A Bump in the Road

'Trust in the timing of your life.'  

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Things don't always go quite to plan, but bumps in the road were always going to be a part of this journey.

We set off from Bishop back over Kearsage Pass and into the Sierra for a ten day adventure through to Mammoth Lakes; tackling traverses on a major snow covered Mountain pass each morning, descending into alpine valleys and across raging creeks, via snow bridges or by crossing in well drilled formations, by afternoon, and climbing back above the tree line by evening to stage for the next morning's daunting climbs.

We might not be a million miles from highways, towns or more than several hours from the Metropoleis of the west coast - but it's still a world apart from life outside; it's also a world that I realised so few people get to see - especially in a year when just a few months ago it was referred to as impassible, and on a daily basis we cross and conquer things that some still do.

There aren't any words for the experience, but approaching half way into the stretch it started to take its toll. Huge days started to lead to exhaustion for me, which caused anxiety about the passes and a lack of sleep, and then loss of appetite. It had been snowballing since the end of the desert and while any of those things in isolation could be managed, together something had to give.

We woke at 4am, pulled on still wet clothes and started the approach to the next pass, and I hit a wall. I know I could have continued, but in that state, instinct said something wasn't right. After some time I said goodbye for now to my friends and spent the next two days wearily climbing down the steep valley of a side trail, across the floor of the Owens Valley and towards the highway.

It's not goodbye to my friends or the Sierra, just a few days apart and a few miles missed for now, until I can rejoin at the next gateway to the mountains. It's been a hard thing to swallow but a valuable lesson. It'll be good to be back.