I went solo backpacking this weekend for the first time in a LONG time. I think the last time I really did a trip like this one was actually before I did the PCT, which was back in ‘04.
I went out to Point Reyes National Park, leaving Friday after work, and returning Sunday. On Friday, I camped at the ranger station, and on Saturday, I set out on an ambitious trek covering 25 miles that day, and 5 the next. I had packed extremely lightly with no water filtration, no stove, pot, spoon. Really, the only things in my pack were food, clothes, a tarp and stakes, some knick knacks and a water bladder.
With the light load, things were going well on Saturday morning, but then, a little after lunch, it started to rain. Then pour. Then the winds came on. All in all, as it should turn out, this was one hell of a storm. I set up my day so that I do a loop starting on the east heading south, and then I would hook west and head north along the coast. This meant that once the storm hit, I would be heading north on an incredibly exposed trail for about 15 miles.
Let me tell you folks, it was an adventure. I was so exposed that I felt like I could not stop to eat, drink or anything, so I just kept hiking for the entire distance, until I reached camp, after a long, long day. At one point, in one of the windier areas, I was running downhill, the wind coming on so hard that I began to be detached from the earth. It was actually lifting me off the ground…not a lot, just a little, but enough to be a worry.
Anyway, despite the adventure, the trip was good. It gave me some time to reflect on all the changes coming on in my life, and to get out and feel alive.
Did I find the answer to my question of Cal vs. UW? No…not in nature I didn’t.
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