If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?
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We lay sprawled out on a scree field. Patrick had chosen a small boulder as his pillow. As his words trailed off and his eyes closed, I laid my head back against a rock and shut my eyes from the bright sun. “What time is it?” I croaked.
We were somewhere around 10,000 feet and we had hiked something like 8 miles. Four of those miles were an unintended detour that added 2,000 feet of elevation to our already stout hike. During our zombie-like headlamp march, we had missed the turnoff for the correct trail. We hadn’t noticed our mistake until we arrived at Amphitheater Lake, two miles off course. “8:30,” Michael said.
We all groaned. It was way too early to be this tired. “That means we have time to nap,” Patrick said, his words thick with exhaustion.
Our bodies weren’t accustomed to the altitude. Each step was slow and seemed to require every ounce of strength. Our breathing was labored and heavy, and we frequently let swear words slip out with an exhale.
We had already climbed 6,000 feet. We had another 3,000 to go, over a much shorter distance. That meant things were only going to get harder.
Napping seemed ideal. My rock was the most comfortable bed I had ever experienced. The sun was shining, the wind was mild, and we still had plenty of time to reach the summit.
As I drifted off, I thought of the morning, of how hard we had worked to get to this point—the boulder scrambles, the route-finding, the steep terrain and the aching joints. Then I thought of our mistake, of the nagging worry that it would cost us our goal. My eyes flew open. I sat up. In my mind, it was an abrupt motion, but it probably looked like I was moving in slow motion. “We have to go,” I said, the desperate fire reignited within me. “We have a lot of ground to make up." 📷: @michaelpronz
One of my favorite waterfalls. Skogafoss was still beautiful on a cloudy day and the masses of tourists.
This has turned into a tourist trap area. Campground, restaurant, shops. It caters to bus loads of tourists and eager campers.
Even though it was so busy, I loved this spot. ..
🗣I've been seeing nothing but abysmal trail etiquette recently and I'm beyond unhappy with how little people care about LNT and I know Instagram is making it worse. Protect beautiful, delicate places from heavy traffic and people who think they're above the rules because they're only 'one person'. I'm hopping on board with slowing the Instagram effect by no longer tagging specific trails and lakes in remote and less travelled places. Don't ask me what trails I'm on or where I stood to take a photo because I'm not going to tell you and nobody else should either. If you don't understand why, let me know And I'll link you to a couple great articles about why this matters. Go find your own trails, go take your own photos, and learn to read a goddamn map. You'll find cooler shit anyway. 🗣