The memory of pain is fleeting. (Of course as soon as I say that, I readily acknowledge no man can possibly relate to the agony of childbirth.) My version of excruciating pain, back in the day, was repeated self-subjection to marathons (2:24 PR). Invariably no sooner did I stumble across the finish line when I swore, literally and figuratively, that I’d never ever ever – ever – subject myself to such torture again.
But within a few days, I’d hit the bricks as usual with my running buddies, chatting up other runners about “where to, next?” I implored the Gods of running to allow me, one more time, to recant my sin of even considering ‘never again’.
Same with backpacking. Last July’s burden of lugging an accursed 60 lb. pack along a forever uphill trail in the heat amid a futile effort to swat gazillions of bloodthirsty mosquitoes while eating 1 star rated (if that) camp food has faded to warm, treasured memories. I’m ready to do it all over again.
So, Saturday, July 21, 2012 is shove off day for five nights of back country enjoyment. Only this time, the group has to weigh two options: a return to the Bridger Wilderness or head a tad further north to the truly wild country of the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. I’ve not been to the Bob Marshall, but it seems nasty enough country. It is reported to have more grizzlies, more moose, more everything worth seeing or worrying about. The other option is to return to the Bridger to take on what’s called “The Loop”, a circuitous trek of about 25 miles that would would push us well beyond where my group bivouacked this past summer. It is known country, full of fish, mostly gentle trails, and incredible sights. That said, wherever we enter the high country it will still be a pleasure cruise of backpacking. As for bears, perish the thought: there is strength in our numbers.
I’m going. Pain be damned. RSVP here if you want to push your limitations.