On Saturday I had the day off so Raf and I decided to go on a hike. It’s a favorite: The Timberline/Pacific Crest Trail from Timberline Lodge to Zig Zag Canyon. It always feels like Summer is complete when I can go on a good hike up on Mt Hood.
This is a short hike, a little over 5 miles round trip. I always seem to forget that it is all uphill on the way back to the lodge – The hike to the canyon always feels great! Then I inevitably run out of water halfway through and I have to hike back, uphill, with little to no water. And Saturday it was in 85 degrees, or thereabouts. I was a bit dehydrated when we were finished!
Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
Sometimes fear grips me at the most inopportune time. In these moments I freeze, which is unfortunate. I had this reaction this past weekend when I was at a workshop and was suddenly face to face with my old friend, glossophobia (fear of public speaking). I was called upon to give an elevator speech. I waited to go and listened to others first. After hearing a few others I felt brave and stood up. I started speaking and started out well, but then I froze and I couldn’t finish. I sat down and felt completely deflated.
It reminded me of the time I was hiking with Rafael at Castle Rock in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We reached a point on the path where the trail on one side was a sheer drop down the side of the mountain. On the other side of the trail were cables one could hold on to to help them across the trail. I saw the cables and the cliff and said, “Fuck. No.” I sat there for a long time while Rafael talked me into crossing. He even demonstrated how safe it was by walking in the middle of the path and jumping up and down without the use of the cables. After several minutes of cheering me on, I finally gathered my courage and started across. Palms sweating profusely, I grabbed the cables and walked slowly. I got halfway across and the panic started. I froze. I couldn’t go any further. I cried because I just could not move and fear completely engulfed me. Rafael helped me across but, again, I was deflated. I felt bad for letting fear get the better of me.
We finally hiked to the top of the Salmon River Trail today! It was 8 miles when all was said and done. My legs and feet hurt.
I did something completely different and carried along my digital camera. I had some interesting insights in which I came to the conclusion that film is far superior to digital. I think this, really, came about because I am not used to all of the choices involved in digital photography. I like to go completely manual when I shoot (for the most control over the shot) but there is so much to remember. So many buttons to push. It is irritating, frankly. It is too technical. I like that, with film, you only have to think about exposure (you don’t even have to worry about iso!). The rest of your brain can be used for composing the shot. And you aren’t distracted by the image because you have to wait to see the image.
I do like that I can shoot video with my digital camera, though. Here is a video that I took at the top of the hike, the turnaround point. There are fantastic views of the Salmon River Gorge which is virtually impossible to get to (a few kayakers have braved it). The wind was blowing too hard and I was afraid to get too close to the edge. You can hear me blathering on about something in the background but it is too windy to hear.