(The merry trio at the start of the last day)
I always dread the inevitable letdown once a big adventure, race, vacation, or what-have-you is over. It's the same feeling a child experiences the day after Christmas. Now what? Having been there many, many times, I know what to expect and know that the post-race blahs will soon dissipate as plans are formulated for the next big adventure. That said, this week was a teeny bit of a downer, but I found myself smiling with contented happiness--and sometimes outright laughter--when reflecting upon the W48 journey and came up with a W48 Top Ten list, in no particular order:
1. Unplugging and focusing. I got online just once or twice in 8 days and then for just a couple of minutes to check weather and trail conditions. As well, most of the time my phone didn't work in the wilds of Northern NH. Some people would likely panic at the mere thought of being unable to log into Facebook, email, etc.--the lack of connection with the outside world. I loved it. As one who is rather multi-task challenged, the ability to relax and focus with minimal distraction equaled nirvana. What happened in the rest of the world during that week? Who cared?
2. Reclimbing old, familiar mountains. The White Mountains of NH are where I first hit the trail, where I first got hooked on peakbagging, where confidence and comfort in the outdoors first took root. To say, I cut my eyeteeth in the Whites. I have done each of these mountains in every month of the year, some approaching 50 ascents. These mountains are really, really special to me! Some of them I had not climbed since 2004. To do them all again rocked.
3. Muscle memory. It's a wonderful thing. As mentioned in the previous post, I did no special training for this little snowshoe adventure, so I can attribute the relative ease and lack of suffering to the phenomenon of "muscle memory."
4. Having fun. I think I did not articulate well enough in the last post exactly how much freaking FUN this whole thing was. Except for climbing Tecumseh in the rain and dragging the "cement blocks" across the Sleepers and Twinway, it never felt like toil because we were having such a good time. :)
5. Playing in the snow but not living in it. Snowshoeing, skiing, sledding are fun. Living in snow/cold day to day, week to week, month to month--shoveling, layering up, freezing one's arse off October to May--to me, is not. I know this because I lived in Vermont x 30 years.
6. Seeing stars in the night sky. You realize how incredibly cool this is when you no longer have easy, quick access to it.
7. Making new friends. The adventure/event/trail is the great equalizer; the diversity of backgrounds loses much meaning once on the trail. Goals are common, differences obscured. I am fortunate to have crossed paths with Ryan and Jason. They are super cool people. ;-)
8. Dunkin Donuts. I love their coffee and egg 'n cheese bagel sandwiches, and there aren't any in California!! One appreciates what one cannot have...
9. Returning to California. There's something decadant about spending all that time in the snow, then flying into a land of palm trees, sunshine, and 75 degrees. Such is winter in southern California.
10. Yoga after 3 weeks off. It felt really, really goooood. :)
(Atop Mt. Liberty, peak #46, in the wee hours of the morning)