I woke up today feeling rushed and stuff. I tried to stay calm, and walked across the tracks to Single Speed for Coffee. I then had breakfast at the Market bar before setting in at FireCreek again to do a bunch of work.

Work dispatched, I ran out to investigate the campground off FS 776. It was easy to find, easy to get a spot and it calmed my nerves greatly. Today was supposed to be a rest day, so I didn’t bother to run. Instead I sampled beers from a variety of breweries and had a reasonable coffee at an older second generation espresso place called Macy’s. It’s clear to me that the south side of the tracks is the cooler side.

Finally, I drove back up on 89 to FS 776, took the dirt road in about a mile and set up camp for the first time in months. The crunch of the black volcanic stand is almost as loud as my racing heart. It’s hard to get sleep at 7000 ft.

The sun has set. The high desert chill is starting to set in.  I’m lying on my platform in the back of Gershwin, my 2007 Honda Element. There are lights from a trailer behind me, and a dog barking far to the left. The headlamp from the fellow across the forest service road has stopped appearing. 

An older sedan has just flown on the road towards the camper 100 meters behind me. Some time later another car is slowly making the trek down the road. It’s a truck. It’s loud. And it just turned in right in front of me. I’m staying pretty close to the road. It’s being indecisive about how it wants to park, reversing and lurching forward. It’s kicked up a storm of volcanic dust which shrouds its headlights for a short while.

My nervous system is on high alert, and my mind has to remind it to stay calm. Looking at stars shine through the moon roof helped a little. A satellite slowly drew its way across my view.

After a minute all is well again. But I become on high alert every time a car some down the road. Then again, maybe it's just the roaring engine and full rack of halogen rally lights. Hard to say.