Burning the midnight oil

Sitting in the hotel all day writing had its benefits for sure. I was in the zone, the guys were watching golf and that allowed me to concentrate completely on my writing. Sometimes I find it hard to get inthe right frame of mind to write, it’s a process to get my thoughts back on the subject instead of on what ever is going on around me. I am almost never alone, which is very tricky at times to get that clear mind. With the game playing in the background and no distractions, I caught up on my posts by mid afternoon.

Having finished all that needed to get done it quickly dawned on me I had no reason to stay. Then it hit me, hard, a burning feeling.  Deep inside my soul, I felt something primal, I had to go.  The gypsy itch had a hold of me and I had to leave that minute. There were no reasons to stay, there were reasons to go though and they burned deep. Packing up my stuff, I needed no explanation for the guys, they knew what I was doing. Just like that I was off down the road looking to hitch back to the trail.

Once again everything fell into place, I didn’t get but more than a hundred or so yards before I was stopped by a car. An older man, rough looking, tough, missing the tips of some of his fingers asked if I needed a ride back to the trail. I did and this was probably my only opportunity at the late hour to get back there. We talked about the incidentals before coming to faith and religion. He asked why I had started the trail and the short of it was I had been lead to the trail. A few minutes later I was at the trail head and wished well with a blessing.

Finding Zen a few minutes later I asked if he wanted to put some miles in before bed, he was already set up.  Which meant he was done for the day and I knew the no would follow. Not a worry I told him I’ll see him in the morning and down the trail I went. The first two hours went by much quicker than I thought, the light fading clued me to the hour. It was about nine and I had done six miles in three hours over the mud and rocks. The crap terrain was vanishing under my swift feet that evening. Awake, alive, the burning inside me more of a fire than an ember, pushed me to do more miles. I wasn’t tired or sore, I felt great, on top of the world.

My heart rate steady, rhythmic and slow, my chest rising and falling with each breath in time with my heart, each part of me moving in perfect order. I moved quickly without stopping, without being out of breath, just a machine rolling down the trail. The small pointed rocks couldn’t deter my swift steady feet as they fell on the trail. The next two hours flew by as well, I was making great time, 6 more miles again and I was about halfway to town in just four hours. That feeling of everything falling into place is magnificent. You feel alive, free of pain and fatigue.

Passing over a road I had just over 14 miles to go and I was still alive. There was no reason to stop as I passed midnight and pushed down the trail. For once the trail was mostly flat with short sections of boulders that lasted just a few yards. The only difficult section I hit was the climb down into town. My headlamp had begun to flicker as the battery died, making it harrier than hell to go down the sheer drop off. The loose steps were no refuge from the slick dirt and rocks.  Through God alone I made my way down the 1000 ft climb down over a half a mile. At some points it was so steep the steps had fallen away leaving you just inches of foot holds to climb down.  Coming into camp in town at about 5 am I woke my friend to surprise her.  She and skipped ahead to Port Clinton and I wanted to surprise her first thing.  Taking just a 3 hour nap I rested from my night hike of 26 miles and waited for everyone to get up.

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