The yelp was a coyote.

As with most wild animals, in the tent I was likely in no danger.
Making noise was the right call.

As the sun rose, I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.

I was tired and deflated. It was no longer 11, but was way below freezing.

I sat up, and remained there for a while.

I slowly started to pack, and eventually finished. It took me at least an hour from me stopping to just stare into nothing.

Getting out of my tent, I saw what now knew to be a snow capped Humphreys peak.And I started to walk.

The yellow grass weaved in the mild wind, and the heat of the sun forced me to take my down jacket off.

After last night, this was good. I took several breaks to emotionally recover. Eventually, I was back on it.

My trekking poles provided a much needed boost.

I would check the map, and turn off the phone. I made a wise decision to conserve battery, because twice I got off the correct trail and had to backtrack about half a mile.

I passed some houses that probably could have helped if I had really gotten lost.

And then the uphill climb started.
I tried not to think about, I just climbed. Using my trekking poles, I propelled myself forward. For hours.

Until I came to an opening.
Perfect prairie for a little house
Stunning.

I realized I was near to Humphrey’s peak, or within the mountain range.
Nearly peaked
The far off snow capped peak from days earlier was too close for me to see past the trees. Neat.

Eventually, I came to a ski lodge. I had been waiting all day to possibly get a room or eat at the restaurant, but they were closed.

Ugh.

Some of the staff were there, and I asked about the restaurant I thought was there.

“Oh, that’s 7 miles down the hill”

Oh.

“Just follow the road”

“Wait, are you in foot?”

I looked down at my feet, unable to form a quick response.

“We can probably find someone to take you down there”

Internally, my eyes glistened and opened wide.

Cool. That would be great.

I got a ride down. In a heated vehicle.

A HEATED VEHICLE.

The road passed by so quickly.

It was surreal.

He talked about something; I don’t remember what, and it didn’t matter.

I was feeling the heat run through me.

It was wonderful.