Once again I am struck by the beauty of the early morning here. I am out and on the trail before 6 am - likely too early but I want to have a relaxed hike. The walk along Bullfrog lake with the mist rising and the sun coloring the mountain tops is so beautiful and I am so grateful to be fully alive and be in the midst of all this, I cry. I cry as I hike and then pause to shout with glee and recite a German poem about mornings in my mind. And when that is not enough, more joy pouring out of me and into me, I drop my pack, do a few bows and dance and throw up my arms to take it all in. And then am able to just sit and be still. The rest of the hike, beautiful German morning, evening and hiking songs pour out of me. They have been my constant mantras and I have been singing them depending on my mood.
I pass Kearsage Lakes and am the first one on the Pass. It is cold and windy despite the sun and I put on everything I have. I still have 1.5 hours to wait and feel like a welcoming committee for the hikers who start coming up from civilization to go back into the wilderness. I see a road in the distance for the first time since July 29th and am not at all excited to eventually get back to roads and flat pieces of earth and houses and cars. And right around 9 am, there they are, Strider and Indy. They are flying up the mountain trail true to her name and are here before I know it. We hugs forever and take photos and then the task of organizing starts. Trash to her, new food from her, lots and lots I won't take and it will go back with her, waiting for me when I get to the motel. And then…there she is…my friend Sharon. As we hug I cry. The experience of having someone from home here, that she made all this effort to come here and meet me, to share my experience, to risk her recently operated on knee, to be hugged again by a wonderful woman who means so much to me and who I have known for so long…overwhelming! Eventually we settle down and decide what to do with our day. Strider has to head back down again and I will see her in 5 days. 5 days seems long and short at the same time.
Sharon and I decide to hang out at the pass and we talk and she shares poems with me; we gaze over the landscape, other hikers chat with us and we snack on glorious cheese and crackers and apples they have brought for me. After a few hours, we hike down towards Independence to Heart Lake and sit to talk more. Then the time comes to say good bye. She needs to head out towards LA early the next morning and I have to get back to my tent tonight. It is hard to leave and I wonder how having company and talking about my hike and work and friends and being able to share with another person will feel when I am alone again. We take our time to hug and she walks down the trail and I walk up the trail. After all this planning of being here on August 20th, it happened and is over. And I had the time to really let this day sink in and love every moment of it. I fly up the trail passing every hiker since I don't have a pack, am filled to the brim with dairy energy and love and get to my tent in record time. I again pause at the lakes to take in their beauty and when I see my lake and get to my tent it feels like coming home.
There is no way I can eat anything else today and I repack, revisit the day and conversations in my mind and sit and enjoy the evening. I am so full I can barely fall asleep. I can't even write my journal as too much is not processed yet in me - however I enjoy the quiet and being alone very much.