Friday, April 7, 2017

To Hell and Back

The Golden Trout Wilderness

This will mostly be a post of pure happiness. A reminder of the light I find in a dark world.

I cannot being to describe the love I have for hiking and the joy it brings me. What I tell my wife is that "it's the most enjoyable way to die." That sounds a little kitschy, but it's not like I go out there with a death wish. It is just that hiking in the Sierra Nevada can be incredibly challenging and wear one thin. For instance, near the end of this hike I bonked about 500 feet from the top of a mountain at about 7,000 feet.

I was not in shape for this hike. Not at all. But with the impending move to Texas, I knew I had to soak up some more beauty before I lost access. My buddy, Bane, accompanied me and was just as tuckered out with the 26 miles we put in in just under 24 hours.

The Dream

As it can go in the Sierra, weather was somewhat unpredictable. I try and prepare for the worst case scenarios, but that also makes one's pack heavier. We got smatterings of rain, snow, and a mixture. The beautiful views, clean spring water, and fresh air just cannot be beat.

Hell It Is

So what was so important about this particular hike for me? Below is photo of me in 2001 while climbing Pecks Canyon. While we were taking a break, I looked out and noticed a particularly nasty piece of landscape, miles away.

I searched for it on the map and finally found it. "Hell for Sure." Right away I decided that I wanted to get there someday. As time passed, so did the dream. Enter 2016 and I needed a 'coup de grace' hike destination, and then I remembered. I wanted to be able to say that I had been to hell and back. Literally. I got there, and let me tell you, that map was not joking. I could never have climbed up hell. It was exceedingly steep with a very loose hillside. But I made it to hell. I had a damn good time doing so. Of course, being out of shape, after the hike I could barely walk for a week, but that is what hell will do to you. 

I miss that land. I worked up in those mountains for a couple of summers and developed a love and attachment that could never be extinguished. 

Abyssus Abyssum Invocat
(Hell Calls Hell)

Unfortunately, hell did follow me. My original plan was to spend a couple of nights out there, reaching further destinations. But on the first night the world began crashing in on my mind and the suicidal thoughts could not be ignored. Hell For Sure is nothing compared to the formation of the deadly chemicals in my mind. In the future, I hope to build up my resistance and be able to be alone in my own mind. Until then, I will just have to find a companion for my adventures. Oh, and some mountains. Texas excels in beautiful hills, but not so much the mountains.

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