May 20 (Day 19)

Mile 273 to Bench Camp (273 to 294.7)

Daily miles: 21.7

I walk the high road, the wind road, the road past the stoics.  The stoics are the old pines, the ones big enough to live through the burn that destroyed everything else in this valley.  Unencumbered, we are blown through by the wind, and we lean into it, and we throw our arms out in defiance, and we do not care about the wind today.  But we will find a sheltered place to eat our lunch.

After the burn, and the stoics, and the wind, comes the rock fields.  Beyond the rock fields…I do not know.  More mountains and wind and rock and a steady line of people with packs travelling like ants to nowhere.  There is no significance to Canada, but it’s where we’re going.

At night I walk down from my tent to the small stream to gather water.  There are shadows and clouds, then sunlight in earnest as I sit on a rock and let my feet go numb in the water.  The stream flows over the rocks and makes water-noises.  I listen to Joanna Newsom, who seems like an appropriate choice for this place.  I sleep with clean feet tonight–always a pleasant thing to do.

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