Total Miles: 756.9
“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth…the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need—if only we had eyes to see.”
Edward Abbey had it right. So did E.T. There’s no place quite like home. Not the four walls and roof that most of us immediately conjure in our minds when we think of what “home” means, but the other “home”. The one stripped clean of steel and pavement, the place that we’re truly from. It’s easy to forget. Standing in wilderness, we’re surrounded by our roots, a part of the only home we’ll ever know. Spend even a few minutes, and it’s hard not to become a passionate defender of that home, whether on issues of climate change, pollution, or environmental issues writ large.
Every step in the Weminuche wilderness and the countless others we’ve had the pleasure of walking through is a reminder of the beauty that’s out there when we leave behind everything we know back home. Sometimes you even get a particularly special surprise like our stroll around the Knife Edge, a sharp fin of a ridge that the trail wraps around as part of a larger traverse. Between walls of occasionally rotten rock rising on one side and steep slopes of loose scree falling abruptly away on the other, the narrow, eroding ribbon of trail clings to the cliff. Walking it is like briefly being part of the mountain itself.
For a change of pace, the trail took a break from its usual lengthy ascents and descents, opting instead for many smaller ups and downs, the elevation profile more resembling a series of small waves. That doesn’t mean it was easy. In fact, my engine felt generally like it was stuck in second gear, perpetually confused by the ever-changing rhythm of sweating uphill only to then cruise downhill and repeat the cycle again and again.
Our weather luck continued once more, skirting the angrier clouds that we could see weeping rain in the distance. Writing from the cozy warmth of my hammock dry under a tarp, nearby storm cells have been putting on quite a performance to put an exclamation point on the day. Lightning illuminating the entire sky from within the darkest of clouds as rain pelts the roof of my little home. My favorite lullaby.
Latitude/Longitude: 37.56166, -107.03274