It’s been months since we left the trail, and just as long since we last posted.
Since that time I have flown to Wyoming twice, to Vermont, and to Florida.
Nikki and I drove a horse to Texas, crossing the CDT back in Grants New Mexico.
We almost pulled in to eat at the same Mc Donald’s we walked in to how long ago?
Each time I flew over the west I would look down at the mountain ranges.
The Rubies, the Wasatch, the Uintas. Places I have not been.
I would plan routs in my mind, running ridges, looking in to cirques, I imagine the rock the soil. The smell of the sage the crackle and crunch of brown grass stems. I feel that if I could I would leap form the plane, land on a peak and start walking. North.. Always north. It is in-grained now, sun on my back at mid-day. North just feels right.
Flying over the Sierra Madre, on the approach to Denver, I look down and I see lakes and peaks that I know. Where Nikki and I spent a morning, walking slowly picking up the quartz crystal spars that littered the ground. The lake is white now covered with ice, snow.
So far the winter has been, well different. But most things are different than thru hiking. On the trail we always knew what was next. Right foot, left foot, the crunch of stone, the soft padding our feet on grass, sleep, eat, walk.
Back to the outside world. Auto insurance, vet bills, the truck broke down, more than one set of clothes We need jobs. We need a sponsor!
One of the strangest side effects of the trail has been my dreams. They have become so vivid and clear. I have a hard time watching a movie in the evenings. If I do, I know It will show up in my dreams. Not a big deal if it is Rango. But some sort of thriller! No thank you! I spend a lot of the night counting the lumps in the texture of the ceiling. Listening to the wind calling to me through the window.
My horse is better off though. I ride nearly every day. Derringer mirrors my emotions. Together we learn new things, and become more confident and settled.
Leaving the trail has brought perspective and clarity too. I know I want to know more. I want to be able to read stories in the tracks animals leave. To know about not just who they are, but where they are going, what they are thinking, to be able, if I want to trail them all day, for days and may be catch up. To reel in that string that is still attached to the foot than made the last print. I want to heighten my senses. To hear the birds when they are telling each other of the weasel in the shrubs, or if a hawk is coming. I want to share this knowledge with others. To teach in and about the fabulous outdoor world around us.
There is not a day I do not think about the trail and miss it a bit.. But even form this distance it is still guiding me forward shaping my future, and the future is exciting!
Right foot, left foot, sleep and eat!