It has been a long time since I've posted, but I wanted to let you know that I am alive. I wish I could say more.
I am in Whitesboro, and one bank sign said that it was 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering that the coldest it had been prior to leaving last November was around 40 degrees (and then, that was just one weather snap), this is a pretty drastic change for me. I expected it, obviously, but expecting it and getting it are two very different things.
This reminds me of a random tale. I once invited Erin Mahoney and Mesbah Motamed to punch me in the stomach. We were in the library of all places (and let the record show that this was years before Fight Club). Erin hit me, but the punch was slow-coming and my muscles clamped down before it landed. Mesbah on the other hand had a different take. He felt bad about punching me, talked about, wavered, all the while I was encouraging him to just do it. Then out of the blue, he smacked me, sending all the wiry force of his little Iranian frame straight through me. I started to crumble, and both he and Erin grabbed me and eased me to the floor. It didn't hurt so much as completely knock the air out of me. I couldn't believe how weak I felt for those moments. For me, this illustrates the above principle: expecting it and getting it are two very different things.
I don't have a picture to illustrate any of this unfortunately, but the sensations are never-ending. Each morning, I'm surprised to hear the birds chirping. What's there to chirp about? I've spent most of the last several nights twisting and turning, rarely comfortable, and surprised when the day starts again. I must be getting some sleep in there somewhere, but I really don't recall going down at all. The sunlight and sunrise are difficult to believe in, so hard were the moments without them.
I decide early if I want to stay in my sleeping bag and let the world heat up a few degrees (which means a several more uncomfortable hours until around 11am) or just get up and deal with the cold burning my toes and nose and fingers. What's worse is that I know this is mild in comparison to what's coming up 200 miles west of here. Maybe it's better actually. After all, I'm not there.
And that's all for the moment. I've applied for a volunteer position at Caprock Canyons State Park. More on that soon. And now it's time to hit the trail again, cold weather or more.
Until next time, cold weather watchers...