Monday, April 22, 2013

Itchy Feet

I was sitting in my car a few days ago when it suddenly struck me that exactly 1 year ago I was standing at the Mexican border starting my journey on the PCT. And now the end of April draws closer and hundreds of hikers are starting their own journeys on the trail. I have friends on the Appalachian and Continental Divide as well as the PCT and here I sit, staring at a computer screen committed to a full time job staring at old photos and feeling nostalgic.

A lot has happened since I first set out from the border. I walked all the way to Canada for one; meeting amazing people and seeing beautiful country. I came home feeling lost and undecided about my path so I picked up and moved to a new state, starting a new job and getting trained in a specialty that still overwhelms me on a daily basis. My mind may be getting a workout but I desperately miss the simpler life of a thruhiker. I wandered out my door today and headed for hills. I became calmer and happier the farther I went. I love the feeling of climbing, as miles fade away beneath your feet and your legs ache. But as the sun set I reluctantly turned around because endlessly walking forward is simply not my life right now. The great peace I find from walking all day has to come in smaller doses for now.

When I mention my hike to coworkers I am usually met with puzzled faces and shrugs of shoulders. “Wait you did what?”  More often than not they shake their heads at my adventure clearly thinking what is wrong with this crazy girl? But every so often I get, “Oh my god I've always wanted to do that.” I love that I have more coworkers than ever before who are just my kind of crazy. Instead of defending my adventure I find that sometimes I get to chatter endlessly to people who are genuinely interested.  Sometimes I’m not sure this is such a good thing as it sends my mind out to obsess about all of the places I still want to go and things I want to see. As more of my friends and acquaintances settle down I question whether that’s just not in the cards for me right now.

One of my coworkers hiked the PCT in 2009 and we can talk endlessly about hiker trash and the trail. One of his very first questions was, “What are you hiking next?” and I feel like this perfectly sums up my thoughts right now. It’s not a question of if for me but when and where. No, there will be no Appalachian Trail or Continental Divide this summer. But I make no such promises for future summers. I've been told the life of a long distance hiker can be somewhat addicting and I absolutely agree.

In the meantime I’ll just have to make do with my new backyard…

living in the desert 

storm rolling in

about to get snowed on

wild horses

I'm pretty sure my cat would be a horrible hiking companion but she's trying to be very helpful with all of my baking escapades, have I ever mentioned how much I love kitchens?
On a side note I have no idea what to do with my blog in the meantime. I am not dedicated enough to write regular updates but maybe a few things will make it on here if I feel motivated enough.
I was also a terrible person and never officially finished my recap of the hike including thanks. First of all any messages, letters or food that I got on the trail was amazing! Thanks for the support it really was fun talking to people who had actually read my ramblings. Thanks to my mother most amazing resupply slash pet sitter a person could ever wish for. And thank you Emergen-C. You were kind enough to donate enough packets to get me through my whole hike as well as plenty extra for sharing. By Washington a packet of Emergen-C and crystal light with caffeine was pretty much liquid gold. I may love water but I was in love with that stuff on and off throughout my whole hike.

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