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SlowBro - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2021

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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
City: Eugene
State: OR
Country: USA
Begins: Aug 2, 2021
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Dec 16th, 2020

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 103
Journal Visits: 5,200
Guestbook Views: 129
Guestbook Entrys: 15

Continental Divide Trail Map

(Click image for full size)

Sunrise viewed from Amazon Creek, Eugene, OR


In this time of worldwide pandemic, fake claims of fraud, pathetic posturing, and inexorable climate change one could rightfully be concerned. Add to that the isolation and radical changes in social norms and institutions weve put in place to avoid infection and you could easily become depressed. In addition the long nights, cold temperatures, and cloudy skies of Fall/Winter seem to increase the number of cases of depression in a condition know as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder (really, thats its name). So if you have been a little glum lately, you have plenty of company.

I point this all out because I recently found myself walking along in the early morning darkness without enthusiasm in a kind of funk. I was on my usual three times a week training hike. But I seemed to be just going through the motions. I normally love to walk. I like to feel the crisp air and put my body through its paces. Only, that morning, I was numbly marching without being particularly engaged. But on I trod by the light of my headlamp, not depressed, but also not happy.

Unbeknownst to me, the sky was getting things in order, to cheer me up. As I trudged through the dark, over head clouds were moving. The Earth was turning roughly 800 mph in Eugene, bring the Sun into position. Somewhere in the woods ahead a Great Horned Owl was hooting, maybe telling me to cheer up. Anyway, around 7:30 AM the sky was getting lighter and the layer of clouds was in exact position.

I was looking down in a self absorbed way, looking but not seeing, when I noticed there was a weird orange glow to the path. In fact as my visual cortex re-engaged I saw that everything around me was bathed in this color. I paused and looked up

The sky was a screaming riot of orange and yellow. The sunrise was as intense as it was colorful and I instinctively reached for my phone to shoot a couple pics. After that I just stood there staring. (Probably with my mouth open.) Several different runners and walkers passed me on the path over the next 15 minutes and everyone said things like Incredible!, Amazing!, Wow!!. Even Nancy, back at our house, texted me to look up.

Well it was stunning and lifted my spirits. No, this sunrise didnt take away a single problem, or change the course of events, or even offer a solution to anything. But it swept away the darkness and shed a gorgeous light on the new day and that was enough for me.

So with best wishes to everyone for the Holidays and the New Year ahead, take care, be safe, and Happy Trails...

The journey is the reward...

Entry 3 of 52
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Journal Photo

SlowBro's Continental Divide Trail Journey

"I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days." -Daniel Boone

"The Journey IS The Reward" -SlowBro

"If you feel like quitting, just keep walking." -Gypsy Spirit


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