile described it as “possibly dangerous” and it was. I had forgotten to get my headlamp out of my bag, and I was tripping along behind Felix in the dark, too close to camp to want to take off my pack and root around.
She would hop from rock to rock and turn around, letting me see what I was doing. It was terrifying. We kept moving higher and higher upstream, not finding rocks that would let us all the way across. My trekking pole fell into the water, and I grabbed it before it got away from me, almost falling in while bending so far down.
We finally got across the water, high up the stream (river? death trap?). Instead of following the bank back down to the trail, Felix started forging her way upward. We began rock climbing with 30 pound packs on. I kept following, and she kept climbing. We would not turn around. There was only forward!
As it became more and more clear that this was a bad plan, I started writing this blog in my head.
“Finally,” I would write, “I have found someone more stubborn than me.”
I’d finish, I decided, with, “see Boomerang, I am not the most unwavering person on the planet!”
But, more likely, we are two of the most stubborn people out here. Onward forever!