The five hour drive to Lake City was a lonely one. As I was racing the sun across the Rockies, fighting for that last light, I was letting go of someone who had lit me up. My heart ached the whole way.
The last minute trip was less about ice climbing than it was about forcing myself to move on. Get up. Get out. Get going. And yet, the solo adventurer in me didn’t actually want that independent life anymore. No, I didn’t want to be driving through a snowstorm on Monarch Pass by myself in January but there I was – alone in the dark, terrified of going back to who I was before I met him.
I loved that person, but I loved myself more in relationship. The sadness of showing up unsure – not knowing what you’re really going to do with that cute little kitchenette or all that king size bed – in the middle of nowhere, cold and with no connection.
The weight of Lake City can be felt in its black sky and pure silence; the way the stars decide to stare rather than wink; or how the gas pump trickles its way to less than full after 10 minutes. Of course, the gravity of frozen water hanging over nearly two miles of cliffside is the finest icy embrace.
What am I doing here?