2007-07-24 So good when I stop

July 24th, 2007

On the final climb of the day, with more moisture dripping down my back than in my water bottle, I began to feel a little defeated. I composed an entry basically pleading for mercy and telling everyone with a roller-chair and air-conditioning how lucky they are. But now that I’ve rested and mostly dried off I am feeling more positive and ready to walk again tomorrow.


From my rock-top perch this morning I heard “the other” Billy Goat come by. At 5am it was still dark enough that he didn’t see me until he was quite close. The first song on my iPod set the tone.


Eagle-Eye Cherry – “Are you still having fun?”
  You are on your own
  You do as you please
  Having so much fun
  Gone and lost your reason
  After all is said and done
  Are you still having fun?
  How were you to know when you’ve gone astray?
  That happiness would go like a lost emotion
  You have always gone your way
  Are you happy today?

Not every moment here is fun. The last few days have been incredibly hard physically but that’s my fault. I’ve set an aggressive schedule again and I’m throughly exhausted. I’ve run four marathons now. And at the end of each one I made a mad dash to the finish line. Moving my legs so fast I couldn’t feel them, just the frantic raising and falling of my thighs until just as they are about to burst I cross the line and come to a sudden stop. I stagger around for a while, quite uncertain what to do next then things kick in. Rest, refuel, recover. That’s how I’ve been feeling at the end of my hiking days recently. Totally beat and just a little disoriented. I look forward to reaching Etna not just for BlueSky rejoining the hike but the return to a more healthy pace.


I am of course sticking with it. Just now I heard a squirrel talking loudly about something, and there is a serious amount of leaf-rustling and branch-breaking going on over there. You just don’t get this at home. I’m off to investigate the strange sound.

…whatever it was it didn’t like the look of me in underwear and Crocs so I didn’t get to see it. Deer I don’t mind, it’s the bears and mountain lions I worry about. And whatever little critter snuck into my bag and gnawed one of my breakfast bars last night.

I saw a rattle snake today. I was surprised to see one in this humid shadowy forest, such a world apart from where I saw my first one in the arid lands near Campo nearly 100 days ago.

More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Old Station to Castle Crags

Distance today: 29 miles. Total distance: 1483.3 miles

Google Maps

6 Responses to “2007-07-24 So good when I stop”

  1. Alison Says:

    The pace you have set yourself again sounds gruelling, yet amidst it all you are able to take in your surroundings.

    You are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.


  2. Levi Says:

    Hey Craig, you’ve been a friend that I’ve always thought has had the most positive outlook in life. Always with a smile and a laugh. Previously in your entries I got the impression you were looking to this experience to be a challenge, to help you understand life, yourself, and to search for the profound. In my personal experiences, I have found these moments while pushing myself as hard physically and mentally as I could. Perhaps these are the moments you are looking for; Helping you to find those deeper, slippery, questions to ask yourself. I have faith in you, my friend, that you will come through these times and your smile will be as wide as ever, your mind at peace, and the sparkle in your eye will only just hint at the wisdom you have obtained.

  3. Claudia Lively Says:

    oh my god. levi is profound. always has been. he slid out of my body and said hiya mom.
    Craig, hope you get this soon. We would love to pick you up and Hyatt Lake is the best place to catch you at the highway and get you rested and well fed. I am not sure what other “off ramps” there are near Ashland but we know this one well. we have hiked along this area. We will find you no matter where you land north of the border but that one is about 40 minutes from home on a familiar route. love Claudia

  4. Ruth Says:

    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s CRAIGY-BOY!!! Sorry I haven’t totally kept up with the blog, unlike SOME people I actually go to school and do work ;) lol. But you’re over half way!!! and another year older!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Dad’s birthday today, I got him a pair of Crocs, Thomas took my place and gave him the Toblerone :) Hmmm what is new around here… ooo. I learnt to juggle!! Yay! Um… Thomas and Jed are doing speeches, oh and separately they have to write about their heroes and I believe Thomas is writing about you! (Shh he doesn’t know I know). Oh and mum is buying out New Zealand’s supply of baby clothes and knitting books, lol. Also, though you probably haven’t come across any, I have to say Harry Potter fans are hilarious. When people started talking about the plot of the book in science another fan asked the teacher “Can’t you put them on detention? They’re ruining my childhood!” But be careful what you say, my friend started crying when I told her that his plant died and she miss-heard what I said and thought Harry had, I still don’t know what happens. What else… well I could talk about the weather…DREADFUL. It’s so cold, there has been a -19 degrees C in the country and there have been a few ferocious storms and a few tornadoes, though you will probably start telling me about droughts and snow and I can’t compete with that. However, England can say that they are having floods, in summer!! Anyway, I better go and do something with my Sunday, even if it’s not an accomplishment as high as walking tens of kilometers in a day! So buy a chocolate bar for me and give it to yourself, write a postcard if you have time, and feel good knowing that the world is as it should be, you’re making footprints all over the world, ten-year-old boys are on computers, Mum is crazy over babies, Pete works like crazy but is still wearing yesterday’s clothes and Dad will soon be checking my spelling and punctuation :)
    Lots of love,
    Ruthie, Ruby.

  5. Craig Says:

    Hey Ruthie good to hear from you. Thanks Levi and Claudia I’m looking forward to seeing you both soon.

  6. Peter Says:

    Yeah… what Levi said… except with more profundity… yeah :D

    Seriously though, I’ve had a couple of conversations with people about those videos we made for you. Something that we didn’t think to mention was that although we miss you, we all believe in you… we all have no doubt that you can do this, and we didn’t mention this because it’s an implicit belief. Knowing you as a friend means knowing that if anyone can do this, you can. So keep it up champ.