Today I got up before sunrise.

I was walking by 7:30.

The wind was super nippy, so kept my down jacket on while walking, and looking for a sunny spot before I stopped to wash my face perform other related tasks.
No 110 outlets
I came across a massive field with power lines running into the expanse. Underneath the lines, you could here electricity pulsating in a rather disturbing manner.

I could feel it.

Bzzt.

Bzzt.

The trail returned to a weaving path trees of rocks, but the wind never let up.

Through all of this, however, the sky was a deep blue, without a cloud in sight. I came to a confusing spot wherein the path forward was unclear, even in the map.

It forked at a “tank”, which is apparently trail code for “pond”.. It was time to fill up on water, but with the wind, the process took an inordinate amount of time. The combination of the cold wind and icy water required me to stop every couple of minutes and warm my fingers, in spite of the heavy gloves I was wearing.

I saw two bikepackers heading northbound; I tried to be friendly and say hello, but they didn’t seem interested in talking. Maybe my outfit wasn’t gaudy enough for their biker sensitivities.

They continued northbound as I went south.

More wind.

It just kept coming, its intensity building, slaloming in between the trees.
The road ahead?

Then, unexpectedly, the path opened up to a vast landscape. It was a welcome reprieve, with a stunning snow capped mountain in the distance.

I wonder if that’s where I’m headed.

The wind eventually evened out, and in the direct path of the sun, I was able to walk comfortably without a jacket.

The dirt road extended farther than I could see.

It was glorious.

I crossed more power lines, which is fantastic, when, hours later, you can look back and see them off in the distance: material evidence that I had walked so very far.

Encouraging. I felt like I was getting somewhere.

As the sun began to set, I found the most perfect spot thus far, compete with two happy trees and a fire ring.

I was so excited about it, I spent more time taking photos of my set up tent than I should have, and ended up cooking in the dark.

No matter.

Something about the vast open space caused my wildlife fears to dissipate.

Vestibule open, I stared at the moon, my heart happy about my fantastic campsite.
I felt free.
Cedrick can’t sneak up on me here