This month’s prep for the Rockies trek has been less dynamic that the past two months. It has not been a month of furious extremes; rather it has been a month of consolidation, of steady effort: clocking up 46 miles of training by doing lots of shorter walks, 2/3 miles and a number of 10ks, respectively in the city and around where I live in the west coast of Scotland.
The landscapes traversed have therefore been familiar. If familiarity breeds contempt, I have to admit to a certain amount of contempt being evident in my reflections over the period. Perhaps contempt is too strong, perhaps annoyance is more accurate - whatever it is, it is a subtle aggravation, and not altogether as negative as either ‘contempt’ or ‘annoyance’ would imply. Post trauma, and in perpetual grief mode, one loses a sense of normality, likewise one loses the capacity to relate to things, especially to things familiar. Therefore, feeling neither contempt nor even annoyance would be possible . . . for even basic feelings struggle to pass through the grief veil. To re-discover those simple and basic feelings, those perfectly natural feelings of irritation and boredom, annoyance, contempt, is a revelation . . . like the dawn appearing, slow and sallow upon a forgotten horizon after a long night unslept.
I've rather enjoyed this month, therefore, retracing familiar steps, rediscovering familiar feelings . . . and it's not been entirely uneventful either: the landscape of Scotland never fails to offer up something of worthy and memorable occasion. The most stunning rainbow appeared one day, and it stayed, sharp and clear for some considerable time . . . I think it knew it needed to be photographed!
It's also been a month of keeping busy, on other fronts; getting organised for the trek, checking passports and visas and getting other bits and pieces of paperwork completed. (Now, as for form filling - my contempt for that process has not diminished, not one bit!) But the necessary evils have been completed, and likewise future goods: I officially signed up for my next trek, in the Grand Canyon, in October of next year, 2018.
And I was invited to complete a form of a considerably more engaging content: Discover Adventure, the company with whom I book my treks, invited me to complete an interview for them, about my trekking experiences. The interview is available here.
Certain questions provoked reflections upon things I hadn't considered: not least: what keeps bringing me back for more, trekking. There are many reasons, collectively they've effected the consequence: I think I've caught the trekking bug . . . if I ever needed any evidence, this month I had to have my walking boots re-soled; the rather shocked expression upon the face of the gentleman who took them in for re-soling I’ll take as a compliment when I told him I’d only had the boots for a little over a year. I think, by his expletives, that he was impressed.
So: Roll on the Rockies, one month to go before departure, and then roll on the Grand Canyon, then the Lava Trail . . .
Thank you for reading,