03 September 2013
Hell's Hole. Who knew Perdition could be so lovely?
The day before was my forty-first birthday. I had obligations. It was amusing and annoying to explain why traffic was so bad to travelers when they sure as fuck were not part of the solution.
We grilled. I had my lobster tails, a rib-eye steak, and corn on the cob. There was my favorite dark beer from Sri Lanka and wine. Sabina suggested watching a film or concert footage, but I had other ideas.
So, we read the bible and drank lemonade. Seriously. Why doesn't anyone believe me when I say that? It's not like when I say I'm reading the bible and drinking lemonade what I really mean is...
Stop fucking snickering...
With the exception of grilling me some lobster tails, it was just a quiet night at home. Nothing special, which was kind of what I wanted. A nice birthday.
Miguel Loco had told me about the Hell's Hole trail over in the Mount Evans Wilderness about a year back. It was about the time I was noting I'd pretty much gotten to where I'd all but memorized all the trails in our region of our Sahel. He reminded me there was more to the county than just the west end.
The problem I saw was Hell's Hole was a popular trail that started out of a campground. A whore. Pretty well any time during tourist season I'd run the risk of a conga line, and that's not what I go into the Backcountry for.
So, today, the day after my birthday, what would have been my grandmother's ninety-first, I gave myself a little present; I went on a walkabout to Hell. Why not? I live in Heaven. Let's see how the other half deals.
Because the trail is a whore, I still encountered people; five. Oh, and two dogs. All of them were coming down as I was headed up. It was beautiful. There was nothing of even my genus, let alone species, anywhere for miles as I trekked. It was exactly what I wanted.
I thought of how, in that past life I remember but you do not, I wandered the length and breadth of the greater metroplex. I would walk out in the badlands of Eastern Colorado and rural North Carolina. It got me to think of a Buddhist saying Sabina's fond of;
"Before enlightenment, chopped wood. After enlightenment, chopped wood..."
I would never be pretentious enough to claim any form of enlightenment, but it seems I've always walked...
At the end of the trail as I let the tundra sun wash over my skeletal frame, I contemplated a brief nap-Muir or Abbey might've done it-but decided against it. There were dark clouds in the direction of Evans and it was later in the afternoon than I should've been above treeline for.
"Time to go," I whispered to myself. "There's beer and chicken wings at the end."
So I clambered back and took myself to the local brewpub for a rye porter and chicken wings. A splurge for myself given the context of surviving an orbit and righteous hike. The beer was great, the wings were a case of it is what it is, in this context, a guilty pleasure; not a lot of organic, natural, raised by faeries and read bedtime stories by unicorns-mindful livin', bitches!-farms do exclusively packaged chicken wings for me to make in Texas Pete hot sauce and butter, thus I occasionally go to a gin joint for them. So it goes.
Home now, one Sri Lankan beer and a glass of wine later, I get ready to contemplate making something Ethiopian for dinner. Part of me just wants to curl up on the couch, if not just in bed, and sleep the sleep of the just, if not the dead. Sometimes that's one and the same.
It's been a great day...