I woke up Friday, had biscuits and gravy, eggs and sausage and headed into downtown SLC. I tried to get some work done at Three Pines Espresso, but despite their friendliness and excellent product, it was not a place that supported the laptop crowd.
So I wrote frantically, incoherently into my journal. Trying to come up with some sort of plan for moving forward. My brain was a terrible mess, and I couldn’t keep a thought in my head for more than thirty seconds.
The few points my brain was able to eek out were helpful.
1. Find a laptop friendly cafe and work.
2. Go to REI. Get a SPOT tracker.
3. Go running. Running helps focus the mind.
So I did. And I did. Following the maps on Gaia, I found myself at the nearby trailhead for the west face of Grandeur Peak.
At about 1200 feet per mile, again in the forties, with wind and nobody around, and 360 degree views you’d think I’d be excited. I should be. But this run too quickly devolved into a panic attack. I was struggling to breathe, I was worried about choking on my own saliva after popping a couple GU blocks.
I looked back down the trail, but was surprised to see somebody making steady progress uphill. With my constant stopping, gasping but also photo taking, he quickly caught up to me.
He explained that this was not a normal trail (of course), and mentioned that he was training to get in shape for fire season. He topped out at about 1.5 miles, 1600 feet. Given that the summit itself was shrouded in clouds and I was panicked, I happily used it as an excuse to turn and run down.
I lost altitude quickly. The first time I looked back, I could barely see the fireman stand up and start descending himself.
Back in the car, I made a beeline for Park City. I dug the town, and made the obligatory stop at the High West Distillery. I had a big pour of their Bourye with an Elk Chili for dinner. Nothing fun or exotic for sale, and somehow I had managed to catch them the day before their seasonal break. I explored the town further, found coffee and a horde of tourists. There had been some sort of olympic parade, and word was that Citizen Cope was putting on a show later that night.
I took back to the car and elected to spend the night in Provo.
My car was too big for the hotel lot, so I had to park a few blocks away in a courthouse. Provo is the home of BYU of course, so it was a college town with a really minimal bar scene. Dinner was awful. Service, while friendly, was slow and forgetful. Everyone, of course, was extremely nice. But all this piled on my anxiety. Why was I spending all this money for things I had no interest in? Habits. This would only become clear later.