Can awe overcome pain?
The planter faciatus that I developed on the Blue Mountains Trail continues to plague me. I’ve made attempts (some successful) at solving the piercing pain in the heel of my right foot, but it always comes back.
Oh, and I tweaked my back this summer for the first time. Kirk and I were up at Elk Lake for his birthday, moving paddleboards to the lake, when I twisted while picking one up and my whole lower back twinged and I had very little movement and a lot a pain. I did it again to a lessor degree last weekend when I tried to get out of my tent.
Both are plaguing me on day one of a 4-day solo backpacking trip into the Wallowas. Maybe I can walk it off? Not likely with the heel pain, especially since I walked that one on last fall.
Ok, it is manage it then…but I’ve got to get serious about healing both. I have a 2-month sabbatical at work next year and I’m going hiking!
So to the awe: this marble and granite chunk of Mountains in NE Oregon (where I started the Blues Mountains Trail last year) is out of this world. I’m hiking (it really feels like plodding) up Eagle Creek towards Horton Pass. The golds and reds from the October fall days are piercing blocks of color against the green and silver rock of the canyon walls.
A family out horsepacking passes me while I pulled over to eat lunch. They look prepared to set up somewhere for a few days, and when I saw their tracks headed up to Hidden Lake (my intended destination for the night) I found something lower, saving me the 1000′ climb. I’ll take it, for the views at my new camp are already making me forget my worries.
It was a short day, relatively speaking, but I have no agenda, only loose ideas, and there are countless options for trails, and lakes, and passes, and loops, so I’m just going to take it as it comes this time. No imposing my will on the miles, instead, letting the Wallowas (and my body) impose their will on me.