22 April 2013

500 Words a Day

So, embarking on my new writing journey, I've committed to getting up early and writing before heading to work. So far, so good. I've read several times a writer needs to sit down and write at least 500 words a day. I’m not sure what’s so magical about 500 words, but there you have it. 500 (plus) words it will be.

But what topic should I use? I have so many rolling around in my brain. I have the starts for bazillions of speculative fiction stories up there. I have musings about what’s going on in my life. Things I've done. Things I want to do.

Probably the biggest thing going on right now is the decision to postpone hiking Mt. Whitney until 2014. That probably needs more background story for readers to understand.

Several years ago, one of my best friends planted the idea of taking the Lowest to Highest trek – the lesser known sibling of the Badwater Marathon.  The better known event is an ultra-marathon running (no pun intended, but appreciated) from Badwater, California to Mt. Whitney – also in California. The course is about 135 miles long and takes the participants from the lowest elevation in the western hemisphere (Badwater) to the highest elevation in the lower 48 United States.

The Lowest to Highest (L2H) variant is a backpacking trip. The distance is about the same. The route is significantly different. Rather than following a paved road the entire distance, it follows a network of trails and GPS points. The scenery, from the photos I've seen, is also much prettier. The time investment is also greater. A marathon run time for the average runner (at least according to askville) is roughly 7 hours. The best time for Badwater is 22:51:29 (thank you Doug Ratliff). That’s a full day of running. In comparison, hiking the L2H will take at least 7 days.

In 2012 I attempted the final stage of the hike – the Mt Whitney portion. One of my sisters-in-law has always wanted to hike Whitney. She put together the trip and it was awesome. We were able to do about half the trip before weather stopped us. Pretty much the most awesome thing I've done in years.

The preparation for the hike and the hike itself pretty much kicked the crap out of me physically. It took a full six months before I was willing to consider doing it again. Then Ron called. Ron is one of my two best friends. (There’s another topic, neh? Best friends?) He’s also the guy who put the crazy idea of the L2H in my head. He pitched hiking Whitney again this year and I agreed. The challenge – getting the permit. We didn't  So we’ll try again next year.  

However, it may be for the best. My body – specifically my feet and legs – hasn't fully healed from last year’s hike. It’s definitely much better but hiking season is about to begin here in the lovely Wasatch mountains and my body is barely able to handle the local trails, let alone fighting the altitude monster that is Mt Whitney.

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