The above photo was taken yesterday as I battled the elements on day six.
Rain, hail, mud-slicks, thick bush, marsh/bogs, and rocky slopes created challenge after challenge after challenge. The only constant for the day was a howling wind capable of gusting strong enough to nearly knock me over. My hands were numb, one bleeding (not major) from some unnoticed scrape with a tree or rock, my boots were soaked, and my pack sometimes like a sail in the wind twisting me sideways as I walked.
Most of the day was a blur in my memory – but I remember turning around to face the wind and shouting at the top of my lungs in anger. More than once. I was angry, battling, and on a mission to get across and down that mountain into Barrydale.
It was a shame to face such inhospitable weather when the mountain landscape itself was stunning. This otherwise would have been a great mountain to spend two days on, as according to my schedule. But when weather hits like that, I push on fast, and covered 25 km in the day (roughly a third of my entire total-walked-distance from days 1-6).
After all that I got to Barrydale in the very last light of the day and found myself in the warm home of a friend offering shelter. Today I spent recovering, physically and emotionally, and preparing for shoving off tomorrow to continue walking towards George. I think and hope the worst of this trek is behind me, but I only know one thing: have faith in the journey, in whatever form it presents itself in, and it’ll all be okay in the end.