Thoughts on Uncertainty
On Thursday night I will drive with my wife Karen to California, and on Friday she will drop me at the bottom of massive Kings Canyon, in Kings Canyon National Park. From deep in the canyon I will start a difficult hike. Probably the most difficult hike I have ever attempted. It is remote and tricky, with no trail much of the way. I'll be alone, and I will try to move as fast as I possibly can. My objective: to finish the Sierra High Route in 10 days or less. 195 miles, 27 mountain passes, almost unimaginable granite beauty.
What I love about this venture is that I have no idea how it will turn out. Yes, I've done portions of this hike before, but always with a partner, and always in shorter bites. This time, I'll get to see what I can or can't do. I will see if my aging body can take the beating (especially my feet). I will see if I can stay positive and moving when things go bad, as they certainly will.
I may only spend 40 or 50 days a year actually outside on various ventures (though usually not of this magnitude). But the values and interests and people that surround them are important to my identity. Every once in a while, if you are so inclined, you get to try a big one - something that stretches you way out there, wherever that is for you. This trip is one of those big ones. Maybe I'll be fortunate and things will go well. Maybe I'll be unlucky, or I won't be able to live up to my ideal view of myself. Really, that doesn't matter so much. I've been through all those ups and downs before. It makes little difference. I know that I will look back on it fondly, and I know I will soon be thinking of the next outing.
I'm grateful to have a passion, and to be able to pursue it, and to have people who support me. And most of all, I'm grateful to go outside with so much uncertainty. I have no idea - really - whether I can get it done . That's a blessing. I'm ready.
See you on the flip side.