Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 101 : Emerald Pools To Oz

9 miles today
745 miles to go

I awake to silence. It's later but not much lighter. The rain was minimal but the air is cooler. I wear my smartwool base layer for the first time. I am warm as I eat my granola and instant breakfast. I feel elated, an endorphin high having survived a rainy night and thrived. There is something about the morning after a dark rainy night in a tent and finding yourself still being dry and warm. My fuel bottle is completely empty. I use the fuel I put in my hand sanitizer bottle to heat my coffee water. I drink my mocha as I stuff my pockets with my last few snacks. Short day today as I am zeroing tomorrow with my own private trail Angels, Deb and Dave.

I head down to highway fifty eight in what I've always imagined to be what Oregon is like. The sky a gray ceiling above the forest a happy green. Many shades of green. The slight amount of rain seems to have awakened the forest to new possibilities and everyone is dressed to the nines. The large tree sport mossy green knee length tunics. A most sincere silence blankets the forest. The only violators of the noise ban are Stellar Jays that squawk, “Rate, rate, rate, rate!” At me as I pass by. I'm not sure what they mean or who they're talking to but their harsh raspy voices break the solemn silence in a most disrespectful and jarring way.

I pass by magical emerald pools so clear they could be doorways to Oz. They look so inviting yet must be enchanted and shockingly cold this gray misty morning. I don't stop to find out. Other ponds are brown with brackish water and dotted with lily pads. This gets a song from my childhood about a bullfrog sitting on a lily pad going in my head. The song ends with the line, “it ain't gonna rain no more.” I ponder the song, its origin, it's meaning. It's all a mystery to me and unsolvable. Perhaps the Internet knows. I spend a few hours listening to hundreds of variations of the song in my head, now I'm sick of it and can't get it to turn off.

I wonder about my feet, why that ache so much. I agonize over every step. I wonder if my feet have grown. I bet that's it! I think my feet have grown and they are being squashed on every step. That makes perfect sense now that I think about it. I bet if I had the right sized shoes my feet would feel a lot better. I check to see if I have service for my phone. I do! I check to see if their is an REI in Eugene. There is! I hope I can get a ride there on my zero. I bet that my shoes are too small. I'll have them measure my feet. I hope they'll exchange these shoes for better fitting ones. They used to have an awesome return policy. I don't know what it is now. I hope I can get there, even if I have to take a bus.

I hear highway fifty eight before I see it. Or rather I hear the traffic on it. I descend a few switchbacks wondering whether I'll be waiting long or if I'm even on the correct highway. What if I misunderstood and I'm on a completely different highway than I thought and they are waiting for me a hundred miles from here. I come around the last corner and see the highway. My ride is waiting for me, hooray for zeros!

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