Start: Smart’s Mountain, CA
Stop: Santa Fe, NM
In the already hot morning I don my familiar hiking clothes, collect my paper bag carry-on. Don’t forget my vertical fan box aka checked baggage which contains my backpack and all its contents. It’s never easy but I say goodbye to my kitty Yazhi. He endures a mini photo session. It’s a kids job to give their mom crap.
The patchwork that is central California agriculture stretches to the horizon. I look out towards the Sierra but the sky is so hazy that I can’t see the granite mountains. What I can see is the line of thunderheads, building for their afternoon dump on those summer backpackers. Oh wait, that’s me. I’m headed for the same thing. I have a feeling that I will be able to title this summer, The Thunderstorm Waltz.
LA welcomes me with a thick layer of smog. I look at the San Gabriel Mountains and know that the Pacific Crest Trail is out there. The plane tire bounces outside my window before I take buses all around LAX. It’s its own city. On the verge of evening I emerge for another bus ride to my terminal and it seems late. It’s cloudy. WTF? June rains in LA? Is this some kind of sign?
Between all my LAX adventures, I manage to catch THE game. USA women’s world cup soccer beats Germany!!!
They go in and out of the plane. “Everything is fine and we should leave on time.” When people use the word “should” I twitch. Who do they think they’re kidding? Something is fucking wrong. Whatever. We probably won’t die.
I look for the Grand Canyon but all I see is the longest alluvial fan ever. And then there’s clouds. On a whim I look out the window again.
We fly into darkness.