Monday, June 27, 2016

Provo Peak—a report ten days later

At the top of Provo Peak, remains of ancient marine life encrust the stone; hard things left behind by soft creatures.

On June 17th, I climbed this mountain solo...

Don't ask me why I didn't just return and report. My lack of timeliness probably stemmed from making the sixth mile, a 6,800 foot ascent, reaching the top of the coveted peak and ugly crying because I've never climbed a mountain more metaphor for my own life than Provo Peak. I didn't start at the bottom, like most folks. I began at the Y Mountain trailhead. Which means I technically had three separate ascents to summit this 11,068 foot beast; the last a gain of over 2,700 vertical feet in about a mile and a half. In a word: steep. At points in my ascent I literally crawled toward the summit. And once I reached the top I had to repeat my mileage in descent. 

But first I got angry. Fiercely angry. And since I haven't been this close to God since my husband's stroke, I let the Big Man have it. I actually wailed on the mountain top. Maybe even screamed some. I stood 11,073 feet tall and possibly even blasphemed a year's rage at that beautiful clear, blue, empty sky. 

Hear my words! I screamed once. Twice. And then one time more.

Why?!? Sure, my husband would never have learned to be content, would always have been in search of the Academy's praise. But he was so good. The best man I have ever known. The kindest, most faithful, gentlest soul imaginable, ever in search of doing good to all humankind. Doesn't the world deserve— No! Scratch that. Doesn't the world NEED more men of this kind? Wasn't he exactly what men are admonished to be? What the hell was the point of crushing the beauty of the life he was living? The life I was living? Sure, we would never have hiked higher than a shoreline trail that ran parallel with the valley lakes. But I was so damned happy, and it only lasted six months!

I screamed until there was nothing left in me. In between the gusts of wind and my angry sobs, all was still. I took out the dark chocolate I'd stashed in my pack for moments of necessary extra motivation, partook, and then fixed on my journey back to life nearly 7,000 feet below me on the valley floor.

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