Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 148- Franconia Ridge; A Tough, Beautiful, Meaningful Day One For The Books

I'm not sure if it was a California king or not, but it was the most comfortable bed I've slept on in 5 months. Lynn got up early as usual and I think she went to breakfast with the guys, I woke up around 8:00 and sent Tumbles a text to have Lynn pick me up a breakfast sandwhich while they were there. To my surprise, Yetti walked in and handed me breakfast in bed, he then made the remark that he couldn't believe he just did that and he should have made me get up for it-sucker! I had more respect than to eat in Dan's bed, so I took a photo of course and then ate out on the couch. It was the first time I've had an appetite for something and I really enjoyed my ham, egg, and cheese. Dan was still sleeping; he, Yetti, and Breaktime went out to the bar last night and he was pretty drunk. We all packed up, filled up with water, and waited to get back to the trailhead. On our way, we stopped at an outfitter so Tumbles could get a Camelbak and so Lynn could get gloves. We got back to the trail and had to re-walk a little of what we had done the day before. It was already 80 degrees and humid and my pack was unbelievably heavy. I was already off to a great start, and the my glasses fogged up and that is beyond annoying. I was in one of those places where I was just unhappy. I was sweating bullets, the weight was heavy, and I just wanted to go back to hanging out at Dan's. I was at the back of the pack and the climb up was just a staircase of rocks. I stopped by the caretaker's platform for the tenting area and sat to eat a snack. After a little Dreadlock Pirate the caretaker came over and we talked for 10-15 minutes. I knew I had to get moving since I move slow so on I went. Then not even 5 minutes later was a spring, so I sat and got water. This humidity is really messing with me. Getting up to Franconia Ridge was a tough climb, once we got there though the views were amazing. I looked off into the far distance and knew I would be heading there, and passed, and at first it was encouraging. It felt like since I could see my destination it made it easier to achieve. We walked along the ridge taking photos and watching the guys up in the plane gliders. They made an interesting noise but were fascinating to watch. I took on some yoga pose opportunities and before I knew it the ridge seemed longer and longer. That final mountain I once thought wasn't too far away, now seemed like it grew further and further away. Ravioli and Yetti waited for us to make sure we were okay and we got a group shot with Puzzle, Atlas, and Shay as well. They headed on, and we took our time. I felt so drained and exhausted. The way down was anything but easy. Our plan was to stealth on top of Garfield tonight but I wasn't sure I was going to make it that far. Once we got down off the rock and back in the tree line the path wasn't terrible, I was just ready to be done. The lack of appetite over the last few days have left me drained of energy. I decided in my mind I was going to stealth at the pond at the base of Garfield. I found Puzzle and Lynn getting water, and though I don't ever drink from ponds, I had no other choice. I filtered the water and down walked Yetti. Seems they were all stealthing up there and he came down to get water for the group. I wonder why he is always designated water boy? He asked if we would be joining and I declined unless he wanted to carry my pack up-which he did not. Lynn said yes. I looked around and there were no spots to camp at. I really wanted to be at the top for the sunset like our original plan, but I was so wanting to just be left alone. It was already 7:00 and the sun would be setting any time now. What would be the point to hike to the top to see the sunset, after the sun has set? My body walked up that mountain and to my surprise, it wasn't as long as I thought it would have been. I even caught the sun setting. There was an old foundation up there that the guys were making dinner at; Yetti set up his hammock in the trees down below, Breaktime and Ravioli each set up their tents on the rock, so I decided I would set up within the foundation. Puzzle ended up joining too and he cowboy camped outside of the wall. Lynn stayed downin her tent, and the guys and I hung out within the foundation. After Breaktime and Ravioli headed to bed, it was just Yetti and I. The stars were amazing up in top of the mountain and I was super jealous he kept on seeing shooting stars. I sat in my tent with the rainfly off and he sat behind me; we talked for a really long time. And then I saw my shooting star. It's amazing how you can open up, and just be honest with someone you have just met a few weeks ago. I feel like I have known Yetti for years and it hasn't even been 2 months. He said that today was his favorite day so far on the trail; being up on Franconia Ridge, the sunset, and now the stars. It was an extremely tough day for me and we have different outlooks on our experiences but I did agree it was an amazing night and I am glad I pushed to come up. Sometimes you just have to look for the qualities in others that you admire, to absorb and implement into your own life. He headed back down to his hammock, and I laid down beneath the stars in full exposure.

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