The forecast twenty degree temperatures never materialized, and it was a balmy thirty-one degrees when I awoke at 3:45 AM with something very, very wrong in my neck. As near as I can tell at some point during the evening my body rolled but my head didn’t get the message, and my neck bore the brunt of this miscommunication. In any case, after a short drive this morning I turned up the Mount Whitney Portal Road in Lone Pine, and then made a hike of the last few miles of road, past ice and rockfalls that were obviously the source of the “road closed” signs posted below. This route is the homestretch of the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, and it was with a renewed respect for those athletes that I huffed and puffed my way over the short distance and 2,000 foot elevation change to the trailhead.
From that point all paths led homeward, and after a brief stop for a burrito (yum) and a car wash I was home and scrubbing mightily to remove the many layers of dirt that had accumulated over the past few days. Now it’s one day of rest before heading back to work, and another six months before the great Iceland adventure brings more fodder for journal entries.