Back in my trail shoes, again

A few days ago, I did the most exciting of things.

I laced up my trail shoes for the first time in over a month and took off up in the mountains to play in the mud.

Oh, I missed you, dirty Adidas shoes.

I still can’t run but I can walk very, very fast. So my sister and I hiked the Rabbit Lake Trail in the rain. It was beautiful and wet, and we walked in cloud cover for a few miles so that mist dampened our faces and frizzed our hair.

First we fueled with this: Roasted veggies. So. Good.

Finally! I’m posting a food picture! Unfortunately, I didn’t make this, my sister did.

Then we hit the trail with the Beebs. It was drizzling in places and raining hard in others, and my hands were cold and my hair wet but still, it was so nice to be out in the mountains again that I didn’t care.

Beeb’s new best friend. At least for, like, two minutes.

Today, my sister’s last day in Alaska, it miraculously stopped raining so of course we drove out to Alyeska Mountain. It’s something we do each year when she’s up here, climb to the top and ride the tram back down again (if you hike or run to the top, the tram ride, operated by Alyeska Resort, is free. If you ride the tram up the mountain, however, it will cost you a cool $20 for a seven-minute ride up 2,300 feet of elevation).

Naturally, we always hike up and ride down.

The bottom of the mountain. See the tram line? That’s where we were headed, though our route was much curvier, and more interesting.

The hike was lovely. The sun came out and we sweat through our shirts and sweat fell down our foreheads and stung our eyes and it felt good to move hard and sweat again, out in the mountains. I had forgotten how much I love such things.

I ran for a few paces and it felt beautiful to flex my arches and maneuver my feet over rocks and through mud. I wanted to keep running, miles and miles, but alas, my foot isn’t completely healed and I must be good (why, oh why, is it so difficult to be good?), and I know, logically, that the longer I don’t run, the stronger I’ll be when I finally do run again (in two weeks? Please, oh please, in two weeks, okay?).

After we rode the tram down the mountain, marveling at the landscape whizzing past, so much green and so many trees, we drove home and the tide was coming in Turnagain Arm and I told my sister how the Beluga whales used to come in each year, their white bodies skimming the water, and how they surfaced with such massive grace, and how they’re rarely spotted any longer. It’s another loss, another memory, and for a moment I was sad, not just because the whales have diminished but because my sister was flying home and there’s always a hole in your life when someone leaves, no matter what the reason.

So I came home and wrote a poem. What else does one do after such a day?

Reading: Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer (for, like, the fifth time, and each time I foolishly hope that Scott and Andy Harris and Ron Hall and everyone else miraculously lives, and each time I’m stunned, anew, when they die. Such is the power of a good book, no?).

6 thoughts on “Back in my trail shoes, again

  1. Karen

    YAY! Glad to hear you're getting back out there in small doses…especially a beautiful hike at Alyeska. 🙂

    I just returned from a trip to visit my family, and I agree, there's definitely a noticeable hole there for a while.


  2. Cinthia

    I know, it's so odd, isn't it, the way we can physically fly in and out of people's lives so easily and yet emotionally there is always a jagged transition. P.S. Love Michigan, went to college in Kalamazoo (yeah, Western!).


  3. ajh

    Glad you could get out and experience some of what you love. We are so lucky to live where we love it and appreciate it. Vermont has been so wonderful the last month. Perfect!


  4. Cinthia

    Thanks! Hopefully I'll be running soon but if not, so be it. I'm having fun hiking, at least for now. Cheers and happy running (put in a couple of miles for me, okay?)


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