Date: August 12
August mileage: 142.3
Temperature upon departure: 51
I dreamt last night that I was back in Utah, pedalling a long-ago sold mountain bike - my old red Trek 6500 - up an impossibly steep slope of slickrock toward the sun. The glare was so complete that all I could see in front of me was a bright blaze of white, and I could almost feel the sweat pouring down my scalp as waves of August heat shimmered off the sandstone. That's about the time I was jarred awake by nearby shouting, only to realize that my pillow had sopped up a large puddle that seeped into the tent beneath my poorly-built tarp shelter. I ran my fingers through my wet hair and looked at my watch - 5:30 a.m. A couple from a few sites down was having a screaming match at 5:30 a.m. Classy. Sometimes I feel irritated about the sketch-mongers around me, but then I remember that I live in a campground and can't exactly be counted above the fringe.
The house hunt is still coming along, and I've received a lot of helpful tips and leads that hopefully will put me in a place before my birthday, which is next week, and which - if I have to spent it with hobos in a campground - will officially go on the record as the most depressing birthday ever. So it was really nice to hear from Geoff today after he raced the Alyeska Hill Climb. He placed second in the up-and-down race, and he told me this secures his first place spot in the Alaska Mountain Runners Grand Prix. Which - at least by those standards - makes him the best overall mountain runner in Alaska for 2006. First place. In 2003, when we made jokes about the crazies who run up nearly vertical scree fields, I would have never guessed it. This is a picture of Geoff after he placed second in the Matanuska Peak Challenge last Saturday, which had one female racer who has children debating which was harder - Matanuska Peak, or childbirth.
That news lifted my spirts, which hit what I hope is rock bottom yesterday. I went on a hike to think about something besides housing for a while and ended up slipping on a wet rock and sliding down a waterfall on my butt, splashing down about 10 feet below into a waist-deep pond. Not that I wasn't already soaked from dripping brush and drizzling rain, but I was pissed about it on principle, angry at myself, and generally angry at the whole of Juneau. But, honestly, I feel much better today. My little private pity session in that puddle helped me realize that I can't just expect good things to come to me. I have to make them happen.
And just as I thought that, good things started to come my way. I actually received a lot of helpful hints and I am feeling much more optimistic. One of my coworkers may even put me up in a temporary place if I can't find a permanent one before the end of the month, so that's good news. So, yeah. I'm really not as pathetic as I sound on my blog. Now, time to go home to my wet pillow.