Argh! My heart aches to be hiking again. The pure joy of simplicity! Knowing I can handle anything that comes at me just with the use of those items I chose to put in my backpack! It is an amazing feeling to be so empowered!
So, the other day, I met friends who are currently hiking the entire Colorado Trail (~500miles from Denver to Durango) and brought them their resupply food. I got there a day early with the idea that I would meet them on the trail and stay the night with them before bringing them back in to resupply! After about 10miles out, I found myself extremely exhausted and worried about missing them. So, I turned around, drank the coke I brought for them, and headed back towards their car. In total, I did 20miles of backpacking that day only to end up back at the car, where I spent the evening, more or less!
The next day, I woke up early to make sure I was at the trail head to meet them bright and early. By 10am, I had not seen them and began to worry a little more. Having read a couple of short Stephen King stories and eaten tons of cherries, I decided it was time to get in motion again. So, I headed back up the trail to meet them. This time, I did it in my flip flops without a pack! It made me chuckle a little! :o)
At the pass and junction with the Colorado Trail, I once again met up with Apple, a trail angel for both the Appalachian Trail as well as the Colorado Trail. He is a retired IBM employee who enjoys assisting those who attempt the craziness of long distance hiking. At Lujan Pass, he had a cooler, tent, and chairs waiting for those hiking the Colorado Trail at this time. It was neat to read his log book and talk to him about the AT. We knew some of the same people and then one of the guys I met on the AT in 2005 had actually been through on the 5th of July. It was amazing and brought tears to my eyes as I remembered old times.
During my backpacking on Thursday to meet my friends (whom I never did meet that night), I found myself overwhelmed with emotions of wanting to be back on a long trail. The simplicity and the respect one receives by taking on such endeavors builds enormous amounts of self-esteem. I found myself breaking into tears and forcing myself to turn around for fear of never leaving the woods again and knowing I need to go back for my husband! Life feeds us a lot of responsibilities and challenges and we are not always lucky enough to be able to step outside of those challenges and take the outside view of it. Sometimes, we just have to jump in blinded by the unknown and hope for the best. The future is what we make of it and sometimes we just have to make it!
With that in mind, it is my intention to be back on a long trail again before I grow too old. Once you do one natural journey, it soaks through your veins until it causes you such discomfort that you have to go out again! The trails breed such communities one does not find in cities of any size! It reminds you of the humanity of people and we are not doomed to tragedy! Hiking and finding selfless people wanting to hear your story is where the honesty and integrity of a nation is seen first hand! The beauty of each of us is still there if only we all believe and embrace it.
That is why I long to be out again among those full of the love of nature and what it was truly given to us to teach...peace, love, and understanding...not to mention patience and kindness!