And We Have Liftoff
In an hour or so, depending on the speed in which my friend’s old Honda Civic can cut through San Diego traffic, I will find myself standing at the Southern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. The end of my time in Los Angeles will give birth to a beginning that has been circled on my calendar for two years. In an hour or so, I will feel the full culmination of two years of planning, training, saving, researching, and wishing. In an hour or so, the only thing left to do will be to hike.
“Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end… because in the end, it shows you a whole new world.” -Manoj Arora
While I have studied maps, watched countless videos, poured through photos, and even hiked a few miles of the trail, I have no idea what awaits me. Without a doubt, a new routine will be born. I will wake with the sun, eat breakfast, hike, document the experience, break for lunch, hike, dig a cathole, hike, make camp, eat dinner, pass out from exhaustion, sleep, and wake to do it all over again. There will be trail angels, rides into town, blessed zeros, showers, actual mattresses, and restaurants to rescue me from the instant meal of the week. Beyond the routine of it all, what is set to begin in an hour or so will all be brand new to me. Around every bend, over every hill, on every ridgeline, and atop every mountain pass will be something brand new to me.
Sitting in the backseat of my friend’s car as it roars down the highway, I am filled with nervous energy. There are worries, but there is also excitement. In everything, I am feeling and in everything, I will soon experience, I am reminding myself to be present. The moment I spent years planning for will be gone in an instant. If all goes according to plan, I will find myself standing in Canada around Labor Day weekend with nothing more to hold me steady than the memories. That person will be completely different than the man who is about to begin this journey. To the new and improved version of myself, I cannot wait to meet you. Don’t be afraid to join me for a few sections of this magical highway heading north.
Be good to each other,
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