Day 6

Trail Miles 8.41

I dreamed my cat was sitting on my chest doing this weird screaming purring thing right in my face.

It was really early.

I opened my eyes, and the sunlight was just caressing the tree tops above us.  It was warm enough last night that we slept without the rain fly.  I stared at the sky.

Then the screaming purring thing happened again.  I took out my earplugs and sat up a bit.  A young squirrel was upside down on a tree, shaking his tail and staring at me.  He puffed himself up and hopped down the tree a little more and scream-purred.  I purred back at him.  He was pissed.  I could see his house way up in the tree – a nice, round hollow.  He hopped down the tree and scream-purred.  I laughed.  Aidan rolled over and pulled his hat over his eyes.  Sunlight poured in waves over the ridge, and the world was alive in golden light.

I got out of the tent and set up my solar charger.  I looked at the ground and watched a fat wad of bubbly bumblebees coming out of the ground.  They had giant balls of pollen stuck on their legs, and they were dancing.

Shake-It.  Shake-Shake-It.  Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture.

They flew around a tiny bit, then went right back to The Original Harlem Shake.

Maybe they were making a music video.

I watched them for the longest time.

We descended thousands of feet, further from the frogs singing in those icy ponds.  Further from the necessity of snowshoes.  Further from the thin mountain air.

The rocks made hollow, tinkling noises under our feet.

Then it was hot.  We felt strange to be carrying snowshoes in that heat.

Wasn’t it cold just a minute ago?

We took a break at Milton Creek.  The ice cold, clear mountain stream was pocked with deep swimming pools.  Freezing pools, Aidan called them.

And then it was so, so hot.  We stopped at a bridge and drank some cool water.

And then it was even hotter.  And we didn’t feel well because of it.

We found a seasonal stream, and I lay on the ground, took a deep breath, and just stuck my face in the water until my lungs felt like they would burst.  Then I sat right down in the creek.  Clothes and all.

After a while, we felt better, and then we were at the car.  Just like normal people.  Just like normal people driving around on paved roads.  Like it never happened.

We got some beer and drove home, and I got a movie date night with my husband.

And I was so, so happy.



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