I was supposed to work overtime today, but something came up. Essentially I couldn't stand to be there anymore and I needed to get to the woods.
The soil in the gully down was easier to traverse today on account of the rain earlier this week. And partially my own increased confidence. I did a lot of things today on account of confidence. Lots of jumping mostly.
Life has been really freeing lately. I'm getting stronger, and learning how to use that strength. Learning my natural body and getting it more attuned to it's natural movement. It hurts a lot right now, but that's the physical manifestation of a paradigm shift. My life has been longing for this gentle pain for a long time. I'm 30 years old now, and I feel phyaically better than I did in any of my 20s.
There was a snapping turtle in the creek. A cool native that I haven't seen in here yet. He didn't seem to mind me as I walked the creek. We both know I'll keep my space.
My new shoes are amazing. The sole on the Vibram Fivefingers V-Alpha is amazing. In places where my bare foot slid around and nearly tripped me, the Megagrip sole clung to the rocks like Velcro. I love it. It added a good deal to the confidence today.
There's a resting shot from a quick video I took. I'll post it and another video another time. It was a good trip. I harvested some poles from a beaver dam a few bends downstream from the swimming hole. At places the creek bank was probably 10m deep, but the water was shallow and wide over fairly flat rocks, so when I was making trips back to the dam, I was able to comfortably jog. The water drains so easily from these shoes, and it is so refreshing to be able to feel it. The coolness helped my heel, which has become slightly bruised from wearing my big heavy stiff work boots. Wild water is very healing.
Someone, some time back, carved steps in the stone on the bank immediately past the swimming hole. I wonder how often they visit. I was appreciative of their work today. It made my work much easier.
That pic shows their handiwork and the swimming hole in the background. The poles I harvested were to make a ladder for getting up to the woods more easily. It will be included in one of the videos. My intent was to take a swim after it was done, but a thunderstorm popped up while I worked on it, triggering a flash floods in the creek. I carried on my work, mindful that there was a very high energy force just feet away. The usually calm babbling creek quickly reached a roar that I didn't dare enter. I watched as debris was brought down, bounced along rocks, smashed down to the bottom of the swimming hole, and sent on it's way over the calmer, wider space downstream. It's probably lodged in the beaver dam for me to use another time.
A few notched poles for the ladder
The sky got dark, a cold wind blew down the creek bed and stirred the trees, and thunder rumbled faintly through the sound of the blowing forest. It all whipped up, and I doffed my shirt to soak up the cool rain on my skin. My phone went into my backpack and I continued to work.
When it was time to go, after about five hours of exploring and building, I went through the woods. No trails exist here that I haven't built, at least not to my current knowledge. I don't want this place to be heavily accessed right now, so my trip out was nearly a crawl on a winding route through low saplings and understory in an attempt to not leave a trail. I was careful to avoid poison ivy, as it had been progressively presenting itself through the week after last week's exposure. The pain is active in my mind. I doubt I avoided it all perfectly, but I doubt I'll notice of o didn't. I'm already nearly covered in the rash below the knee. My yarrow, plantain, and comfrey salve is keeping it manageable.
My loadout is getting lighter. I have stopped taking water with me to the woods. There's living water there in the creek. I take a Sawyer Mini water filter with me instead. Benefiting from the landscape. Obtain a yield. I did bring my shears today, but didn't use them. I wasn't up in the woods much to work on clearing things. Maybe I'll get back out on the long weekend. I'll need a few nails to hold the ladder together. The notches held on the first and fourth try. The second and third it tried to toss me in the roaring creek.
Overall, this was the most therapeutic trip yet. It just keeps getting better. I ran about half of the route home. I'm not supposed to be running yet this early in my transition to barefoot shoes, but I couldn't help myself. Between the cool fresh water and the lightness of my feet, it just kind of happened. My calves are sore, but that's to be expected. My lower legs are relearning how to bear my weight. My feet are shifting to a more natural interaction with the ground. It's going to take adjustment, maybe for a month or more. More to look forward to.
I've been up 24 hours now, and I'm tired. Even with all the day's healing.
All action for the good of all,