It’s been tough getting back into a “normal” life.
First, there are the energy levels and food intake, which I presume are for the most part directly related to each other. I’m still eating 2/3 more per day than usual, am unable to get enough sleep at night, have a quite limited attention span, and generally am not getting all that much done. I’m whiling to roll with it, allowing the food monster free reign and doing damage control on the school front, at least through the end of the week. By Monday though, this shit needs to calm down a bit.
It certainly points to a good lesson I’ll be taking into adventures next year. I need to fuel better. As I commented on below this morning, I now have a good sense of what that will look like. I suppose Kevin was right, we probably were burning 7k+ calories a day (especially in the cold).
The second problem is culture shock. I just wrapped up the biggest adventure of the year, of my entire outdoor career in an objective sense, and can’t wrap my mind around it. The whole complex feels remote. I can get my head round a 15 hour ride or hike. This is a rather different critter, one that engenders a rather surprising (though it shouldn’t be) existential morass. What am I going to do with myself? Why. Am. I. Alive. ?? What I will do is continue eating protein like mad, finish some research, set up some meetings, write some reports and an article, do some lobbying legwork, go to Old Faithful with my family for the holidays, fly to Egypt with my mom over the new year, come back, go to Utah for Camp Lynda and other adventures, then come back here and start my last semester. Graduate, and so forth. Finish my portfolio by spring break. Do a big Colorado Plateau trip at the end of March. Train for Bighorn. Do Bighorn, then train for and do the AMWC. Then move to wherever M goes to law school. And so on.
But in the midst of so much uncertainty, I just want to curl up, eat more fried ham, and be comfortable. Which is why in the last 24 hours I’ve done lots on the practicum and TA fronts, little on the homework front, and read all 250+ pages of Steven Rinella’s American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon. (Which I highly recommend, and has very little to do with school.)
Not much else to be done about it, besides finish this so I can go make more food (haaaaammmm..) and not fight the unique state I’m in. Life is for enjoying.
Thirdly, my legs have mostly stopped aching. I still have no power of any kind when cycling around town, but my feet have almost entirely returned to normal with respect to swelling. My toe wounds are also coming along nicely.
What crazy lives we lead.
Add.: Here’s a final gear list for the trip, with commentary. Aside from the food and smaller snowshoes, there’s very little I’d do differently.