It's a chilly day up top! The high yesterday reached 16 degrees and the overnight low got down to 5 degrees. It was 9 degrees at observation and the mountain has a spectacular view of clear skies above some valley inversion this morning. The mountain received 2 inches of new snow yesterday, bringing our total to about 5 inches with higher drifts. It is very difficult trudging. It took me about 20% longer than usual to come up Rainbow last night, it is like walking uphill in deep sand. Factor this into your estimated hiking time and please turn around by 3 pm, unless you really enjoy cold, wintry night hiking.
I met some really incredible people this summer and one of them warned me to be careful about hiking without an iPod, because then I might have an original thought. In keeping with the holiday tradition, I spent a lot of time thinking about gratitude on my hike down and up Rainbow yesterday. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be up here, to let space and time affect me in a way that so few people get to experience. I am grateful that I feel compelled to make this particular experience a priority, that I have the patience to realize every season is a new journey and some things are worth sacrificing for. I am grateful to feel the every day grace and sense of peace that I imagine Henry felt when he wrote, "I love my fate to the very core and rind." I am grateful for every step I've taken, as they have all led me here.