Only Fools…

PCT_Day1

Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks… April 1… Tomorrow… is… April… First… “IshouldbehikingIshouldbehikingIshouldbehiking… I need to go hiking!”

I forced myself to take a deep breath… Yes, I should be hiking, and I should go hiking, but not tomorrow…. Tomorrow I should go to my job, pay my rent, and visit my friends… Returning to society after two thru-hikes isn’t easy… I’m still struggling with returning to the city and integrating back into ‘normal’ life…

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But… my mind was still racing… Last year… last year on April first I was just beginning my PCT thru-hike… last year on April first I was setting off on a long, amazing, incredible hike… a journey of a lifetime… That’s what I should be doing this year too!!!

Well… maybe I could sneak in a hike either before or after work tomorrow? Surely a small mountain before breakfast would be enough, right? Just a little hike to keep the trail from slipping away from me forever… just a little hike to keep me from completely rebelling against the bonds of civilization!

Hiking helps… I’ve been hiking/walking a 2-mile trail through the ‘urban wilderness’ on my way to and from work each day… It isn’t enough, but it helps… The birdsong in the air, the wind on my face, the crunch of snow beneath my feet, the squish of mud oozing into my boots, and the occasional wildlife… they remind me of the trail… they remind me of home…

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I try to remind myself that the trail isn’t my only home… I’m enjoying my new job as a science writer… It’s feels great to exercise my brain again… To fill my head with math, science, engineering, and experiments… the ideas in the air, the proofs in the equations, the beauty in the logic, the joy of the research, and the overwhelming moments of clarity… the trail isn’t my only home, this is home too… Remembering this world helps… So does spending time with my friends and family and the people that reach out to me… trying to lure me back into civilization or offering to learn more about my other world out there in the woods… they remind me that there are things tethering me here to this life and not just to my life on the trail…

I check the forecast again… tomorrow is going to be a beautiful sunny day… Sunrise at 6:28 am and sunset is at 7:08 pm… Perhaps I can find a way to exist in both worlds… Hmmm… How do I maximize the number of daylight hours I spend hiking in the mountains tomorrow while still being in my cubicle and ready to work for 8 hrs starting sometime between 8 am and 10 am?? Gotta run… I need to do some research and then some math and then get ready to  go hiking tomorrow!

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