You can read the regular trip here. But this blog is about ageing and such. This trip proved to be everything I had hoped for: challenging, tough and highly rewarding, probably never to be repeated (by me). I mentioned it in my blog write up but the difference between this trip and a regular on trail trek is all in the mindset and approach. If I'm on good trail there is no need to think about it, then I can get lost in introspection or write books and songs whilst ambulating down the trail. But when every footstep requires consideration the mental aspect is completely different. For 8 hours I was constantly assessing the terrain ahead and choosing an appropriate path, aiming towards my next "waypoint" or visual destination. All this in utter solitude with no one within miles, I didn't see one person the entire first day. Risk mitigation finds its way to the forefront because I am more aware of my solitude and inaccessibility. This is not to say I usually traipse about with abandon concerning possible injury when on a popular trail, just that I need to be aware of each step I take and possible consequences if I fall and twist or break something. So in essence yes, I am being more cautious because of my surroundings and circumstances.
Long have I thought about doing this trip since I read about it in Mike Woodmansee's book "Trekking Washington." I used his description of how to navigate the off trail section relying mostly on my altimeter. That I could finally pull this off at age 60, solo, made this trek extremely rewarding. The fact that I didn't cover the easy on trail portion as quickly as I wanted to does little to take away my satisfaction with completing a seldom done journey.