Mornings have become more of a struggle recently. I can feel the temperature drop as we get closer to fall. I still wake up at 5:30, but it's taking me a few extra hours to unzip my cozy little bag and face the day. A stove is starting to sound real nice.
One morning was particularly difficult. I hit my internal snooze button five times before packing up. It wasn't raining, but the drizzle managed to make everything wet and the wind was relentless. One advantage to hiking SOBO is that I've been through worse. This was nothing compared to the earlier storm I was stuck in up at Fire Creek Pass. I can handle it.
Just as my morale was starting to fade, I bumped into this Bad Ass NOBO chicka with a cigarette in her hand and an ear to ear smile. We stopped for a few minutes and shared stories and laughs. She had two ankle braces and needed surgery, but that didn't stop her. These thru hikers are a different breed of human. There was no view, we were both cold and wet, but her company lit up my soul. Again, it felt like the best day ever.
People on the trail are like the vistas, both so breathtakingly special... but then you leave 'em behind, never knowing if you'll see them again. Memories. I'm holding on tight to these memories.