CDT Day 86 — September 19
Grand Lake to Lake Granby
Shadowcliff Lodge to Too Tired for a Fire Camp
Miles hiked: 8.8
Total miles: 1533.5
I really liked Grand Lake and especially Shadowcliff Lodge, but by the time SpiceRack and I left town today, I was in a stormy mood. Angry, frustrated, anxious, confused. And I couldn’t figure out why for some reason. Why? Maybe for multiple reasons all brewing together, becoming more potent. With so much going ‘right’ why do I feel so wrong?
It all started well. Up at dawn to make pancakes and patch my sleeping pad. I ate my fair share, then Spice’s too. You snooze, you loose. Literally. Pad patched, tea drunk. Checking all the boxes! I roused Spice in time to check out at 10am, then we retired from the effort to the main lounge to dig through our resupply boxes and jettison the excess food. I transferred my shoelaces to a new pair of Lone Peaks, then we headed to town.
A couple more chores needed attention so Spice and I split to the bakery and library respectively to take care of them. In the end, we found ourselves back at the gazebo, lounging and answering the questions of passers-by.
Without any identifiable provocation, by the time we got moving to leave Grand Lake behind at 4pm, my mind was in a distant, tumultuous place. The weather was warm, the aspen beautifully golden, the clouds dynamic, yet I wanted to be anywhere but where I was, hiking the CDT. I wanted to be alone, so when Spice fell behind to make some phone calls home, I marched ahead, merely glancing at the beautiful lake and trees. I told myself that the feeling would pass. I’d been here before. Not in a long time, sure, but I knew I’d dig myself out.
The easy hiking around Shadow Lake gave my mind ample bandwidth to sift through the feelings and emotions, searching for the tangle of negativity that was bringing me down. At a nice spot along the Colorado River, I took a seat to ponder and wait for Spice, hoping that talking things through with her could pull me back to where I wanted to be.
I found some clarity and potential suspects, but my mood didn’t lift despite the kind support and open ears of my partner. I followed behind her around the shores of Lake Granby, watching a thunderstorm turn pink with the sunset.
Writing stress. It always comes back to writing stress. I must admit if I may speak candidly, that writing this blog is a consistent source of stress on the trail, in town, when I wake up in the morning, and when I go to sleep. Managing that stress and the other priorities of the trail, the actual hiking, resupplying, my relationships, is a complicated balancing act that I have yet to totally nail. In town specifically, I feel pulled in more ways I can handle and always leave feeling that I neglected one thing/person or the other. Leaving Grand Lake, this feeling of failure to achieve my standards across the board was amplified for some reason. At least, that is my theory.
Before needing headlamps, we found a great spot to pitch the tent. Spice gave me plenty of space to be moody and lame, and I was grateful for that and her company even though I couldn’t show it. A few tortillas smothered in pesto(vegan) were all I could manage for dinner before rolling on my side, hoping to wake up in a better mental space. Sometimes sleep is the best therapy.