Camp is stirring. I’m a little nervous about today. I haven’t put any weight on my legs – hope they hold! I’m bummed cause I think I forgot my water flavoring.
My first night in a tent was awesome. I slept like a rock. Guess I better start figuring out what my systems are for getting ready. We’re pulling out at 9am so I have a little time. My pack is a disaster! Ha! Love you! Wish you were here!
*Greg slept in this awesome hammock the whole trip.
Packing up our packs and Greg just came up and asked if he could carry my food. I looked at him in awe and it was everything I could do not to cry. Writing this though – the tears are coming! That’s 12 pounds off my back today. Jake – The Lord is watching out for me. It’s humbling.
Just peed and I’m ready to hike.Just waiting for a little more water to filter before we set out. The locale is amazing. We camped near a lake and a creek. It’s quiet and grand. The sun is high and its getting hot. I have a feeling its going to be a hot one today. And the mosquitos are active.
I wish I’d brought a Camelbak for my water. The system would work better for my needs. And yes – I’ve verified that I left my water flavoring. Bugger!
Yesterday we heard thunder and got a few sprinkles of rain, but it cleared away and the stars were magnificent. I’m humbled by the Lord’s artistic nature. He knew what He was doing to create a world so full of beauty.
I look forward to being able to share these moments with you and the kids. I sat on a rock cliff overlooking the lake and I was speechless. I could have sat there for hours. I offered a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude and pleaded with the Lord to watch over me today – to help me through. It was right after I came down that Greg approached me about taking my bear canister. My heart is full. I think we’re ready to hike. I love you. Wish me luck!
How can it only be 2:22? It feels like 6pm!
Jake!!! I’m doing it! We finished Day 2! It was “just” a 4 mile hike. Whatever. It took 4 hours. It poured rain. Thunder cracked over head. The 4 miles were exclusively uphill. Straight over a mountain. Ridiculous switchbacks for days. At least it felt that way. Honestly it’s a miracle I’m here.
I’m sitting on a rock overlooking Peeler Lake. The skies are grey and its quite cold. I feel alive. I took a quick spit bath in my tent. All fresh clothes. Now I’m wearing my fleece jacket plus my down jacket. I’m glad I have the right tools. I wish I had a pack cover though. That would have been so much better than the tarp/poncho combo.
So, there were a few really amazing moments today. Miracles really.
I’m slow. Like the slowest one here. Someone is assigned to go last – but it’s not me. But they know I’ll be back there with them. I was just putting one foot in front of the other.
We had been hiking probably an hour and a half to two hours when the rain started. James, Ben and I were way behind the others. I was giving James photography lessons. It made me feel useful and helped take my mind off the fact that I was slowly dying.
We were crossing a river and I slipped on a rock and almost went down. I didn’t fall in the water, but I might have. We crossed the river and the rain picked up and the thunder started and it was time to put on rain gear. I was getting all outfitted when we saw Greg come running down the mountain. Running! He wasn’t wearing his pack. He stopped in front of me and asked me if he could carry my pack for me up the switchbacks.
Can you believe that?!
I looked at him in shock and did my darndest not to cry. He put my pack on his shoulders and took off, running back up the mountain! I was so overcome by gratitude that as I started up those ridiculous switchbacks, being pelted by hail, pouring rain, and lightning overhead, I cried. I cried tears of joy and thankfulness that Heavenly Father knew what I needed on this trip.
Jake – you aren’t here, but I’m being taken care of!
Without my pack it was a fairly easy jaunt up the switchbacks to the place where everyone was waiting. As we headed out again, I had my pack on my back. I started out first to get a head start. I didn’t want to hold them up. A short time after I started I realized that everyone was right behind me like a train. We were still climbing up and I was still slow. I motioned for everyone to go around me.
