Just kidding! We couldn't go to Crater Lake today because we had to climb a mountain instead!! After a morning's riding, pulled into Diamond Lake Park and noticed Mt. Bailey.
Mt. Bailey towers over 8000 feet over Diamond Lake, and since this is one of our last days in the mountains, we figured we had no choice but to attempt the summit. Turned out to not only be a good mountain spot, but a good cannonball spot too.
And then we started climbing the five miles to the summit, except this time it was by foot, not by bike. All in all it was an unremarkable hike: there were very few species of plants in the forest and not a lot of animal activity. We ran out of water and time to make it to the summit, but the view of the lake from 7000 feet was spectacular.
If anything, hiking at a two mile an hour pace as opposed to biking at an eleven mile an hour pace gives you plenty of time to think. We only have two more weeks left in this journey, so that means only two more weeks before I have to come back to reality.
I've had a decent amount of introspection over the past few years, and one of my most helpful conclusions is that I need four things in life to feel content: be near family, have a good boyfriend, find a close a group of friends, and do work that I am proud of. When even just one of these needs is out of balance, my feefees also get out of balance too.
Travis doesn't need these things. In ecological terms (this is a quote), he said that I am a niche species that not only survives but thrives when certain conditions are right, while he is more of a generalist, and can make due in diverse circumstances. He left home in South Florida without looking back, doesn't flinch when he doesn't have tons of friends to call, and likes to feel like he does good work without basing too much of his indentity in it. He DOES think I'm important, so it's probably a good move that we're moving in together.
So where does that leave me when I return to Florida lacking many of the pillars that keep me supported? Every so often that terrifying thought cracks through to my reality, and it's paralyzing. But there's nothing I can do right now but keep riding on.