Sunday, July 29, 2012

29 July - Day 99 - Drovers & Rovers

From Shelly Meadows (Mile 1617) to Three-fork Fir Campsite (Mile 1640.8)
Total PCT Miles hiked today: 23.8

Dionysus here.

More and more I've been thinking about the way the experience of the trail is illustrative of a postmodern sense of time - the fracturedness of experience moment to moment, etc. You might think at first that the trail, as an unbroken line on a map, might conform to a linear sequenci and cohesive experience for us. That you can easily track what happens. That you become so attuned to your surroundings that you can almost predict what will happen next. Not so (at least for us). In fact, despite walking every step of the way across a single line of trail we find our experience to be hardly continuous. It is more like a kaleidoscope of shifting images and perceptions that allide across and into one another almost gracefully and almost without sense or reason.

For instance, we woke this morning to a whole herd of cows munching on grass next to the trail and clanging & clunking the cow bells around their necks extra-loud. As we set off we scared he cows into a single file run away from us/in front of us on the trail. So we spent the first two miles driving a bunch of cows as they bawled in protest and tried to push past each other even on the increasingly steep slopes. It was absurd and unrepeatable and totally unexpected.

Tom Sawyer, Pan, and Dionysus (with Seano at the camera) driving cattle along the trail.

And next thing I knew the cows were long gone and I was enjoying a bowl of Cap'n Crunch (always a good idea on the trail).
Us with Tom Sawyer for trail-side breakfast.

Then a kid, maybe sixteen passed us with his shirt off and a revolver siting in one of those funny breast holster strap things.

Then a beautiful lake.

Then we enter the Marble Mountains Wilderness where he wild flowers are as tall as our heads and we start crossing snow fields again for the first time since the Sierras.

And we end the day next to be most remarkable fantasy-sized white fir with three trunks. We pitch our tent directly beneath it. The lichen and moss bob in the breeze and too many tree arms stretch out over us as I write. Unspeakably magical AND majestic and unforeseeable.

Searching under the giant White Fir for where to put the tents.

And tomorrow will be something new and unexpected and just as difficult to piece together.

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