Is This a Matter of Worse or of Better*

So on 4 hours of sleep, maybe, I power through today. Seriously. Ugh. Girlchild and friends had an early flight up north (road trip…remember how we used to drive for those?) and I volunteered to be the one up bloody early to drive. Came back and tried to sleep. Yeah. Not so successful. Part of the not sleeping was a panic attack about all the deadlines and school have-tos in the next 3 or 4 months. The other part was a throbbing ankle, which I twisted apparently worse than I thought yesterday. It’s OK…at this point in the day, I’m on the third cup of tea, I have food in me, I’ve showered, the ankle is feeling much better than it was at 4 AM, and I’ve calendared some shit. Written some shit off, because you have to do that. Started meditating regularly again yesterday (well, it’s not regular until I can keep it going)…it’s funny, because I feel like I don’t have the 20 minutes a day to do it, but I think it’s better for me long term if I do it, despite the time crunch. So we’ll see if I can keep that going.

Back to the hike…

So first of all, we were planning on a waterfall hike, Sill Hill, off Middle Peak in Cuyamaca. We got up there and the road was closed to all but residents from mid-December for an unknown time for replanting. OK. Well. So then we looked at our handy-dandy map and picked a trail across the road, one I’d been on part of way back when on a hike of all three peaks (Middle, Cuyamaca, and Stonewall, which you can see in the picture below)…but when we started on the trail, this is what we found. I’m not sure if that’s an over-enthusiastic stream or the trail. But it was wet. And bloody freezing. So we regrouped…

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Maps help for that. We picked something a little further south, not really a trail, but a loop anyway, out Cold Springs or Stream (there are both) Trail and then picking up a few fire roads until we met up with another trail that dropped us back on Cold S-word Trail.

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Cuyamaca will have burn evidence for years to come.

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It was not warm…42 degrees at the start. It threatened rain, but never did. All those layers that we needed at the outset came off and were shoved in packs.

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It was pretty out…

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Even picking up some manzanita and cactus on parts of the trail…

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As well as interesting rock outcroppings…

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There was fungus everywhere, which is wild, because it probably snowed here over Christmas weekend.

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We started analyzing tracks at some point…after we saw the first deer (well, girlchild saw it…most of us just saw deerbutt).

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Crossed one stream…

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Down the fire road next to the stream.

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More deer! Yeah, we didn’t get too close. They moved away.

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And then we started out that fire road across Green Valley towards the road.

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Trees that escaped the burn.

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Trees that didn’t…actually, this one might just be old instead of burned.

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Then somewhere between that last photo and the next one, we heard a noise. A loud noise. And we know now that it was mountain lion. Like close. So the girlchild and I were like, um, let’s get in a group and hike away from it…loudly…and the guys are like, um, no, let’s investigate, so even though it was pretty damn close, they both sort of wandered up to the bushes where the loud roaring growl came from. So now I know they’re insane. We eventually got them to come with us, thus avoiding the 14th California injury due to a mountain lion, or worse, the 7th fatality.

The kids had to wait for us old people quite a few times…I don’t apologize for that…I have old body parts.

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More fungus…

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Beautiful stuff. That’s the first time I’ve heard a mountain lion in the wild. I came home and Googled mountain lion sounds, because they were like, no, that wasn’t a lion, and I was like, um, yeah it was, and I was right. So that was scary.

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Girlchild likes to explore, even when it means walking on a tree branch…over water…

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There was a nice pool in there…

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Burnt-out trees have a similar fascination…

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Way up in the distance is the boychild…I guess he’d decided the mountain lion was no longer tracking us at this point. We were within range of the road by then, so he was probably right.

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It was about 5 1/2 miles, mostly level, about 550 feet of gain. I’m feeling it today, though the ankle is feeling better finally, so that’s good.

I ironed in the afternoon, still trying to get all the flesh ironed down…

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Then we had birthday dinner etc…here’s Simba and his mohawk…

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It’s not very obvious in this photo, but he’s growing additional fluffy bits that make a nice dinohawk.

There was cake, although we decided against 21 candles, for fear of burning the cake down…

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Puppies like cake apparently.

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Here’s my 2nd day of stitching on A Year in Stitches. I just cut a length of some leftover thread from a Sue Spargo bag of bits and pieces (from the last quilt I think?)…and I stitch randomly until it’s done.

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I picked a smaller hoop because the big one was hurting my hands to hold. I have spring hoops somewhere. At some point, I’ll find them…they’re easier to use, I think.

So after last night’s panic attack, I’m trying to get everything done today! No really. I can’t possibly do that. But certainly having a plan helps me. I know Thursday and Friday are pretty trashed this week due to school and some other stuff, so that leaves today and tomorrow! Yeah! OK, so that’s how I start panicking. But getting the ironing done today would be a plus. So that’s the only plan I’ve really made. It helped that I went through some of the deadlines and figured shit out earlier today. There’s only so much I can do…

I should keep that in mind.

*Amanda Palmer, The Bed Song

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