Caren Ware's Blog

August 21, 2012

I’m not the only one in the dark…nor the only one missing the boat!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:20 pm

I enjoyed my race pace hike to Paintbrush Divide and Lake Solitude.  It is a busy trail. You can chat to pods of people all day long, coming and going, but as the day disappears and the distance from the boat dock increases, the people thin out.  I spent a half hour cooking lunch in my jetboil at Lake Solitude.  I took by boots and socks off and went in the lake past my waist.  It is snow run off, so cold, but invigorating; and the  reward is the dirt gets washed off. I put my outer shells on quickly.  The day was getting late and the wind was kicking up.

I hoofed it back down to the cutoff. It’s the best direction.  The GRAND just looms right before you. I now have the trail completely to myself.  The permitted packers have made their camps.  I have just enough time to make it back to the last boat.  At the cutoff there are two guys readjusting their packs and still heading up the canyon.  They were surprised to see me, inquiring as to how I did that mileage in one day.” And hey, by the way, our friend is heading down the canyon you are going.  He’s going back to the car.  His knee is hurting and he doesn’t want to finish this hike. ” “Where is your car?”  They tell me String Lake.  This canyon leads to Jenny Lake.  His car is miles about 10 miles away.  “You know, he will never make it there before dark.”  The buddies almost hoped to not hear me.  They shouldered their packs, and too enthused to be stopped by someone’s bum knee, took off hiking.  I overtook the limping guy with his metal frame pack miles above the boat dock.  I gently let him know his plan at the limp pace he was able to go would leave him hiking most the night, well in the dark.  So what to do with him?  I couldn’t just hike on like his buddies did.   I had to give up my idea of a day hiking alone and give him plan ‘B’.    His knee was making progress steady, but slow. We were not fast enough  to catch the boat.  We actually were able to take a picture of the last parting  boat from Inspiration Point.  It was kind of a funny, forboding feeling.  Good-bye boat.  And then we walked on,  for miles in the hues of sunset.  Right before we hit the parking lot.  It got dark.  Real dark.  I think he was amazed. I snapped a picture of the bridge to the parking area.  We could hardly make it out.  We still had half a mile to go. He thanked me for giving him a ride from Jenny Lake trailhead to String Lake trailhead.  As I drove away, I mulled the potential disaster when parties split up.  Sometimes, it is good to have friends to lean on, help each other out…stick together.  Should you split up?

That’s one of the things that gnaws at my heart this summer.  I had a special person come along side me and was willing to help me through my business reorganization and divorce.  He had been the person of character that would pick up a gun and fight  battles just because people needed protecting.  He is the type of person who would jump in front of attacking forces without a thought for his life because a life needed saving. Well, one of those lives needing saving was mine. Having gone through the pain of divorce himself, he knew more than I what I was about to go through.  He knew the stabs of wandering that path alone can kill a person emotionally. I would need support and a special someone in my corner. I didn’t even know it.  He made that sacrifice.  He slowed down his pace to allow me to limp along.

And yet when we came to a  trail cutoff in life, I picked to  hike up a different canyon.  Wonder what trailheads we will end up at?  Tears dropped in my lap as I drove.  Yes, if it weren’t for that warrior would I be scaling these heights?  I will be forever thankful. Looking past the headlights  I tried to assure I did not hit a deer, elk, or moose.  It was dark.

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