Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Day -3 : Lose the Hair Already

Awesome sleep... I awake to the sound of my wife getting up. It's still dark. Sure didn't take long to adjust my sleep habits. No more early morning cold hikes in the dark because the prime part of the day, the part where the sun is up, is taken up producing an income. I roll out of bed and head to the kitchen to make breakfast. I am excited to try my hand at a one-egg ham and cheese omelet. My wife's request. I still don't have the timing down yet. I finish it too early. That's what microwaves are for, to keep food warm until people are ready to eat it. Kelli comes down, has breakfast and heads off to work. I stay home, barefoot in the kitchen.

Until I head up to my desk. I drink my coffee and have my morning quiet time. I love my quiet time. I spend a few hours reading a little Scripture and thinking about it. Putting my thoughts down... well, I was going to say 'on paper' but that's not accurate. Putting my thoughts into arranged bits in the mysterious cloud. The sun comes up blue skies beckon me from the windows. I need to get outside.
Sunshine means a hat is in vogue. Well, maybe not the style, but it keeps the sun off my face. I am not really interested in having a surgeon carve more of my skin off my body. So I wear a hat, and long sleeves, and long pants. Quite different from my younger self running around like a native in shorts and flip-flops. It's amazing what a melanoma diagnosis and surgery does for my interest in sun-bathing. 2007 was the year it changed for me, ugly melanoma moles itchy and bleeding on my shoulder carved off with a whole bunch of the skin around it. I was out for the whole thing. I remember waking up in post-op. Laying on my back after the most relaxing comfortable sleep. I just wanted to lay there forever. The nurse sees I am awake and adjusts my bed into a sitting position. I was mad at her for disturbing my sleep and making me wake up. Almost ten years ago now. Lots of thoughts go through your head when heading for surgery. Perhaps that was the beginning of this journey I am on...

Today's hike is different. Why hike through neighborhoods when I can hike along a ravine? So I do. I head towards my old home and along Auburn Ravine. Past the dog park, around the ponds and back. Almost two hours of hiking fun. I start with calves burning, they are stiff from my work-out yesterday. After a while they begin to loosen up and I feel powerful. The breeze is cool and steady, coming from the south. It feels almost like it's coming right off the ocean. Pollen fills the air, normally it doesn't bother me. Today something catches in my throat. I cough and gag. Shoulda brought water. I've been hiking without water since its been so cool and I am only hiking for roughly an hour and forty-five minutes or so. So I can only cough. for fifteen our so minutes something keeps stickling in my throat. Hack, gag, hack, hack. I finally move away from whatever plant it was and breathing returns to normal. I hike a different route than before and it keeps my interest. There is so much more to see when you can actually see. Thank Mr Sun.

Lunch today is with friends. Eric, Greg, and Craig. We meet at a Thai place. I haven't seen any of these guys for over a month. It's great to see them. We talk about my up coming trip. Eric and I have backpacked together quite a bit. He's always trying to get me to carry more stuff. Its funny bantering back and forth. He's actually right, there are a number of possible scenarios where my gear is not going to be enough. I really appreciate Eric's questioning as he helps me consider all of the things I might not have thought about. Greg is hoping to do the John Muir Trail this summer and I hope he does. He is a busy guy and its hard for him to find the time. I would definitely go with him if I was already committed to my own trip. Craig is a strong hiker that really wants to do more. I hope that one day in the future we all get out together on a trip somewhere. I really like these guys, they are my fellow travelers, even though they aren't coming with me on the PCT.

 I decide its time. Haircut and shave, make it happen. Thank you Sam! Thank you Schick! I am shorn for the last time for the next five months. It'll be fun to see the transition from normal suburban Scott to wild and wooly mountain Scott. My face isn't used to a razor. I nick myself over and over again. Yikes, what a pain. I think the skin on my face must have had callouses on it or had gotten thicker back when I shaved everyday. At least I won't have to do this anymore for a while.

A photo posted by Scott Gnile (@gnarlyriver) on