Three-Month Reflection in the Winds
The need to set an alarm in the morning is no longer necessary. Every day on trail, I wake with the sun to begin my day of walking. My body is well accustomed to this schedule while my mind works effortlessly to pack up camp after another night in the backcountry. The same aches and pains return each morning but are forgotten about after a mile of moving as my legs warm up to the day. Over three months into the journey to Canada and at this point, the trek is mostly mental.
Physically, the body is tired. The soreness is only alleviated by movement so I keep hiking. Mentally, the key is to keep my goals short-term; the next ten miles, the next campsite, the next town. While getting to Canada is still the main objective, I push it toward the back of my mind. The landscape slowly changes and every day a new challenge presents itself. All I do is put one foot in front of the other and I am rewarded by the beauty of nature.
The Wind River Range has been a good change of pace. I am happy to be back among giants while weaving through the lakes that sit below these impressive mountains. This stretch of the CDT is well traveled by many hikers who are only out for a few nights. Although it felt odd to be in such a popular area after going through the barren basin, it is easy to see why people love visiting this area. Also, you don’t realize how fit you are until you pass 30 other hikers in a day, each person taken aback by how much smaller my pack is than theirs despite the fact that I’m living out of mine.
While I enjoy hiking alone, having these short conversations with other hikers helps put into perspective the craziness that I pursue. Even though this thru-hike seems normal to me, others can hardly begin to comprehend what I am in the midst of. I accept their well wishes and bounce along down the trail, blurring the line between hiking comfortably and stumbling along gracefully. The habit of the hike has taken over and I never know where I am going until I get there. There are still difficult moments but never any bad days on the trail. I am grateful to have made it this far and will continue to embrace every minute of the adventure.
Thanks for reading. Peace and Love!
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.