One Year ago today – Having Survived the Canyon

Everything happened as visualized, except for the ice in the bottom of my boots. I couldn’t get my boots on! My bare feet & toes were so so cold but I could move them. I attempted to get my boots on once by putting my liners onto my feet first (Baffin boots are like a wet suit and they have a liner, letting the cold creek water in to warm it against your skin) and then putting my foot into the boot. It wouldn’t work as the liners were too stiff with ice … I had to take them off and sit back down, tried to huddle back into the pretzel like cocoon position I held all night, but I couldn’t recreate it. I don’t have any idea how I did it and / or how I stayed in such a contorted position for so long. … so I knew it was time to move. About 24 hours ago from now is when I first “woke up”, .. meaning I took off the head warmer that I had placed over my face, ears and eyes to breath into and keep that part of my body warm. I never slept .. I heard birds and thought there was no way .. birds start to sing in the morning! The time had gone fast .. by letting go of needing to know what time it was or how cold it would get I no attachments to those things. Honestly, it is so important to not attach to those labels of time and temperature. It would have kept my focus from being on surviving in each moment and put it back onto what I had no control over, which mentally wouldn’t have done any good.
About one year and one hour from right now:
Once I got the boots on, in the second attempt ( I manipulated the liners to crush the ice in them and then shoved them painstakingly into the boots) I hobbled around with my frozen feet in my frozen boots. I couldn’t feel my feet and I had to cross the creek a number of times but I “knew” that the water would once again warm to my feet and that my feet should get warmer once I moved about.
From where I was I could see a slight hint of what might be a trail on the other side of the creek and as I hobbled to try to get a better angle. I got onto a big rock next to the creek and saw where I most likely missed the mark. There was a huge rock jutting out on the other side, which hid the trail as I came back the day before. I kept crossing the creek, seeing a trail on the other side (which is exactly where I stayed the night). Continuing left as I crossed the creek in the wrong spot, the trail ended so I’d get confused and go the other way until the trail dead ended at the creek where I’d cross and continued the circle 3 times or so, not being able to figure out where I had missed. As it got darker I got more panicked and screamed out for help as well .. nothing .. Had I stayed panicked I may have kept attempting to find the trail, crossing the creek over and over in the dark ( I thought about finding my way this way) and I certainly would not have made it (the creek was fast and high and not being able to see where my feet were would have been a death sentence). .. Anyway, the story is on the blog so I won’t keep recanting it here …
The sun didn’t come up and over the canyon until late so it was about 11 am when I finally crossed the creek and found the trail. I was about a mile from the trail head … The snow on the trail was solid ice having melted the day before and then freezing overnight. I ran into no one until the end. At the very last creek crossing I saw a woman, her daughter and a dog. The young girl must have been high school age. she and the dog crossed the creek the opposite direction from me.
The lady, having waved the girl off as she headed out to hike, spoke to me. She asked me if I’d help her to walk back to the trail head, which was about 1/4 of a mile away. She explained that she is legally blind so I took her arm and we walked and talked. I told her what had happened and somehow just now am seeing the symbolism of “I was blind but now I see” …

Everything happened as visualized, except for the ice in the bottom of my boots. I couldn’t get my boots on! My bare feet & toes were so so cold but I could move them. I attempted to get my boots on once by putting my liners onto my feet first (Baffin boots are like a wet suit and they have a liner, letting the cold creek water in to warm it against your skin) and then putting my foot into the boot. It wouldn’t work as the liners were too stiff with ice … I had to take them off and sit back down, tried to huddle back into the pretzel like cocoon position I held all night, but I couldn’t recreate it. I don’t have any idea how I did it and / or how I stayed in such a contorted position for so long. … so I knew it was time to move. About 24 hours ago from now is when I first “woke up”, .. meaning I took off the head warmer that I had placed over my face, ears and eyes to breath into and keep that part of my body warm. I never slept .. I heard birds and thought there was no way .. birds start to sing in the morning! The time had gone fast .. by letting go of needing to know what time it was or how cold it would get I no attachments to those things. Honestly, it is so important to not attach to those labels of time and temperature. It would have kept my focus from being on surviving in each moment and put it back onto what I had no control over, which mentally wouldn’t have done any good. About one year and one hour from right now: Once I got the boots on, in the second attempt ( I manipulated the liners to crush the ice in them and then shoved them painstakingly into the boots) I hobbled around with my frozen feet in my frozen boots. I couldn’t feel my feet and I had to cross the creek a number of times but I “knew” that the water would once again warm to my feet and that my feet should get warmer once I moved about. From where I was I could see a slight hint of what might be a trail on the other side of the creek and as I hobbled to try to get a better angle. I got onto a big rock next to the creek and saw where I most likely missed the mark. There was a huge rock jutting out on the other side, which hid the trail as I came back the day before. I kept crossing the creek, seeing a trail on the other side (which is exactly where I stayed the night). Continuing left as I crossed the creek in the wrong spot, the trail ended so I’d get confused and go the other way until the trail dead ended at the creek where I’d cross and continued the circle 3 times or so, not being able to figure out where I had missed. As it got darker I got more panicked and screamed out for help as well .. nothing .. Had I stayed panicked I may have kept attempting to find the trail, crossing the creek over and over in the dark ( I thought about finding my way this way) and I certainly would not have made it (the creek was fast and high and not being able to see where my feet were would have been a death sentence). .. Anyway, the story is on the blog so I won’t keep recanting it here … The sun didn’t come up and over the canyon until late so it was about 11 am when I finally crossed the creek and found the trail. I was about a mile from the trail head … The snow on the trail was solid ice having melted the day before and then freezing overnight. I ran into no one until the end. At the very last creek crossing I saw a woman, her daughter and a dog. The young girl must have been high school age. she and the dog crossed the creek the opposite direction from me. The lady, having waved the girl off as she headed out to hike, spoke to me. She asked me if I’d help her to walk back to the trail head, which was about 1/4 of a mile away. She explained that she is legally blind so I took her arm and we walked and talked. I told her what had happened and somehow just now am seeing the symbolism of “I was blind but now I see” …

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