24 Jun Is this 30?
Look closely kids. This is the reward of recklessness. This is common sense tossed aside in exchange for the natural rush of adventure. This is what happens when you read one too many biographies of Leif Erikson. This is your brain on drugs. This is 30.
So, yesterday I turned 30. It was a perfect day. The day before I had been visited at Sonora Pass by Ma and Pa and my good friend, Keri. Pa treated us all to breakfast, Ma brought fresh baked snickerdoodles and banana cake, Keri gifted me a fifth of Jameson and a few packs of Wet Ones. We caught up and gorged on baked goods before saying see ya in a few months. I couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks all for the visit!
Birdman and I were off at 1pm to put in 14 mi from the pass. We tucked away early and ate snickerdoodles and banana cake for dinner. The next day was my big birthday and so I sat down with my trail journal to reflect on the last year of life:
– exciting and interesting jobs with DARPA and a friend’s construction company
– awesome hunting trips to Canada and Butte County
– surfing in Pacifica
– great time completing the Tahoe Tough Mudder with even better friends
– inspiring WFR certification
– great reunion at Bryce’s wedding
– full of wonderful romance
– great time with my nieces and nephews, brothers and family
– too many laughs to count with friends in SF
– 2 months testing my fortitude on the PCT
So, in reflection it had been a stellar year. I sat in my tent after writing that list and thought about the year to come. Years ago, I learned from my sister in law, Maria, that Russians believe you spend your new years like you want the rest of that year to be. Well, since then I’ve prescribed to that a bit and have extended it to birthdays. On New Years I was in Yosemite with my buddy Todd climbing through snow towards Vernal Falls. Now, I was excited to be continuing the trend of active, healthy, and outdoors by putting in 30 trail miles on my 30th birthday.
It was a blast. I woke early and felt so energized I had 19 miles done by noon. I sat down under the flapping US flag on Ebbet’s Peak and finished off my snickerdoodles and treated myself to some butterscotch instant jello. I stretched and decided I’d do the next 11 miles by 1630. The landscape was too remarkable though and I had to stop a number of times to take pictures. I’d reach 30mi for the day at 1640. I felt great, accomplished and was a happy man.
I was joined at that camp by a number of hikers: Samba, Tellywa, Gumby, Double It, Texas Grit, BackUp, and Birdman (who had his own 30mi day). They presented me with a totally unexpected birthday card and convenience store coffee cake with a trick candle in it. It was a relaxed evening around the campfire as we shared Jameson and the rest of Mom’s baked goods.
I’m psyched for the next year and the continued adventure…
PostScript: Missing the OG crew. Poured a little out for The Swedes, Lalabi, Ice Queen, Sailor Moon, Leftovers, T-Love, U-Turn, and Dinner Time.