Not today

I thought about, all day I thought about it. It’s hard not to, it is looming in my sight all day. The mountain. I know once I go do it, I will do it, no matter how much it hurts. I will have the trek poles, so I don’t think I’ll fall down, yet this will not be easy miles.

Although I did not climb a mountain today, I did create a strategic plan to do so. It starts with research. I had done some light reading before, now I’ve looked up this trail on a few more sites. Studied the grade (the first bit up to twenty percent, then a good while three to five percent with the last part twenty plus with one tiny bit at thirty) then tried to study up what the grade scales really mean. I believe I am fairly likely to succeed making it up the first mountain, and perhaps back to “Frenchies Line Cabin”, we’ll see.

However, I don’t plan to be able to walk well the next day- that’s part of the point I think. If it doesn’t really hurt the next day, did I really push enough? That being the case, and knowing I only had two days in the current site (that being now over in the morning,) I knew I would have to pack/move camp tomorrow.  Not what I wanted to do the day after climbing a mountain. Also, the day before yesterday, I clearly stipulated my big walks would be every other day.  Today was a day of rest (and research.)

Well, not so much rest, as just no distance walks. I stayed up on my feet most of the day and finally organized the inside of the cab very nicely. It looks ‘full’ in here, yet I can easy get to everything I need, everything I need day to day is in the cab, and my seat can go all the way back. It may have taken me three months, yet the Mustang is finally the travel mobile I’ve been hoping for.  It is fully packed (I’m sitting in it too,) and ‘almost’ ready to go in the morning.

I’ll have to fold my rocking chair and stuff it into its bag, collapse the radio mast and antennas and strap both of those on top of the cargo bag. Then just shake out and roll up my bed stuffs, stuff the tent into it’s bag, and put that stuff into the cab, then drive away. We’ll see for sure in the morning, yet I think it will all fit in very nicely, and quickly.

The goal is to be able to drive up anywhere (anywhere from here to Alaska) at the end of a day, park the car, toss out just my tent and be able to sleep flat and have what I need to cook, eat, and bathe, and stuff I need to hike or pan, etc, all in the cab without having to get into the trunk or cargo bag.  Forty days at Brantley Lake was my last “big stop” and I don’t know when I’ll be able to setup such a spread again- or if I even need to. The more I setup is just the more to maintain and at least for now I like the idea of keeping everything tight.

The last day at Brantley, packing in the windstorm really tested me. As far as folding the tarps, I failed. With the last one, I gave up and just rolled it up into a ball (taking up ten times the space) pulling the tarps out today, I refolded them as well.

In the morning, I’ll wake, pack and move down to the primitive area here at Oliver Lee State Park, setup my tent at the new spot. Then begin my trek to the mountain. And up the mountain. Then back to my site hopefully with the very last bit of my strength.

As I worked at my site, I had many conversations with hikers going back and forth up the trail. Many fit, yet older adults. I keep trying to judge how difficult the trail could be based on the people I saw tackling it. I even pulled out my looking scope to watch people go up the the switchback trails – as if I really wanted to see them just walking, and not scrambling on their hands and knees.  Towards the end of the day, I saw one couple coming down the hill with a small child- under ten for sure.

If a small child can climb a mountain, I can climb a mountain.

Tomorrow I will climb a mountain.

Time to rest.

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