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Log of the Hole 5 January, 2003 0830 EST

Current conditions:  Variable. Light snow, 31 F .  Barometer steady 30.00

It's funny how quick it can come up.    Up here, your lungs fill quickly if you don't make the effort. I fight to get out of the bag, get some coffee going, and all of a sudden I'm facing it square.  The options narrow. Going back the way I came is out of the question. Any choice I make from here on out may be terminal, but any way I go I know I'm not coming back alive.

Sure, something staggers back in at the end of trip. Someone comes in through the door, throws a load of gear down the basement stairs and goes and starts a fire in my fireplace. He'll sleep in my bed, and in the morning drink coffee out of my mug.  He'll realize then that it's started all over again.

"To find that singularity of consciousness, that one instant where the path before me glows in the light of my realization, and to step off the path and go a whole new way," I said to Baker one night, looking out at the West Rim as the sun went down. "That's what makes this worth the trip."

So what's the freakin' crisis here? No one is getting out of here alive, so we might was well get a good start on it.

I'm going to keep doing it until I get it right.

Coffee's getting cold. I'm burning daylight.

How up!


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