Rose, Thorn, Bud. Try this at home.
So the rose, thorn, and bud excersice is something StuckOnTheGround started with the group at the end of the day. Rose being your highlight or favorite part, thorn being your biggest challenge, and bud being what you are looking forward to tomorrow. This may sound all “kum-bay-ya” but it is a really nice way to reflect on the day and find something to be thankful for. Recognize challenge and gear your mind towards the future.
My Rose for today was the stellar views from the tops of the two ridges we climbed and the sunrise that morning. My thorn was the fact that I ripped a left shoe, broke my left earbud, and lost my smartwool beanie on the trail somewhere. These 3 events put me in a crap mood, but somehow pulled out of it. My bud is seeing the views from tomrrows big climb and starting the fire reroute which will bring me and the boys into Stehekin!
I stirred in my tent. The cold air nipped at me, and finally I forced myself to move. A cloud had passed over us in the night dropping off some nice dew all over our tents and sleeping bags. Mmmm waking up damp, not my favorite! Despite this I got moving, rolling my wet gear away and was rewarded with an incredible sunrise.
Drifts of fog rolled in front of the ridgeline views and I was enjoying them until I was engulfed in my own fog or low cloud. Pooper had caught up with me and we trekked together taking in the views. The ridge dropped off into a valley and climbed out the otherside to a clear, sunny, meadow on the side of a mountain. We took a nice break and I threw all my gear out to dry. Sissyphus soon joined us to take in the stunning views!
We had somehow taken almost an hour break and in realizing it decided to get our butts in gear. It was business time! Sissyphus took off, and Pooper and I followed. We climbed a nice ridge seeing weekend backpacker after backpacker to our surprise. Afterwards dumped down the other side back into the forest. Lush green forest, moss covering the forest floor, waterfalls bellowing hundreds of gallons of crystal clear water pumped life into the underbrush. On this decent my toe got caught by a root and it ripped my shoe, dang! Field repair time!
Just before reaching our meetup spot the trail turned swampy and the bushes reached in. One grabbed my headphones and ripped my left earbud from the wire. I was pretty pissed, I used these to jam to music, and always put them in at night to pass out within minutes of laying down. Soon I saw Sissyphus, I plopped down all grumpy and continued to eat and work on my shoe.
The guys pressed on as I finished up. I knew I needed some time to work off some steam. I absolutely hate having to spend money on materialistic things that i’ve already paid for once. Anyway the climb up and out of the valley did me good. Head down and heart pumping, I climbed on. Soon I stripped off my hat and hung it on my pack. By the time I reached Glacier Creek and looked down to realize my hat was gone, it was already too late. Turn crabby into pissed the fuck off! It just wasn’t my day. Good thing I had more climbing to do!
I pressed on after going back and searching hight and low. I reminded myself I was out here in a place where not many people ever get to go, much less for 5 months and I should be thankful. That combined with the climb finally put my mood in check. I topped out and was rewarded with 360 incredible views!
Knowing I had little time I bombed down the other side. Switchback after switchback the light began to fade from the sky. As I decended further into the valley below the light just became dimmer until finally I had to turn on my headlamp to walk. Finally I reached camp where Sissyphus and Pooper were setting up. Whew made it! We chatted on and caught up during the nightly chores. I was thankful for my two friends on the trail. Despite the thorns, the rose of the day was gorgeous and the promise of the bud to come will only keep me in suspense.