The sun went away today, and I get the feeling that this time, it's going to be for a while. The last vestiges of the holidays have fallen away, 2009 is officially history, and I think most of us are asking ourselves, "What now?" I have a weather forecast full of sleet and snain and freezing rain, and a big question mark about where this new year is going to go. I have a lot of options. Too many options, not enough motivation, not enough courage.
Tuesday was the nicest day yet — temperatures in the high teens, no wind, pure sunlight. My body chose this time to come to come down with a heavy head cold, so my energy levels have been low. My friend Bjorn was leaving town Wednesday, so we went on a mellow goodbye walk across Mendenhall Lake. He fed me lemon ginger tea and we talked about how much he's dreading his upcoming trip, which I find hilarious, because his plan is to ride a bicycle from San Diego to somewhere on the East Coast via the southern states — basically a dream trip in my mind. What's even funnier about Bjorn's planned trip is that he's not a cyclist in any capacity. On the lake, the day before leaving, he asked me what kind of bike he should buy in California ("Um, probably a 26" rigid mountain bike with slick tires"), whether he should get one of those "fat butt" gel seats ("Um, not recommended") and where he should ride through New Mexico ("Just avoid I-10.") The final stab about Bjorn's bike trip is that it's not my bike trip, and it's going to ruin what was really my last best chance to learn basic mountaineering skills before summer sets in. No more sun, no more mountains. Suddenly, I feel more alone that ever before.