A Retreat of Sorts Day 4 Thursday Oct 31 2019


Disclaimer : I am ok

Day started out lazy, hung around the condo in the morning, made brekkie, video chat with she, had leftovers for lunch.  It’s been raining all day and now getting windy and cold tonight.

I ended up deciding I was going to drive over to Twisting Falls, then go to Elk River Falls, then hit up the Old Hampton Store and BBQ for dinner.  Only one of those happened.

2nd Disclaimer : I’m a dumbass

I didn’t read any info about the trails before I headed out, I just decided I would go.  Ya it’s raining but so what I’ve got my rain jacket, extra sweater if needed, Camelbak with plenty of fluids and even a PB&J with some granola’s for some energy on trail if needed.

Twisting Falls is out in the middle of nowhere.  Lots of windy mountains roads with no cell service.  Eventually made it and it’s just an end of the road with a cross bar down so you can’t drive further.  No trail markings or blazes and I had not consulted a trail map or any info prior.

So I start wandering around and happen on what looks like a trail until I get to something that looks like a washed out trail going pretty well straight down a hill.  I say to myself, nah, that can’t be it.  There’s nowhere else to go that way so I turn around and head back to the trail head to try another way.

Another way was just a service road to walk along I was hoping would have an actual manicured trail.  Nope.  Went down it for awhile and resigned myself to the straight down being the trail.  At first I was all logical and like look, you’re by yourself, this looks like a strenuous trail, and it’s raining.  You should just get back in the truck and head to the next trail.  Did I?  Of course not.  I’m too stupid for that.

So I start going down this hill.  Thing must’ve been a 60 or 70 degree decline with all kinds of loose rocks and tree roots.  I ended up having to reverse bear crawl most of the way down and the whole time I’m just kind of delirious I guess bc looking back on it I was not thinking straight.  I came all the way out here, imma see a damn waterfall.  I just keep telling myself, y’know, this is a struggle, and you’re gonna struggle worse getting back up this right?  You know that right? BTW, Strava clocked me at having 760ft of elevation gain by the end of it.

To which a very logical reply issued to the tune of ya but I’m going slow, I’ve got gear, I’ll stop and rest WHEN I need to, etc….

Folks, don’t ever talk yourself into doing something stupid like I did today, out there on a strenuous trail by myself in poor conditions.  No one knew I was there and I had no way of calling or flares or anything.  I could’ve very well missed just one step and be in a mangled cold soaking heap out there right now.  But, I’m not; I’m just damn lucky I was careful enough and listened to my body enough, AND nothing bad happened.

So I eventually made it down the hill, well shit there was still a football field to go upstream to get to the falls.  Not a real trail per se, just holes in the bushes that were big enough to get through.  Everything’s soaked, everything’s slippery, and my heart’s about to jump out mah chest.  So, stop, catch your breath, rest. Ok? Now let’s keep going.

Made it to just before the falls, there was an outcropping of rock I’d have to go in the cold water to get around.  I was already soaked but I still didn’t want to go in that frigid water and make things worse.  The outcropping had a little cover from the now driving rain so I climbed up the slippery muddy rocks and sat in the mud for a good long while just resting and refueling with the PB&J and re hydrating.  I turned it over several times in my head trying to get around the outcropping because I was still in disbelief about the trail.  There just had to be another better way in and out.  Well guess what – when I finally made it back to the condo and read the trail info….nope, that was it.  Really glad I at least made that good decision not to go farther.

So I rest and eventually get started back.  By this time I’m only taking maybe 10 steps before having to stop and rest a sec.  I mentioned I’m a 43yr old fat man right? (thanks hon I know you said it in the most loving way. ) =)

I eventually made it back to the incline and I swear to god it got to be 5 steps and a rest.  Mind you these weren’t just steps.  These are bear crawls where your hands are grabbing roots and rocks while your feet are finding footholds and your legs just have to keep pumping.  (same for up and for down)

Eventually made it back to the truck and was completely soaked and exhausted.  Had to get a tarp out my truck box so I wouldn’t soak the seat.  Glad I did too, when I got back to condo I swear I poured a liter worth of dirty water out of the tarp on the ground.  Had total swamp ass riding all the way back…..felt like I was sitting in a kiddie pool.

Just came back after that and it was one of the best hot showers ever.  It had started getting colder too and stepping out of the truck into a cold wind was……exhilarating?

Dangerous Hike aside, had a good video chat with she this morning.  We talked, she asked some questions so she can send papers to Insurance for STD extension request.  I mentioned I’m on Short Term Disability right now from work because of the depression/shitty life outlook/suicidal thoughts right?  meh?  well now you know.  I feel better but I’m still terrified of going back to normal life and all of this progress being erased.

She mentioned we need to start thinking of how to re-associate negative feelings regarding work and the everyday grind with positive associations.  I really don’t have any idea how.

Remember Baz Luhrman’s Everybody’s Free to Wear Suncscreen?  One of the beginning lines is something like “the long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by science, whereas….”  We had been talking about the long term next 20 yrs of work and the grind and it got me to the long term benefits bit, but updated with “the long term benefits of positive association (or something) has been proved by science”

Hey, it’s a start.

Good day today.


~ by sobriety6923 on October 31, 2019.

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