Yesterday I passed the 1,000 mark. 1,000 miles walked on two feet. 1,000 miles en route to Canada.
Yesterday I accidentally climbed high into a strange land where only rocks resided and camped there, in the gravel pile, watching the world light itself on fire.
Today I tried to wake up at 5am, but only managed pulling myself out of sleep at 6.15, when two other hikers trudged on by. I saw the last of the light show as I gathered my wits about me. I ate breakfast while climbing up huge switchbacks to a ridge line.
I gasped myself awake at the top. When I got my bearings, I found everything beautiful strewn about me. To one side, the side I climbed, were mountains repeating into the very place where time disappears into memory and a valley covered in greens that never die. To the other side was a new world, where new, smaller mountains run and play, where a lake trickles into a river and makes verdant life out of nothing.
And there I was, taking in the stacks of shadows of these hills that built upon one another to create a rainbow of blue blacks, more color in their interplay than I have noticed standing beside the whole of the sea. I walked and gawked, trying to draw it all in.
I wished Rainbow Dash was there, so I could say with certainty that, “this is exactly the kind of landscape that makes my heart sing.”
I wished Ant was beside me, so we could hold hands and silently make the vision part of our collective world, the world that marks how we move into the future.
I walked and walked, the granite mountains giving way to the foothills, covered in short greenery and merging with sweet sage. I walked right down onto a highway, and found a ride right into Bridgeport. I unthinkingly got my box, did laundry, took care of all my town chores.
And then a kind forest service worker took a liking to me and Charlie, a guy I met that same day. We clambered into his car while the rain beat down, a great fear of a wet night settling into my heart. Instead, David took us to dinner and then to his dry home. We all yacked passed hiker midnight.
Now, settled into the dry, carpeted floor with my quilt wrapped around my clean body, I can close my eyes and relive the most beautiful walk of my life. I need to sear it into my very being, so even when memory fails, the sense will remain for the rest of my days.