18 August 2022 (21st anniversary of moving to Oz)
Starting elevation 8930 ft. High point 11,970 ft.
First light is back there somewhere. Its dim illumination of earth had just started to spread over the Arkansas Hills as we headed west. But the light has not reached this cleft in the mountains yet. It is dark and moist and COLD. It was only 42F when we left the house, and we are about 1000 feet higher here.
Still, I’m moving quickly up through the thick forest, each crunchy foot fall drawing me higher. It’s 6am when my dad drops me off at the trailhead. And it’s 6.15 now as I follow Fooses Creek uphill. I’ve got a couple miles to walk up a rocky track before the trail proper starts. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!