Matt said, “No! You are doing great! This is a great speed. Take all the time you need.” Again. The support of these men is overwhelming me. They are courteous and kind asking if I’m okay. Not complaining that we’re going slow. Encouraging me and applauding me when I succeed. I feel safe. This is the work of Heavenly Father. He knew how important this is for me and He’s helping me along the way.
I’m getting cold and I have time for a nap before dinner and I’d be a fool not to take advantage of that!
Jake – I love you more in this moment than I ever have and I feel so close to you. I hope all is well at the Country Home!
By the way – I am really starting to smell. Ha!
We’re sitting around a campfire. I and a 2 1/2 hour nap and my body needed it. My body is sore. I have a hot spot on my heel.
Sweetie – I miss you. I think I may have some homesickness. I miss YOU. All of these amazing things happening and I want to share them with you. I want to be a better person. I want to be a better mother. I want to be a better wife. I just want to be better in my life.
Challenging myself like this is amazing. I can feel myself shedding layers I don’t want to hang on to. After dinner we did some meditation and discussed an article by James Allen called ‘The Shedding of Ourselves’. Then we discussed our our actions can keep us separated from others. It was a great colloquia. We talked as the sun went down.
Did I mention that when I woke from my nap there were blue skies and a bit of sunshine? It felt like a new day after the numbing wet cold. Conversation after dinner was profound and thought provoking. Greg is a mentor and I think he would be the perfect fit for Josh. The Lord knows! And again I’m humbled. He’s placed me in the vicinity to get to know Greg and it’s at the perfect time when we’ve been looking for a mentor for Josh!
When we got to camp I wrapped my arms around Greg and hugged him and told him how as I looked over the lake this morning I asked Heavenly Father to help me today. And then there was Greg. Carrying my food and charging down a crap ton of switchbacks to carry my pack.
Tonight we talked about moments we saw where others inspired us. Several people talked about Greg helping me. Evidently as soon as they reached a stopping point on the switchbacks where they could have some shelter from the rain, Greg dropped his pack and dashed off down the mountain telling everyone, “I’m going to go get Amy’s pack for her!”
I had to of course give a speech and thank everyone – while I was crying. So many tender mercies on this trip through these amazing people. I’ve always been met with a smile and support. I’m so far out of my comfort zone, and yet, I feel secure.
Laura, my tent mate is awesome! She’s struggling a bit too, but continues to just do it. She inspires me!
I’m so tired, even after a nap. This outdoor living isn’t for wimps! Time for bed. I’m praying for you. I’m thinking of you constantly. Thank you!
*A side note on the picture below: Greg wore these shoes THE ENTIRE WEEK. Meaning he wore them backpacking, running, summiting mountains, every where! They are Amuri Cloud from Xero Shoes.
A few notes not from my journal:
As I transcribe my journal, I wonder if I conveyed how much this day meant to me. In any other group, my participation could have been a disaster. There could have absolutely and understandably been grumbling and annoyance at my pace and my need. Instead there was complete acceptance. I was welcome and not only welcome, they were thankful to have me along. Simply unbelievable!
After our discussion at the fire, the conversation turned to the plan for the next day. We sat under the shadow of Crown Peak, elevation 11,346 (our beginning elevation at the trail head was 7092 ft) and it seemed every person at the fireside wanted to conquer that peak. My eyes were wide as saucers as I looked around at the group. Were they insane?
I asked if there was a possibility of me going part way up and then waiting for them. Pete suggested we go up in two groups. The *fast* group and a *moderate* group – which was a polite way of saying “slow as hell cause we’ll have Amy along”.It was also a challenge by choice and was not mandatory, but I thought I should try it. Though as I was tucking myself into bed, I was thinking that maybe I would stay back and wash clothes, read a book, and take advantage of a rest day.
Stay tuned for Day 3.
*Checking out the route for climbing Crown Peak the following day…
They are saying, “That doesn’t look so bad. We’ll just shimmy our way right through there.”
I’m thinking, “You guys are insane. How in the world are you going to get to the top of that mountain?”