Jesian James here, disciple of Jesus, by application of my every breath.
Today was a terrifying day. But I was not terrified.
Today was a miserable, very painful day. But I was not miserable, and I was not in pain.
These characteristics of today were not unanticipated. It was a difficult call and I'm glad for the call we made.
There was a pass in front of us, 1500 foot climb. Yesterday there was considerable Sun but just barely enough to get us to the top today, with no sun in the forecast this morning, especially seeing as how we have to expend energy to keep the batteries above freezing so that they can be charged and provide regenerative braking.
But why not go for it? The answer provided by my flesh/head was, it's too f****** dangerous james!
Yes, that's true of every day of this mission. And so far we are called to continue the mission and I'm so glad of it.
Between Verizon and T-Mobile backup, we have very good cell phone coverage which means we can see current weather reports. That's the good news. The bad news is, if these recent weeks are an indication, National Weather Service hasn't a clue what's going to happen up on these Mountain passes. It's always 5 or 10 or 15 degrees colder, windier. Smh.
At about 8:30 this morning, 20° f with a wind chill much colder than that, we set out for about 27 energy miles, 13 linear miles, and 14 vertical miles. Energy equivalent.
If we didn't make the summit, 9,400', we were in a lot of trouble, because we wouldn't have enough energy to keep the batteries warm overnight, let alone our electric socks and electric gloves for the next day. I'm sure we would have figured out some way to survive so we could serve the next day, but it would have been really really dangerous.
About an hour from the summit it started to snow, and then it snowed harder, and then it snowed harder.
And the batteries on the electric gloves went dead.
I'm pretty sure that we kept the fingers and toes from getting frostbit, but I can't be sure. There was a lot of pain signals.
And the toes not much better.
Quite good at planning we are but I picked the wrong spot on the map so when I thought we had 3 Mi to go, well, we had six. And the last 3 miles the battery gauge was zero. Gulp.
We made it over the top. Over the pass. About 30 miles linear to our stopping point, the first town, and about 3,000 ft descent, off the top of my head. So Net Zero from an energy standpoint. And about halfway down we started to get some sunlight, so a bit of solar generation. And a huge tailwind.
Because of the snow covered road, and shoulder, we slowed to the six miles an hour, which made it a long long long time out in the cold.
It was really cold, it was really dangerous, it was really physically miserable. And it was a joyful day.
A month ago it would not have been a joyful day. I've learned a lot since then.
James, my soul and I would dialogue periodically today. James, this is pretty miserable, pretty cold, pretty painful, pretty dangerous isn't it? Yep, I replied. Well, your flesh head would love to take over you because this is their kind of situation! They get really engaged, they feel really heroic, they give you the illusion that they're making really good decisions, should we let that happen?
I replied, I don't like the way it feels when they take over, I feel like a slave, it can be exciting, but it don't like the way it feels. So I'm going to look for my spirit that's holy, my soul, instead. And there it was with my asking. Sympathetic? Not at all. Which is wonderful. James, we have a mission don't we? We do, I replied. To try and lift Souls here or there when it's possible. Do you like that mission james? I find it joyful! So why don't you just put your attention there. To be able to fulfill that mission you need to not be reckless, you need to do the best you can to keep your body, your tool, and sol, functioning well. So just put your attention there and on why you're doing this.
And it was very joyful. And it was very peaceful. And I was my holy spirit, I was my soul, both of which are these unsympathetic wonderful taskmasters.
In four or five days I could be 100 or 200 Mi south. And eventually I'll do that. But what today taught me even more clearly is, james, the mission happens where it's cold and dangerous, or where it's warmer and not quite as dangerous. It doesn't make any difference james. Life is the mission, jesus' search and rescue for lost sheep. The rest of it doesn't make any DIFFERENCE, does it james? Yes, that's true. Thanks for showing me. James