Wednesday, October 28, 2009
i live in las vegas. we've had a high wind alert for the past 2 days. and they (meaning the issuers of said alert) weren't kidding.
it's been blowing nonstop, at about 15 mph, with gusts up to - get this - 65 mph. my car has been blown all over the road.
so when my friend cristina called last night and asked if i wanted to go hiking, of course i said yes. we included an opt-out clause if the wind was too bad. unfortunately, we didn't really define "too bad."
we decided to hike ice box canyon, on the not entirely unfounded premise that once we got back into the canyon, the wind wouldn't be so bad.
we were right about that-kind of. a factor to which we gave insufficient weight was why ice box canyon was named ice box canyon.
i was blown sideways walking to the trailhead.
the hike to the canyon is across open land-WINDY open land, today. we managed to lose the trail several times, taking the scenic route through the brush. no big deal. not like we haven't done that before.
the fun really started once we got into the canyon. because, at that point, it's all boulder scrambling. whatever trail there is, is faint, and not for the faint of heart or foot. there is no space for, nor requirement of, thinking about extraneous crap when scrambling. you must pay attention, to every move, breath, shift of weight. or you get hurt. i re-learned this today, when i fell on my left hand, raising an impressively large, and sore, lump on the thenar eminence. my opposable thumb isn't quite opposable right now. this is gonna wreak havoc with my yoga practice.
being down on the floor of the canyon, looking up at the rock walls, was just what i needed today. i put some stuff in perspective that was beginning to take on a disproportionate importance in my life. i remembered that all you have to do is place this foot, place that hand, place that foot, place this hand. you get where you need to be, every time. all else is frippery.
i took some pictures, when i could stand to take my gloves off. if my hands ever thaw, i'll post them. i think one of them turned out ok.
if you've read this far, you win the prize.
here's the funny part.
when we arrived, i had to pee. i went into the restroom, which is a housed latrine. i sit down, and realize -you know that wind? well, it's blowing UP the latrine hole. kind of like an air bidet. i laughed the entire time i was in there!