"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

10 July 2013

Long Shanks

Given the trail is considered part of the Continental Divide Trail, I really should not have been shocked to have encountered so many people, even on a Tuesday. Still, I was a little aggravated, calling the trail a whore within the walls of my skull. After all, everyone was on her. Even me, making me quite the hypocrite, but, then again, my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

At the lake, I cut around to where the trail disappears into indistinct along the tundra. Here, was where the headwaters of the gulch were. This provided me with the backcountry solitude I sought. I looked out toward the Citadel. For those of you have read my tales from Marrakech, Colorado, the feature called Hell's Watchtower was inspired by the Citadel. I may or may not climb it some day, but I'll always marvel at it.

On the way back down I passed a man I'd passed on the way up. As he huffed and wheezed, I told him he was nearly there and it was worth it. He asked me if I walked a seven minute mile and his wife said I was fast. Funny, I spent a half hour in the shadow of the Citadel contemplating a route to another drainage.

My daughter recently told me how her friends would get after her for walking fast. In reply she mentioned growing up with a father who is nearly six and a half feet tall. She said she had to walk fast just to keep up with my walkabout pace.

I thought of that as I passed other groups, some of which I'd passed either coming up or down. There was the time I dared Sabina to keep up with me on a walk from Netherworld to the Temple of the Jinn. She did. Although, she had to work a little to keep pace with my long shanks, but she'll brag she did it in heels. Strange girl.

When I was a whelp, I was sometimes bullied for not being able to run. For being slow. I moved awkwardly. Both Sabina and the gypsy have noted I move differently. The gypsy once said she thought I could fly, whilst Sabina at one point was convinced I could teleport.

Maybe, maybe not. I just move the way I do, at the pace I do. Be that as it may, as I passed fellow trekkers on that whore of a trail I began to realize I might just be a little faster than I ever thought I was.  


  1. I like how this became more metaphorical toward the end - or at least I interpreted the last two paragraps. Moving at our on pace not only while walking...but in life as well.

  2. Damn her. *smile*

    With a 36 inch inseam of my own, I've come to relish the joy that is sheer muscle work. The stretch of sinew and tendon, a stride that seems to eat up the ground and spit it out behind. While often this means we walk alone, I refuse to reign in, to maim myself for another's comfort.

    Entirely selfish, I know. *sigh*

    1. I pause after half a mile to let my company catch up and catch their breath. By then, I'm off again.