Monday, August 31, 2009

Sorta wish I'd seen a bear.

I hurt pretty much everywhere. And, when I go about proclaiming such a thing, I don’t mean to exaggerate. My neck hurts from the absence of some sorely needed sunscreen yesterday, my chest hurts from breathing hard enough to stop this old heart, my left knee hurts because of, well, something or other, the shoulders ache on account of a backpack filled with what ended up being too much water, my butt hurts due to some incredibly long hills (the up kind as well as the down), the arms hurt from their share of swinging and the feet are blistered more than they’ve been in ages (one even bled all over my foot like the red badge of courage it is).

There’s a reason for the madness: it’s something called Hurricane Pass over in Idaho. Seven of us climbed it and nobody died before it ended. Started in Driggs, ID and ended up in Wyoming. This 21-mile up-and-down stretch accounted for about 9 hours of my time. The funny part is that I largely enjoyed myself. Not for the whole time, mind you—I’ll be hobbling around like a wincing old man the next couple of days yet—but I’m glad I never acted on the thought to turn around before it was all over. (There may be a life lesson hiding in there.) I mean, I’d have missed a pretty spectacular view of the majestic Grand Teton if I’d had.

A little advice? When you’re told by someone the night before that your 21-mile jaunt is “not that hard,” find out how many marathons she’s finished in her life first. The many-marathoner in this scenario had done something like a baker’s dozen. If I added my half marathons together, they’d equal two fulls, but that doesn’t really count, now, does it?

The good parts that I can dwell on at the moment are easy to pull up. They mostly have to do with the outdoors. I certainly enjoyed the green trees and grasses, the many fields speckled with so many varieties of flowers and, oh yes, that one, lazy moose. I’m glad Britta was on hand to help herd me in the proper direction. I couldn’t stop staring at the waterfalls, plucked straight out of the Tropics. I even thrilled at falling into a slump and camping that night, waking up to the tallest pines these eyes have ever seen. A slight wind kept them swaying and my attention was rapt. Really and truly.

Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this. Maybe I should already be fast asleeping, trying hard to rejuvenate and the like. No more maybes. I succumb.



aisy said...

Sounds awesomely painful but mostly awesome.

Team O'Connor said...

You're brave Dainon. Saturday I hiked about 1 mile on the Appalachian Trail before the mosquitoes buzzing in my ear turned me around. I forgot repellent. I hate mosquitoes. Sounds like an amazing trip!

Mel said...

Wow, sounds amazing. Let's do it again someday?

Me said...

Oh my gosh! That's one of my favorite places to hike in the world. It's the most spiritual area I know of. I don't know how else to explain it. That's home to me. Literally and figurtively.