33, Driving Blind

Tuesday morning, May 16th

Crisp air, combined with the sun’s special clarity when seen from 10,000 feet in the sky, helped to keep me awake. According to my past forty-eight hours, I should have been feeling exhausted and famished, but life felt comfortable. Everything in my self-contained world belonged. I even knew where I was going.

Around noon I found myself surrounded by the snows of Vail Pass. From where I stood, I could see the marker for the summit—10,662 feet. Everything reflected a dry brightness. The sky’s sharp blue sliced a clean line as it drew a horizon across the crystalline hills. While I stayed in Key West I had abandoned most of my warmer clothes, so I dressed myself with a hodgepodge of shirts, a wool cap and extra socks. These highlands harbored no people, so I decided to take a ramble and bushwhack away from the road.

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