Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 5, Saturday, May 30, 10 a.m.

Cruel, steep slopes, unrelenting.
Snow, stone, rushing water;
They, my pleas, go unnoticed.

May 30, 2009 Mazama, Washington. Washington Pass is behind us now as is our innocence. 5400 feet straight up. More vertical than the ladder on a Louisiana water tower. Painful enough to elicit a “what were we thinking” that repeated itself like a metronome, a drum beat to the absurd. Once over, though, and a six-mile downhill to our camp it became “piece of cake” with leaden legs and “the little train that could.” The human mind grasps pain, remembers it, laments it for others, but doesn’t re-experience it acutely; hence, the crank can go on and the next pass call - against all good sense. What is that reward? The curiosity and desire for freedom that drives the child from the crib, as he falls on his head, an ego need to escape our earthly bonds? I’m not sure even with reflection but do know it’s a nice itch to scratch and seems to come with the original equipment - as clearly as does the love of a good rain, a good night’s sleep and some well-seared red meat - and I could go on: PG13 to Triple X.

We’ve come to rest for a good breakfast after four days of eating brown stuff - like brown rice. Dave, as a chef, has mastered the nutrition free meal and I that of chief non-contributing complainer. Everybody has their role imperatives and their mountains ahead.

Pat Sewell

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