Mazama Retreat, Day 2

Yesterday, I mentioned sleep. This particular week, I need lots of it. I fell into bed last night around 10:30 and woke up just after 8. The first thing I did (after taking care of Jessie), I sat down to write. Just whatever. I opened my journal, picked up a pen, and started writing. About a dream. I wrote what I remembered about it, then I wrote what I thought about the story in the dream, then I wrote what I felt about it. About 20 minutes in, my writing hand started to go numb. After 30 minutes, I had two and a half pages of hastily written whatever came to mind. Interesting stuff. I’ll try it again tomorrow.

Slate Peak 2016The mountains called us today, to Harts Pass. As many times as I’ve made that trip, I still git nervous when that old washboard forest road gives way to a rocky track blasted from a cliff face named Dead Horse Point. Heck, two years ago, I run into a rock slide and had to turn around. No mean feat, about a 17-point turn, with my back end hanging over the edge. You fall, you die. Snow, same thing, I’ve done it a thousand times and got stuck – and got myself unstuck — a couple, but I still worry. Then, to git up that last quarter mile, I had to drop the old Land Cruiser into low range with both differentials locked. That snow was heavy as concrete what with all the rain. Them wheel ruts was so deep my undercarriage, as high as it is, plowed snow up the middle. That old rig started slippin. I got her stopped and a glance in the rearview reminded me of what I already knew: It would be 400 yards of reverse down a slippery slope to the nearest turnaround. Maybe if I back up a little, then run at it again. So I dropped it into reverse, just six feet or so. I moved into neutral, fingers drumming on the shifter. Give it a couple of tries, see if it’ll go. Into drive. Tap the gas. A little more. I felt a little oof as the tires pushed through the clogged up rut. A bounce right. A bounce left. But still movin, still movin and then…made it!

Jessie Harts Pass 2016 CroppedJessie promptly buried herself in the snow. I strapped on my snowshoes and we hiked maybe a mile and a half up to the Pacific Crest Trail junction. No broad vistas, what with clouds and snow flurries, but beautiful and soothing still.

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