About a year ago I was contacted by a young woman that found my notes on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). She thanked me for posting and told me that she was planning to start her hike in the early summer.
I told her that whatever I wrote was old news and probably wouldn’t help much. She gave me her blog address and I awaited their start.
The modern way to start journeys today is to google the hell out of everything, and then follow up with Yelp, or maybe Snopes. I guess that was the way she found me.
Another cool change is that with a solar cell, you can use a smart phone for navigation and posting to a blog. Of course there are still dead spots on the trek from Mexico to Canada.
I was on her official follow list and I really enjoyed her posts. Particularly when she wrote about the trails that I had previously walked.
Her fiancé posted photos all the way so it was a great vicarious experience. Once, quite by accident, we were only a few miles apart. I was on vacation in Lake Tahoe, and they stopped nearby to reequip. I had quessed that we would be close, but posting online is not the best way to communicate.
I’m writing now because I just learned that they had completed the trail, and she was already working on her new job.
Her last post was more of a reflection, and not a current state of being. Very pensive, and maybe a little sad.
As I read her last blog concerning her hike, I was struck with her words. She had somehow accessed her feelings of confusion, and recognized the strangeness of accepting the end of a long hard journey.
Part of what occurs in communicating is to clear the mind, sweep the cobwebs to get things in the open. Another part, as the reader, is to see if there are issues in your own life that connect.
I like it when the words are found and the knot in my own brain unwinds. Thank you Tandem Trekking for a remarkable season!
From her blog…
“The trail already feels very distant, like a dream or another life. The stories are becoming canonized as I tell them over and over again, they are becoming part of the fabric of who I am. But the actual emotions of the trail still feel very far away. I feel like they are in there, flitting around, waiting to pour out in some unexpected moment. The choice is if I just wait and let them surface when they will or force them out. Do I take a quiet hike by myself and face them on some mountain top? Or do I wait until I am overwhelmed by them standing in line at the grocery store. What are they? Will I realize I am happy or sad? Will I want to go back? Right now I just feel this deep gnawing void where my emotions should be. I feel cold and closed up and foggy. And sometimes I get glimpses of the trail, as if it were a friend I used to hang out with but whom I don’t see anymore. Good times and bad times flash through my head and my heart. My body feels healed but my soul is more confused than ever. It is funny that many people think that by going on the hike they will sort all these things out and it seems like when I got hiking I just mix it all up again. And so even though I am off trail I continue to struggle with the path I walk. Clearly this is a dark way to end this post.”