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Day 73 – Where is Momma Bear

Every mountain I climb I withheld the primal need to yell, scream or release my ecstasy because I have become so used to training myself to look ahead to the next monster peak I will be descending and then climbing. My feet hurt from walking on so much ice, my trekking pole tips have both broken, my shoes are destroyed, and my mind and worn down from the intense focus of walking all these ice covered cliffs. Nearly every moment of the day I have to spend ensuring I have a solid footing to ensure I don’t slide into a bone shattering mistake. The physical fatigue from this section hardly compares to the mental fatigue. I hike 14 hours each day from sun up to sun down, averaging roughly 30 miles a day in a section most people can’t average 20 in during the best conditions. I only state this to justify to myself that it’s ok to feel this way. My Spirits are soaring and I love it out here but I don’t know that I have ever been this thoroughly exhausted. Today while finishing out the major mountains I saw my first bear. It was a very small cub and in looking around and not seeing the mother I became worried. Then when the cub began to make a large whine/growl I figured I had overstayed my welcome and quickly moved on before even getting a good picture of the new bear family. Through the rest of my day I saw two moose and more day hikers than I have in weeks. The beautiful weather brought everyone out to play. I should be in my last state, Maine in the next day or two.

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