Friday, September 4, 2015

the way back

I wandered afoot and alone.
—John Muir

Friday. The way back from Glen Aulin climbs to the source of Tuolumne Falls. 

I was proud of the time I made, only slightly behind a trio of women in their 60s and 70s. 
Slow and steady wins the race. 
The air was clearer in every direction, a fitting end to my High Sierra mini-loop. 
After 25 miles, my thighs are tighter, footing is steadier and more confident. 
I've loved the home-cooked meals and friendly hikers. Surprisingly I met only a few people traveling alone: national parks are an ideal place for solo travelers. Maybe they were off on the John Muir Trail, in a different league from my modest circuit. 
I've loved hiking every day and training this summer and waking up to the sound of waterfalls. 
Probably won't be camping again soon, even glamping. I miss the creature comforts too much. I hate being cold. And I miss wifi. 
But my immediate world is filled with adventures that can be undertaken on foot. Places where you can push your physical limits and reconnect with nature and meet wanderers and hear yourself think. 

I'm back at Two Bridges where I started nearly a week ago, reading a paper newspaper(!), waiting for  friends to arrive from the city. The air is colder than last week when it was still August. A mule train driver told me there was frost on the bridges this morning. 
And even though I'm dressed in sandals, and the leopard-print fleece from the flea market in Chinle, and the beige fuzzy hat I got with Lorraine in Berkeley, people I meet on the trail seem to think I belong.