Four miles ago I passed the halfway monument that some sweet volunteers of the PCT lugged into the woods and erected. It is a small stone block with Canada 1325 on one side and Mexico 1325 on the other. In the center sits the short message “PCT Midpoint.”
A little over four miles later I’ve flopped on the ground and set up camp at the place that my maps show as halfway, as the monument was shown at 1320 miles.
It all begs the question of what is halfway? What are miles, even? What is time, man? And, of course, what the heck even is the Pacific Crest Trail?
I’ve been trying to piece together why I am out here now and what I have learned since I’ve started. I have a jumble of thoughts, and conflicting emotions.
Today, with its red, sandy dirt and scorching, exposed climbs made it clear: after all of this walking, I am back in the deserts of California. So what exactly is different?
It seems that almost everything I expected going into this trip has transformed into something else. I started with Boomerang, transitioned to hiking almost exclusively with Rainbow Dash, and believe I’ll finish the hike alone. I came to find connections with others, and have found a peace with myself. I sought out physical difficulties, and found emotional whirlwinds. I wanted quiet meditation, and now seek distraction.
All in all I thought I would find answers to questions I didn’t even know I had, and have found a stillness I never imagined existed within me.
Taking stock today I found a few new items in my heart: a delightful gushing of love of people (where there was much wariness and annoyance before), an ability to sleep alone in the woods, and a peace I didn’t know I had.
Even more than that, I am starting to really believe I’ll finish this thing. My feet felt fine today, and my heart yearns for what new landscapes lie ahead.
But before Canada, I’ve got to get the hell out of California, the largest state in the history of my life.