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Balsam Root Gardens of the PCT
In the beginning there are always expectations.
How will the journey be?
What difficulties lay ahead.
As the trail angel Bob Riess had said on the way to the Southern Terminus of the PCT, and the beginning of the trail itself; "It will become very real when you see the tail-lights of my van pull away." Ironically his words have only now hit home.
This incredible journey from the Mexican border to Canada has bourne fruitfull discovery all along; both personal and social. Even now the wisdom of the trail continues to pour forth.
It is as if there is a great thunderstorm. Before the first bolt of lightning is cast there is a great electrical potential between cloud and ground. I feel as if all along the trail I was building that potential energy. But like a lightning bolt, until it has found it's ground point.. it has no form or expression.
Those days spent hiking the trail were hard but simple. Life became; travel, food, sleep, more food,travel.. and more travel.
The neccesary "things" carried entirely upon my back were my only constants.
The world in flux around me.
I watched mountain ranges appear before me, unfold as I climbed over them, and disappear in the blue haze of distance behind my path. My obsevations of their passing was the only thing I carried along.. building each day.
It IS a totally authentic existence.
Originally when I arrived home I thought it would all be lost.
I realize now, it can never be lost.
Even if I never hike another step, those days, weeks and months along the trail will always impact who I am today and in the future.
The most beautiful gift the trail has bestowed,aside from the spectacular scenery are; the many friends I made along the way, and the expansion of my "vision" of the world and most importantly.. my place in it.
The sun will rise again, over and over. Exposing the landscape of the earth to our view, as well as our view of ourselves.
Each of us is a mirror of our personal experience. The trail is a way towards extending that view.. of our faults and predjudices, our prides and triumphs, as well as our fears and doubts.
The human spirit is elongated and drawn out in graphic relief by a long distance hike.
I completed the hike.
But have I really stopped the journey?
I believe the momentum has carried on.
The impetus to hike from Mexico to Canada for me began in 1991. I carried that desire for 18 years. Why should it end now? The goal was entirely of my own making. The effort to complete was self generated. The determination to continue was pulled from deep inside. The mechanism for that clearly exists not only in me but also many other people. The human desire to become more than oneself is perhaps the best way I can describe my reason for hiking this trail. Now having achieved this first step I find the desire to continue overwhelming.
I believe I might have a correction to my previous post.
I have not come full circle.. I have come a turn around a spiral.
Whether that spiral has led me above or below my orignal position is a matter of personal judgement.
All I need to do is decide where to go next.
Hmm.. Continental Divide or Appalachian Trail?