Something clicked the other night. A grand shift in my understanding of what the hell I'm doing out here. My hiker moment. Its impossible to capture this feeling in words and photos, but its something I'll hold deep in my soul for eternity.
I started the Sierra sick and in a low morale. It was the first time I questioned whether or not I would be able to continue, now, moving closer to the highest passes on trail. I spoke with my mentor in my tiny Mammoth motel room and gained a world of confidence when he said, "You can fucking do this!" My miles were cut down to 10, maybe 15 a day and on antibiotics. No direct sunlight? At least my head and feet were covered.
9,000 feet, 10,000 feet, 11,000 feet... Heading towards Muir Pass, I decided to camp at Evolution Lake, a beautiful freezing mountain bowl just above the tree line. All rock and sand, I couldn't pitch my tent. I didn't want to. It was going to be cold, but I didn't care. I wanted to be under the bright sleepless moon and feel it all. She held me tight that night, wrapped up in the sun's reflection. It wasn't about me anymore. Ego dissolved and I was connected to the grand oneness of it all. This is what I signed up for. This is why I left my job and loved ones behind. This is it.
I woke up to a white sleeping bag covered in frost. BEAUTIFUL. An hour later and it was time to tan while I waited for the bag to dry out. I sat there for hours, thinking of all the beautiful people in my life, all the special memories I've been so lucky to share with others, and also, grateful to have this time alone to help me grow.