Hearing from Earthling, we waited in town for her to arrive, she would becoming in hot, all the way from the cookie ladies house. Feeling the stress and getting upset, I reassured her it wasn’t a problem I had to get my food drop and she had plenty of time. She had been under quite a bit of stress lately and was still feeling down. Flailing and I prepared our stuff and did the last odds and ends as she arrived on the porch excited to see us. Dropping her pack it was apparent she was not herself, her smile wasn’t the big bright one we had seen other days.
I told her about the showed and cafe in town and she needed her morning coffee. The two of us took off on the bikes and headed to town for the morning our conversations going no where, she was not feeling herself, that was evident. It wasn’t hard to empathize with her, each day I set out to do something most people either dream about and or only see in magazines. No matter how hard I push, the mountains push back harder, mother nature tried to kill you at every bend in the trail, persevering at all costs is the only way to get the perfect shot, the moment, to see what few have ever experienced. All that drains you, takes for you, bit by bit you are worn down like the mountains we climb.
She was mentally worn down and weathered by the journey, I never left her side, staying just there quietly incase she wanted to talk. When we made our way back to the trail she still had no need for words, so we walked quietly up the first mountain. Halfway up we had to scramble as I again was attacked by hornets, this time only taking a few stings in my left leg. The searing pain would persist throughout the day, late into the evening. Throught the afternoon we talked of a few things, why she was feeling off, home, and how she missed her loved ones. Each something we all feel out here at one time or another.
As we climbed up and up she asked who fills my cup. Responding to her like I always had, I fill my cup. I had told her a few days ago about an allegory, if that’s the right word, that each of us have cup and in it our energy so to speak. We give here and there slowly emptying our cup, each of us having different size cups and different amounts we give. Eventually emptying it and needing to be refilled, she was running on empty. It wasn’t hard to tell she was looking for something, but not sure what she was looking for or why, as she asked other questions.
Over the course of the day, I became broken and battered, twisting both ankles bad, taking a serious fall injuring my knee. All the while pushing forward up the mountain, never faltering, limping or stopping. Asking her if she needs anything, she responded with me to just walk with her, ahead, behind or side by sie, as long as I walked with her. She needed to be carried up to the top of the mountain and I would just that. Knowing how bad I was feeling she asked why I didn’t want to stop and my response was there was a method to my madness and we were getting to the top. The truth was if I stopped so would she and she needed to reach the top for herself, to have tat moment of triumph over herself and the mountains.
We pushed steadily through the night, each step I took in pain from the hornets and injuries. All the while telling her she can do this and we were almost to the top. Taking our last break we had just one mile to go to reach the summit. In the dark and covered in clouds we drove on up the steep rocky mountain. The winds whipping through the trees were almost deafening and just like that we were out in the clear, we had reached the summit. The large tower dark and ominous peeking though the clouds. We were covered in sweat and surrounded by clouds at our elevation. Finding a place to camp we set up my tent and crawled in to escape the whipping winds and moisture from the storm. High above the rain, we waited out the storm till early morning before breaking down and oven running to the lodge.