Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Today I am exhausted beyond my ability to convey.

Here are some very, very old photos that Carole found of me. They were taken on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 1980, I think. The amazing thing about that trip was that I expected some cool temperatures (the second day of the trip was May 1st), but I was not expecting very deep snow. Which is exactly what we encountered. On the way up Mount LeConte the snow was over knee-deep and we never made the summit. Ended up pitching a tent on a random spot on a ridge.

Still hoping to get to the summit. Had to give up some time later.
 And sleeping on hard-packed snow is about the most miserable surface I can imagine for trying to get a good night's rest. The stuff compacted beneath me and dug into my body, even through the foam pad I was sleeping on. I woke up at first light feeling horrible. You can even see by my expression in that initial photo (taken on Charlie's Bunion) that I was feeling the fatigue. The fact of the matter was that I had not been backpacking in about two years when I took that trip, and I was woefully out of shape. And really out of shape to have to tackle hiking through snow almost three feet deep on the ridges of some of the highest mountains in the eastern USA.

Man, I was already tired with many more miles to go that day.
So now, thinking of that trip, I go off to sleep. No writing tonight. The novel will have to wait.

This was very close to the time when we realized we weren't going to make the summit of LeConte.
My birthday is on Thursday. I have that day off and will definitely sleep in.

The sun greeted us. I was sick from sleeping on snow that had compacted to solid ice.

Looking at my trail guide as we descended LeConte and headed down to Newfound Gap.


The DPS Kid said...

I want to hear some conveying on this blog after you finish the job on Friday and Saturday in 103 and 104 deg heat respectively.

I'll make that motion this moment.

HemlockMan said...

Yeah, I've been fearing the coming heat.