I’m all by myself tonight. Something large enough to break branches while walking through the woods is approaching. It’s night hikers!!! Whew.
They are gone. The more normal sounds are back. Me rubbing against the side of the tent. My pulse. A frog sounding like…unlike anything else in nature. A sort of quick repetitive clicks. Wind rustling leaves. Wind through the trees up high. Wind blowing my tent fly. A sniffing outside my tent. A group of turkeys or coyotes coming through. Two bucks fighting, antlers clashing with a sound you’ve never heard before but unmistakable.
My senses are heightened, for the first couple of nights. I get really on alert. Scared like a 10 yr old. This ten year old. I was never fearless, like some kids. I am definitely a kid out here when alone at a campsite. Not so bad when camping at a shelter. I guess I feel that I could run in there if I had to.
Last night I was so tired. I was in my tent. I laid down on my foam pad with my inflatable mattress stretched out on top of me, the open valve in my mouth. I was meditating as I inflated the thing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. I was breathing up my sleeping pad. Not enough energy to blow it up.
It’s 4 am. I went to sleep around 8. Before dark. I think I’ve slept enough. I guess. I’m not sleepy, obviously. I’m talking to you. Chris. CQ. Lindy. John. Dave. Larry. Betsey.
I have morning hikers body. Well, 71 yr old morning hiker’s body. No sharp pains. That’s good. Just a full ache happening anywhere I send my focus.
Whoa. Two owls vocally sparring. Sounds like a jungle sound. Like from a Tarzan film. OO OO OO OO AH AH AH AH!
I thought it would be raining by now. A young woman I passed said we would be sleeping with the rain on our tents tonight. Love that sound. Hate packing up in the rain.
I will be hiking in the rain today. I’m going to do the 16 miles in the next two days. I’d like to get at least 10 today. It’s doable. I start downhill and flattish, then a big climb. I’ll take it slow. Then down. That will be 10, I think. Sounds simple from here on my back. It won’t be.
I’m a section hiker. I have only had trail legs once. I dropped a bunch of weight a hiked a whole bunch. I could fly through the woods. That was 5 years ago. I’m trying, sort of, to get that way again. I think I can. Not sure it’s possible in my seventh decade.
71 trips around the Sun now for me. Pretty cool. I am Grateful to be who I am right now. Aches and all. I’m really living. I have amazing support from Yolande, my wife. Also from my friends. AA friends and regular people friends. I have a bunch of those, too now. From John and Gates and from the trail. I will write about John and Gates next, maybe.
Yesterday, I met Icarus. There’s another blog post coming from that encounter. Should have gotten a photo. Darn.
My back hurts.