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City: Laguna Niguel
Begins: Apr 23, 2010
Date: Thu, Jul 16th, 2009
Start: Laguna Niguel
End: Laguna Niguel
Daily Distance: 0
Entry Visits: 4,650
Journal Visits: 37,559
Guestbook Views: 1,860
Guestbook Entrys: 49
"When I grow old, I'd like to think
I'll wear a bandana, No wig for me,
Cradled by my rocker, Sipping my tea
As you can see, I have my dreams of dignity" *
My lucid 92 year old mother looked in a mirror one day, and saw an ancient stranger looking back. The image she held of her own young self in her soul would never yield to what time had been writing on her face for nine decades. It’s not that she was in denial. Like me, she dragged her youth forward through time like a precious cargo, and was not about to let go of all of it just because she was close to a hundred years old. The day before she died, she sat on the edge of a bed that was too tall for her, and swung her legs back and forth like she was on a swing, and about to hop off and go somewhere. And so it is. “Death comes to us all,” to quote a line from Braveheart, and it will, “but not today” to quote another film (Gladiator): not today.
No, today (soon) this young man will travel the Pacific Crest Trail of his youth: the trail that beckoned first when the National Geographic arrived in June of 1971. My father held it in his hand and waved it excitedly over his head as he spoke. “Wouldn’t that be something,” he asked? “To hike from Mexico to Canada all in one trip?” It was both a question and an invitation. He wanted to know if I would go with him. I pondered the thought, but family, children, and the need to do the right things pulled harder than the trail: then. Although I managed to take many hikes with my father before his time came, we never traveled the PCT together. But I still remember that twinkle in his eye of 1971, and the invitation. Dad, I accept.
First, my apologies. You may, or may not like my journal. While I will feel every step, curse, savor every moment in real time, talk gear, list gear, pass gas, and document pieces large and small of each day, the trail will be (and trails have always been) for me a metaphor and a path in and through weightier things: sometimes things that are immediate and easy to understand; other times evocative and ineffable. I’m fond of these things, and they will form the texture and substance of the entries to come even though you may think I’m getting far from the path.
A gentle warning: there won’t be too much about blister remedies, the virtues of leaves over TP, or single walled tents versus tarps. They are a valid part of the journey, but they are not where I would like to go. If my direction and pace sounds interesting, please, come along.
My name is Rich, and thanks for reading.
*Anonomous Student, University of Minnesota
©2009, all rights reserved
150 Days & Nights On The Pacific Crest Trail
"...is the picture a tenth of the thing? A hundredth? Is it anything without the smell and salt breeze and the yellow warmth when the fog lifts? Oh, but I got all that too. It is exposed forever on the sensitive emulsion sheet of my mind." Terry and Renny Russell, On the Loose 1967
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