Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 11: Camp III to Camp II

I like to think of the penultimate day of something as the "last" day, because the actual last day is generally pretty easy to complete (psychologically). This harks back to a lesson I learned from my high school cross country coach, Ned Gallagher, who always used to call a final interval an "optional" Ironman run. The idea is that, though you've essentially completed everything, you throw an extra one in to go just a bit farther, a bit harder. This was the approach I took today. I gutted out the 9-hour trail in under 6 hours, considering it my "last" day the whole time. I just hope that I'm not too exhausted for the real final day of the trek--the Ironman day--tomorrow!

This was the hardest trekking day of the hike in, and it wasn't much easier going out. It literally felt like one slip to another, with each perilously close to resulting in a broken leg or a twisted ankle. We also had several terrifying river crossings. I won't even bother to describe them with words; pictures do them much more justice.

Ed and I shot on ahead to try to finish the day speedily. We managed to, and bonded with the porters after arriving at camp. We can almost smell civilization now. And, I have to say, I am quite excited by the prospect of returning to civilization tomorrow. It's been a difficult two weeks. Today I asked my teammates what kind of "reward" they wanted to give themselves/be given when they completed the trek. Robert said a shower, Ed a cigar and glass of aged whiskey, and my mother said a swimming pool and the beach. I'm not sure what I'd like. Perhaps all three things!

Spirits are high as we prep for our "Ironman" day tomorrow. Hopefully the political situation is still stable and we won't run into any issues!

No more wet log crossings! Thank goodness we all survived them uninjured...

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