I woke up late, but excited to head into town. Etna! Everyone on trail has been twittering about how hiker friendly it is. I am dreaming of fried chicken sandwiches and milkshakes.
When I get to town I get a burger with blue cheese and fried chicken strips to start and lemon meringue pie to finish, with salad on the side. It is not my dream, it is better.
The hike into town is all uphill today, it seems. I have no entertainment (with the broken charger cable and a dead phone), so it is just me in “the present,” as some call it. Me on a hill going up, me on a hill going down. Then me on a hill going up again.
I get hungry first, then mad.
I am hiking muttering “f&$k, f&$k, f&$k,” up, up, up.
I see the trail way off in the distance, through the smoke that obscures all the amazing views I know I would otherwise be seeing, and I role my eyes wildly.
“Really?!?” I say, “we are going over there? Why not go in a STRAIGHT LINE? Who made this trail, even? Why are they torturing me?”
My shoelace unties and I moan, “why me?”
And then I laugh, because I am so very annoying. I am so annoying! And I have to be with me aaaaall day long!
My phone is dead, my maps are in NYC, I have no way of knowing where I am or how far I have to go. I am freaking out. How did people live before smartphones?!?
Boomerang texts me on my GPS device, “Enjoy your hike, don’t worry.”
And then I see all the little yellow flowers with bits of red inside, looking ablaze. I hear the tinkle of cow bells in the distance. I see the beauty of the hills rolling out beyond me, hidden in the smoke.
I giggle, because it is so easy to be happy now.
I take an hour long break by a stream. I just listen to the soothing sound and my whiny mind shuts off. I have whole moments of silence, of peace.
And then I get up and walk on. I send love to Boomerang and my parents and Rainbow Dash and Nate and all of my friends in Seattle and friends from high school and college and Pittsburgh and all the camps I have been to. A flood of faces come to me as I wind my way down toward town. Love and love and love.
Enjoy my hike. It is that easy.