About to drop in on a run, Nirvana, and I had to stop and stare at the big bold face of Mt. Wood, the tallest peak visible from June Mountain.

…What? What is that?  It can’t be my alarm already.  Why?  I just went to bed…I should
just call in sick today.  I don’t want to get up.  Why do I have to do this, the
sun isn’t even up yet, and my bed is so warm.  I just want to

…Up here, above the deepest, darkest, depths of the oceans.  Above the ambling,
rambling rivers and roads.  Above all of the organic, rooting, crawling,
swimming, walking, flying elements of Earth.  Above all, except, perhaps the
hardiest of plants, bravest of birds, and those searching for the next step, or
the answer, or a fleeting moment where it all makes sense.  Searching and
grasping for anything that you can cling onto for dear life, anything that will
help you take the next step, give you just enough courage to be able to face the
newest challenge.

All of these introspections, dreams, and feelings raced through my body as I stood
on the peak of Mt. Wood.  And then I was ecstatic, standing there on top of the
monolith that seemed to challenge the surrounding environment as if it was a
teenager rebelling against its parents.  I had never felt so good.  Staring out
over the edge of the craggy peak, looking down at where I had started, my head
began to spin and a drunken feeling swept over me.  I was so giddy with
excitement that I could barely contain myself.  I had done it.  I had
accomplished what I wanted to do ever since the first day I worked a chair lift
and looked across the valley to the bold face of Mt. Wood.  Amongst all the
commotion within my body, a great calm began to spread throughout and I no
longer feared the challenges that lay ahead.

On the summit of Mt. Wood I knew that I would be ok.  I knew that what lay ahead
wouldn’t be easy, but I knew I could accomplish whatever I set out to do.  I
knew that Mt. Wood was not the last peak, but merely one of the first that I
would climb and learn from.  These last few weeks, thinking about the thru-hike
of the Appalachian Trail, I’ve found myself dwelling on the day that I climbed
Mt. Wood.  When I begin to get nervous I think about Mt. Wood and everything
that Missy and I have done since then, and I can feel that great calm spread
over me again.  I feel all the anxious, excited nervousness slip away and I
think about everything that we will see and experience, the people we will meet,
and everything that this adventure will teach us.

Some of my happiest moments have been when I’ve found myself lost in the forests and
mountains of the Eastern Sierra.  Knowing it’s just the Earth and I makes me
feel comfortable, more open, and willing to share my thoughts and feelings.  I
know that the Earth won’t judge me and will accept me for who I am as long as I
treat it with the same respect that it shows for me.  I hope to share this with
Missy as we walk, scramble, and climb our way North on the Appalachian Trail.  I
hope to share with her some ecstatic moments similar to the one that I felt on
top of Mt. Wood.  I still get nervous now while I wait to start the trail, but
with memories of Mt. Wood and Missy by my side I know that we can do it and that
when all is said and done we will never look back on this time with

P.S. Mr. Gratch, I apologize for not answering your question this week.  I felt the
need to take a break from the trail and enjoy the place that I was at and it
made me think about all the memories I had acquired.   Mt. Wood is prominent
among them, especially since I look at it every day at work!  I promise I will
respond this next week.  To those who haven’t asked any questions yet, don’t be
shy; ask away!

I’d also like to ask those interested to give me your e-mail address.  I would like
to get a list of people who I could just send out a quick group e-mail too in
order to inform you of when I make a post.  You can just send an email with the
subject heading of “AT Bound” to will.krift1@gmail.com. Once I get your address I will
send you a notice every time I make a post. 

Thank you to everyone who has posted comments here and on Facebook.  Please keep them
3/15/2012 05:51:57 am

!Que romantico Will!

Matt A
3/20/2012 09:10:56 am


3/24/2012 02:16:44 am

Wow! That's an inspired post! I loved it - it gave me a really good idea of what's going through your mind. And the photo of Mt. Wood is beautiful. What camera did you use?

4/7/2012 12:44:44 pm

hey Lisa, sorry for the delayed response. The camera that I used for that picture was the pink Nikon that I had for a little bit. It was just a point and shoot that my buddy Austin found and then gave to me. We're going to be using Missy's Canon PowerShot while we're on the trail. Her camera takes a good photo so hopefully we'll remember to use it!

7/17/2012 10:51:22 am

Thanks for this post. I certainly agree with what you are saying. I have been talking about this subject a lot lately with my mother so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!


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