Hike 42: Black Butte - Part One


We started at 3:30 AM so we could catch sunrise at the summit of Black Butte, near Mount Shasta. I love sunrise hikes because there isn't as much information for me to process. I'm hyper aware of my surroundings and how I move through them, and I was thankful for the decreased stimulus on the way up. Yes, most of this hike is hopping around rock slides and over boulders, but I couldn't see the magnitude of it. All I could see was what my headlamp illuminated. Less choices. More calm.

Day started to break as we approached the summit, so I switched off my headlamp. I was getting really anxious and felt tears welling up behind my eyes. As Barry charged ahead over the boulders, I saw how steep the side of this thing was. Before I could stop myself, I envisioned disaster and followed that train of thought to my death:

I'll get my toe caught in the bottom of these pants (already happened) and fall down the mountain. My last words? I LOVE YOU BARRY and then also my password to my password app so he can access all the things. If I don't finish this book before I slide to my death on this mountain, I hope he releases it. Does he remember the PIN to my debit card? Will he be able to access Dropbox for pictures? Can he update the website? Can he keep going on the REI tour and keep sharing the story? We never got to open a retreat center. No goats for him to shepherd. Who am I kidding? Have you seen these rocks? Black Butte is a volcanic cone near Mount Shasta and these rocks are HUGE. I'll go log-rolling down this boulder hill and then a rock will crush my skull before I even get to say I love you.

"NO. STOP." I half tell myself, half beg the Universe. The wind has to be 40+ mph up here, I can't see, and I'm freezing.

I shake my hands, as if I just washed them and there are no towels and no hand dryer. I'm trying to whip whatever this negative force is out of my body, through my fingertips. As I'm doing this, Barry turns around.

"You okay?"

(to be continued)