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07.14.2002 -


It's not often that I choose to set my alarm for 5:30 on a weekend. There are all sorts of things I would rather be doing at 5:30, the first 349 being 'sleeping'. It was necessary this morning, though, because we wanted to get to Rainier for a hike before the rest of the Seattle arrived.

I thought we might be in for a cold, grey day based on the weather we had driving out of town. I don't know if we just eventually ascended out of the clouds or what, but when we passed the park entry it was like BOOWAAHHHH - beams of light, angelic chorus, and all that. The Mountain was out, freshly scrubbed and shining.

We had a tentative plan of hiking to Camp Muir, which is at (I think) 10,500 ft. This turned out to be a tad ambitious, because after 2 hard hours we collapsed for a lunch break and decided to call it good. This was mostly my decision because 1) it was a hella steep climb in slippery snow and I was paranoid about plunging to my death on the way back down and 2) while we rested I casually glanced at my legs and practically shrieked out loud in horror.

The sun is relentless on the mountain slopes, and you get eye-watering glare from all of the snow. Despite the fact that I had slathered SPF 30 all over before we started out, my legs and parts of my arms were completely covered in tiny blisters. Blick, it was just one of the freakiest things I've ever seen my body decide to do.

So I whimpered about that for a while, slapped on more sunblock, and we headed back. I managed to make my faltering, wimpy way down the snow with only one startling ass-over-teakettle blunder.

I don't know why it has come to be that I am such a chicken. I could sort of float outside of myself today and cast a cold eye at the way I took feeble, uncertain steps when descending a difficult terrain - the sort of steps that are almost assured of a giant crapout. In comparison, JB leaps nimbly along like a billy goat. It's not muscle strength, or a lack thereof.. It's a matter of confidence, and where mine has leaked off to I do not know.

Well, at any rate, I'm back and comfortable in my happy little house, slimed up with aloe and none the worse for wear. It was a good day, really. You could see everything from up there - like being on the roof of the Northwest.

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