Erik (eriktrips) wrote,

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zen and the art of trail maintenance

I wanted to write about my backpacking trip but I've been up since 9pm last night and have been on the internet ever since I woke up. I think I am experiencing hormone lag as I actually went the full 8 days and did not realize it was shot time until iCal reminded me and that made me think that the hour nap I took after sleeping 12 hours probably was not random and it probably is not random that I did not wake up from the nap particularly rarin' to go. (Where does that phrase come from? What is "rarin'"? Or "raring", its assumably grammatically correct form? Why don't I just google it? I forget sometimes that I can do that now.)

The rain has been falling for a couple of days I guess. I lose track because my sleep cycle is so eccentric. It is actually happy chance that I decided to come home on Thursday, though, as it started raining that night and I was having trouble sleeping in my tent anyway and sleeping in a tent being rained on while in very painful back pain would not have made me a happy camper. As it turned out, I got up at 5am on Thursday morning precisely because I could not find a non-painful position anymore--not even with three piles of clothes underneath various parts of my body for support--but I had slept 10 fitful hours which was enough I guess for a relatively normal day and so I got up in the dark of night so dark that I could not see the ground at my feet.

So I made myself a big cup of coffee and pulled out a couple of handwarmers because it was breezy and rather chilly and I mainly looked around at stuff as the sun slowly rose somewhere on the other side of the ridge to the east of me. I only got to see the sky lighten but it did sure as it does every morning. I skulked around the campground with my headlamp off looking for animals but there were not many to be seen other than quail. Did catch sight of at least three bunnies, all of whom froze when they saw me. Two scampered away immediately but the last one I saw stared at me until this bird flew down behind him and squawked like he was telling him to hide you fool that's a human over there. Then he dove into the scrub.

Saw one deer. Heard many red-tailed hawks, saw a couple of turkey vultures.

My campsite was quite beautiful and soon I hope to post some pics maybe before I nod off this afternoon so as not to have been completely idle these last 24 hours. I was in a grove of douglas firs, basically, where the underbrush had been cleared so there was a nice carpet of needles covering everything and the whole site was in the shade. Granted that made things a bit cool but that meant that for the most part I could avoid sweating if I planned my latrine visits carefully and removed some layers before walking in the sun.

That said, the clothes I hiked up Mt Wittenberg in did not dry until--well they are in the back room and they may be dry now but with this rain I dunno. Must check soon though because the tent and sleeping bag must go up next. One shirt almost got dry but my hat only got wetter hanging up in the fog and my windbreaker also--the outer layer of fabric is hydrophilic, which is great for keeping the inside dry, but it also sucks moisture out of the air. I did not use it because it became very damp immediately and remained that way. Sort of useless but it works well here in the city where I can bring it inside at night.

Backpacking at the seashore in the fog and rain does have its complications. I must say though that I was pleasantly surprised that my tent did not collect much moisture at all.

But what I meant to say was that getting up at 5 and waiting for the sun to rise in the middle of the forest was something that I would be willing to go back and try to work out a better sleeping arrangement for. On my way out--which was too late, but maybe it will stay this way for next time--I noticed a tiny trail and a pile of droppings that were old on the bottom and new on the top, and then across the people trail was another tiny trail leading up the little hill and off into the trees. Someone obviously uses that route and marks that spot quite regularly and I wish I had noticed this when I came in because right nearby would have been where I would have sat and waited while the sun was coming up. I do not know exactly whose path I discovered because I badly wanted to see a bobcat and I saw some scat that could have been carnivorous but because I had bobcats on the brain I did not make note of just what sort of poo was in this little hole by the side of the trail.

Surprise for next time, perhaps.

Pt Reyes is considering raising its camping fees, though, so I might have to try the state park nearby instead. It should be drier there in any case--further inland.

Getting back to today's mood, I think that shot day combined with this book I decided Friday that I must read have made me completely useless. Tomorrow there should be energy available for me somewhere. The book is C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy and it is about as scary and depressing as it sounds. I felt like I needed to read some concrete details about the relationship between the religious right and the government though, and from a sympathetic point of view, of course. I am halfway through the book and halfway freaked out and halfway resigned and halfway all zen-like, thinking well if they lead us into the apocalypse we will either survive or we won't and if we don't then we won't care any longer and the earth will outlive us anyway and thoughts of infinity and our own ephemerality and comfort therein and c. and c..

Still, I had a horrible dream as soon as I fell asleep after putting it down. I'm not going to chronicle it here because other people's dreams are not nearly as compelling as our own but I did have to wake myself up and write down everything I could remember about the dream before I could go back to sleep without slipping right back into it.

Anyway. I'm oddly glad that I am reading it though. Might have more to say after I get through all of it.

Choice between now and bed: continue processing photos to post on Flickr or read Sandman? This is not an easy one. I can put my feet up to read though. Hm.

This entry was composed @Dreamwidth.
Feel free to comment either here or there.

Post@Dreamwidth | Comments@Dreamwidth comment count unavailable

Tags: back pain, backpacking, politics, rain, sleep

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