Leaving camp in the morning the only thought on my mind was how soon this journey would come to an end. In just a few days I would be starting my final climb of this trip. I had just a day or two more left in the hundred mile wilderness and all I could think of was what we would do after. For the first few miles before the mountain of the day we discussed our thoughts on what the climb would be like, talking about strategy and gear we would need. Making the last checklist for the trail, we covered all possibilities of ice and snow.
We stuck together as the three of us climbed our last mountain before we entered Baxter State Park. The small climb strained our tired weary bodies under our large resupply, still weighing us down. Our packs heavy from full winter setup and four days of food pulled us to the ground with every step. I knew this was the last bit and I ignored the pain. My pulled hamstring, yelled at me with every upward step, each time I raised my leg it reminded me how far I had come. I put music on to ignore the pain and pushed over the mountain quickly.
I was soon alone as I came down the back side of the mountain, Flailing was ahead and Earthling was close behind. I sunk deep into my thoughts as my leg plagued me. I had pulled my hamstring the other day and hoped I could finish. I was worried, the pain was strong and every time I moved it, my hamstring never failed to remind me of its injury. Each step over the river rocks and roots hurt and wore me down. We had five or so miles to go to Rainbow lake and for once I was glad to be on the flats, instead of climbing.
The long, around the back of the lake, trail drug on forever in my mind. My heavy feet, heavy pack, heavy mind, made for an eternity every minute. My thoughts drifted to the one question everyone asked me, what will I do next. I had no clue and no matter how hard I tried to narrow down my many options I failed to see an obvious choice. It stressed me out, I had come out here for so many reasons and I had hoped it would lead me somewhere. For now I focused on two things, bringing Roland the whole way, casting his ashes to the far winds from the top, and finishing strong.
The clouded hazy day Mae for great thinking as I made my way to the campsite. I was happy to see Flailing, more that I was done for the day than actually seeing him. I promptly set up my home and gathered wood for him. We built a fire and started our dinner when Earthling arrived, tired and cold. None of talked much that night, all of our minds were heavy from thought and tired from the day. Finishing dinner I crawled into my tent and fell fast asleep.