The intent was to be up at 5 and walking by 6.

The existence of running water and heated bathrooms should have made it easy.

But last night’s rendezvous in the laundry room had left me with little sleep.

So I did wake up. But then I dozed off, feeling no guilt at all.
Tank means pond in Trail parlance


At 9:30, I was walking back to the trailhead. The current path had a lot of seemingly unnecessary weaves. I didn’t have the patience, so I went off trail again.

This was a bad idea.

Directly uphill. No gradual grade. Just...up.

But it was too late to turn back now. I went up. I reminded myself: this is why we don’t go off trail, kids. THIS IS WHY.

Most of the day was a blur.

Except for when I went a half-mile off trail by accident. Somehow I missed a turn off.

The map says....oh I can just cut across here. So I went off trail.

And again.
Up.

Up.

SAY IT WITH ME KIDS:

“This is why we don’t go off trail”

Back on the trail, the sun was disappearing, and I was surrounded by big rocks on uneven terrain. I can’t camp here.

I longed for a big open field, and time was running out. I couldn’t run, because it was too rocky. 45 minutes until sunset, and there was nothing promising on the horizon.

I anthromorphized my dilemma into a monkey aptly named, Monkey.

What you gonna do monkey?

You gonna try to make me camp on rocks?

No!

You won’t win today. I’m going to find an open field.

THATS RIGHT MONKEY.

Coincidently, the trail was going steeply uphill.

Up.

Up.

I pulled myself up with my trekking poles, going as fast as I could safely go.

MONKEY!!!!

Then I saw light. Through the trees. The light of the setting sun through an expanse.

I couldn’t believe it. I had defeated he monkey by finding massive power lines.
I camped in a wonderful wide open field, and Monkey scurried away in his defeat.
No monkies here