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Anatomy of a Weekend

Why can’t every day be like this? Tioga Pass, California.

Why can’t every day be like this? Tioga Pass, California.

Well well well.  Here we are again.  On Wednesday it was incomprehensible.  Hell, Wednesday evening was incomprehensible on Wednesday.  But it did come, and in the throes of deadlines and office happy hour, it still feels like a shock.  What are we doing?  What do I have to do to do it?  Hormones, firing.  The weekend is here!

For something that happens every week, the weekend does not get old. They’re universally special, surprising and unique. Yet with any pattern, predictabilities crop up. And with science or without, we can plot the anatomy of the weekend.


Inbetween after work beers and dinner, we use this reckless time to pack.  How hard can it be?  Usually, it’s just shoveling the contents of one big bag into one or two smaller bags and a quick mental checklist.  Checklists no longer than three units: Tent, pad, bag. Skis, boots, poles.  This is also a great time to meal prep alongside dinner duties, collecting ingredients and putting pasta into assorted freezer bags.  General attitude is excited to a fault.

Getting Up

Ok, 5:30 was ambitious.  Two snoozies and you’re still up ahead of 6:00, which is admirable.  Put on coffee and then pack for the significant other.  Forgot to do that last night.  Make sure there are multiple layering options and reconsider how you packed too, seriously.  A small overflow bag for both of you is finally considered at this hour.  Should you bring more food?  Probably.  No matter when you get out of the house—6:00, 8:00, 10:00—it’s thirty minutes too late.  The whole journey part of journey isn’t great right now. 

The Way There

It gets good sooner than you think.  You’re on the open road!  Kid again.  Who knows what the weekend will hold?  Whatever it is you’re ready.  You pass several incredible photo opportunities, making mental notes to stop there on the way home, when you have the time, which you’ll definitely do.  Just not now, you’ve got to make up those thirty minutes somewhere.


Da-da-da-da!  How sweet it is.  Could have been here earlier, gotten the real goods, but whatever.  We’re here!  Stoke is high.  Whoever is over it already needs to shut the hell up.  Whoa, the weather is basically perfect*! 

*Rain or shine, it’s capturing the essence of the moment, what you were actually searching for, perfectly.

Small Victory

Set up camp? Hell yeah.  First fish? Killing it. Four runs? Well if you think about it, mountains out west are a lot bigger so four is basically 8 back when you were a kid.  We all deserve to pat ourselves on the back.  Not only are we having a great time, we put in the work to get the opportunity.  Whatever happens next is icing. 

Time Slows

Time flies when you’re having fun, and trust me, I’m having fun.  But since when do afternoons feel so long?  Not like Tuesday drag. Saturday still!  The sun is just hanging there.  I don’t have to do anything at all.  And I’m pooped, so I probably won’t.  I probably won’t even reflect on this moment because, this time, it’s not going anywhere.


It’s all you want but its always a pain in the ass, honestly.  Whether its crouching over a Jetboil or waiting for the hockey puck from the pizza place to buzz, dinner is usually a pain.  We resolve that next time we won’t fall for complex recipes or trendy restaurants. 


We’re only halfway through, so why do I feel so anxious?  What happened to the stillness of afternoon?  Life is gale force now.  If we have more beer or put more logs on the fire, things ought to endure.  And besides, we get to do it all over again tomorrow?  Cheers to that.


This is one of the best feelings life has to offer. Rest, sandwiches between satisfaction and opportunity.

Yes but different

Day hikes get abridged.  Skiing rules but it’s mellower.  The pack out is meandering. It’s God’s day.  Your friend reminds you you aren’t religious and you laugh.  Where’s he been all weekend?  Deep down, there is legitimate concern but it’s barely lunch.  Maybe we’re avoiding something, maybe searching still. There’s time to decide. 


There was so much promise in youth.  Friday? You were just a fucking kid!  Even Saturday was more wanting than knowing.  Sunday afternoon is understood.  We accept, because we’re proud of our accomplishments and respect our limits  And for pushing them all along, they respect you back.  It all feels so free of worry.  Finally, you get the world and it gets you.  No competition, no stress, no guilt.


You were so naïve just back there.  You have to go home.  You’re going home. If you’re lucky! If you don’t splash some water on your face and blare some music you might not make it there at all.  Get a grip!  You have work in the morning, dude.


What can we say?  It ruled and traffic is better than expected.  The fact that we’ll die makes life worth living.  The fact that it rains makes sunshine worth savoring.  The fact that there’s Monday made this all possible.  Lick your wounds and head to bed.  The next lap won’t be far away.