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Deathmarch

Started: 2004-03-14 19:04:00

Submitted: 2004-03-15 20:53:50

Visibility: World-readable

I'm writing this changelog longhand on engineering paper while sitting at Noodles & Company, waiting for my food. (I have number 20 on my table.) Gem might approve of my seat; I have my back to the wall with a commanding view of the dining area.

Gem gets back sometime tonight after an epic drive from College Place with my mother, Bethany, and Willy. The little amount of contact I've had with her so far indicates she's enjoying herself. (She was a little concerned that my mother would attempt to talk for the entire eighteen hour drive.)

Taking advantage of the fact that I didn't have anything to do in church yesterday, and Gem's absence, I decided to take an epic hike up Bear Peak, South Boulder Peak, and Green Mountain, all in one hike. (Some loyal readers, and a number of non-loyal readers, will recognize Green Mountain as the destination of the deathmarch we celebrated my twenty-second birthday with.)

I slept in, took my time eating breakfast and assembling my stuff, and realized that I wasn't going to be able to fit all of the water I wanted to take. (I've picked up a healthy paranoia of dehydration; I didn't want to go without six liters of water. I ended up drinking four.) I dropped by my parents' house to borrow my father's glorious Kelty soft-frame daypack, which had sufficient room for my six liters of water, various layers of clothing, lunch, and my various electronics. It was a little on the heavy side.

I drove to NCAR and set out on the trail at 1310. My first objective was Bear Peak. All was well for half an hour, until the trail started going up and I started gasping for breath. I kept on going, becoming more and more aware how out of shape I truly am. (The last time I assented Bear Peak was Labor Day 2000, when I was fairly close to the most in shape I've been in my life.) From the top of Fern Canyon, the trail turned south along the steep north ridge: up two meters for every three meters forward. To make matters worse, no snow had melted.

I finally made it to the top at 1520. Exhausted, I signed the register, ate lunch, replenished my twin Nalgene bottles, and contemplated my next move. It didn't take long to decide to abort; I had barely enough energy to get back down. I didn't want to descend the steep and slippery north ridge, so I went down the west ridge into Bear Canyon, which was much longer but far gentler and more exposed, allowing the snow to melt.

I made it back to Yoda at 1830 entirely exhausted. I drove home and prepared to drop from exhaustion, but I delayed long enough to arrange for evening plans with Bitscape and scottgalvin.com. (Jenny was out of town as well, giving us the opportunity to stage a "boys night out.")

I rendezvoused (a little late) to see Mystic River, back in theaters to capitalize on its Oscar nominations. The movie was excellent; I enjoyed the crime drama and guessing what the clues meant and who was hiding what.

(A Land Rover with California tags just pulled up in the parking space out the window, driven by a sophomore girl in sweat pants with two female friends. I almost feel old surrounded by college students (whose ranks I only recently departed); at least I'm not nauseatingly flouting my yuppie parents' affluence.)

Scott, Bitscape, and I sat in the theater and talked for an hour after the movie ended. I finally managed to escape and made it to bed at 0200, the same time as Saturday morning. There's more to the story, today and Friday, but my hand is complaining from writing non-stop for the past thirty-five minutes, and Gem might be home soon.

Tolkien is hobbit-forming!