Thursday, January 15, 2004

Jared Sibbit is an intrepid (albeit a tad pernicious) explorer, student, and friend.

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Did I Mention I'm Back?

I've been in something of a mood since I've returned.

Not a bad mood. Sort of an unsettling good mood. It's a cautious optimism, such as I'd imagine I'd feel if I were to inexplicably find myself at a Nickelback concert.

(I'm sitting in my car at Kiwanis Park right now, writing on the back of an envelope. A young lady in a Jeep a few spaces away is eating lunch. It's a beautiful day.)

I've been hesitant to resume writing. It hurts sometimes, you know. Dreaming of things that will never be. Shaping figures from shadows and mist, watching them dance and play until the sun rises and burns them away.

It's frustrating as well. The stream of thought is often icy and runs swiftly. Ideas wriggle and gleam like silver fish; slippery and quick. In the deeper pools, there are old memories. Big, black, shapes that drift slowly and silently to the surface for a noisy breath of air, and then sink back down again.

A Pile of Mountains

I don't doubt that this mood is the direct result of my recent adventures. After we had climbed our last mountain, flown home, and were waiting to be picked up at the airport, I had commented to Sibbitt that it was odd not having a destination anymore.

When we had arrived, we had our mountains to climb. We had traveled to each one, climbed it, and then scrambled off to the next peak. Each one presented it's own particular obstacles.

On one mountain we faced snow and gale-force winds that numbed ears and blew little ice-shards into our eyes. On another peak, the road leading up to it was so icy that the car started sliding backwards. We had to abandon it and hoof it the rest of the way up. The easiest mountain was locked up when we arrived. Who the hell locks up a mountain?!

Each mountain presented it's own particular challenges. We overcame them, achieved each summit, enjoyed the view, and then were on our way to the next state.

I guess I got used to that; having a purpose.

Now that I've been down-graded from "traveling" back to "wandering," I'm unsure of what to do with myself. School is starting in a few days. Work is going well. I have lots of neat things to read.

I have my family, and I have my friends.

This could just be the alcohol-withdrawal talking, but I still don't feel quite complete. Mostly complete, like a jig-saw puzzle of the night sky with only the Pleiades missing.

Not that the Pleiades are the most important cluster of stars in the sky. But from what I remember, you need them to find some of the other ones.


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I'm back, baby.

65 hours.

7 states.

Five High Points achieved:

Mt. Cheaha

Brasstown Bald

Sassafras Mountain

Mt. Mitchell

Black Mountain

1,235 miles traveled by car.

About a thousand miles by plane.

Eh...15 miles on foot.

Number of calls I will receive from the rental car place asking what the hell we did to their car: Unknown.

It's good to be back.