Gosh, I’ve been sounding morose lately!
Scribing these last days has been such a drag, and I realise how mopey I sound.
It’s all nearly over.
This chapter really is very nearly complete.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself as of the day after tomorrow.
No more digging cat holes. No more blowing up a mattress every night to sleep on. No more packing my life into a fifteen(ish) pound backpack day in, day out.
Then again, hopefully no more sore knees. No more unrefridgerated food. No more having to do laundry with river water. It won’t be all bad.
Last night was my final campfire out here.
My good friends, Thibaud, Flaming Hot, and Scoop camped with us last night in what I imagine will be my last ‘trail reunion’. Seeing familiar faces just drives the point of how much this dirt trail truly is my home now.
It was also fitting that they be here – because our first on trail campfire was my birthday, back in June, and we were all there that night together too! (Bar Flaming Hot – I’d heard about him, but only met him at Trail Days).
Trail families are the best. One day, I will see each of these people again – at some corner of the world or another!
They’ll call me Wizard, I’ll call them by their crazy trail names, and everyone in our vicinity will think we’re crazy as we reminisce about Jimminy Cricket and Pickleback and the Prodigal and Bingo and Ratatouille and Speedy and Songbird and Jefé and all of the countless others who have made these five months the best I’ve lived.
Because even with the pristine lakes, and the untouched rivers, and the barren desert, and all of the sights in between that have made me cry and taken my breath away and feel all of the emotions – it’s the people that are the specialest*.
I came here to walk a 4,200~km path from the Mexican border to the Canadian one. I thought this adventure was about the hike.
I was wrong.
It was about the people.
Last night on trail.
It was a unanimous decision to lay our Tyvek down in one big groundsheet and have a last cuddle puddle in the woods.
It might look creepy on camera, but here, under the trees, with a crisp breeze, the odd owl hooting and repetitively needing to brush the curious daddy-long legs spiders off, it feels like my last night at a home I grew up in.
That’s not too far from the truth, either.
I did grow up here, evolve, learn, flourish.
2Beers will finish her journey with me when we cross the Bridge of the Gods at the Washington/Oregon border tomorrow. Nemo will continue on alone, hoping to hike all the way back to Sierra City down in California. It feels like a lifetime ago where we split off trail back down there and road tripped up north to do our ‘PCT flip-flop’.
We shared our last meals, our last cocoas, our last bedtime stories all snuggled up next to one another.
My heart isn’t mourning the end anymore.
It’s overflowing with gratitude and love for all I was lucky enough to have experienced along the way.
*I know that’s not a word. I’m using it anyway.