This morning I wished for down pants, like Melissa Arnot and the rest of my heroes wear on Everest. Then I wished for my cycling knee warmers. They would fit perfectly under my compression shorts! Then I invented a backpacker’s dickie — a down jacket with arms and a turtleneck and chest cover that leaves the rest free to breathe. It was cold.
We rushed to put our things away, and actually got out of camp (in the middle of a boulder field made to conduct wind) in half an hour. After shivering in our tennies for twenty, the sun came out and smoothed over our goosebumps.
Today we saw pink cactus flowers — more surprisingly beautiful than anything I’ve seen out here yet. They blossomed into perfect flecks of vibrant color in an otherwise neutral landscape.
I thought a lot today about this journey we are on. Like the Camino, we are on a pilgrimage. Unlike the Camino, we have no purpose for walking this path. But, then again, we have no purpose in most of life, I do believe. The lack of purpose bothered me until I realized that maybe some of the kids we are helping to create scholarships for will get to follow in these well worn footsteps — maybe they’ll even have a part in protecting this land for their kids.
Then, after thoughts of my old man horse and how he would have never walked this trail, wonderings of many travels hoped for in the future, and fragments of song played again and again (if you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free, be free, there are a million ways to be…) by a windswept head, we arrived to camp.
I laughed so hard I almost peed when we were filtering our water for the night.
Avry said, “Don’t be a Platy pussy,” when my arm started to lag from the weight of the gravity filter (it is no weight at all, I must say).
“I am emailing that to them tonight — their new tagline, free to use anytime,” I screeched, wiggling around with glee.
And that is how it is out here. Unbridled, childish giddiness over nothing. And brooding melancholy over something far in the past. And trying not to pee.