Day 180: Manning Park

You guys... we did it.

[Boom and Fey, Hawkeye, Hiker and Spearhead, JetPack and Tracker]

The final post.  Yikes it has taken me some time to finally write this… like 3 months and some days?  Ignore that.

I think I was stalling because I wanted to be able to write some important, meaningful, super insightful post that would sum up the entire journey.  But that just isn’t how it works, as I am learning.  The truth is that the trail manifests itself in my life each and every day, but it’s not with huge fireworks and gusto, it’s with a quick memory and a smile, a reflective pause in an otherwise chaotic experience, a deep sense of knowing without anything to back it up.

I remember talking on the trail with Tracker, the hiker formerly known as Day Hike, about whether or not we would consider this a “life changing experience”.  At the time we both wanted to say no.  It was just life.  We were choosing to hike all day and sometimes be miserable and sometimes be joyous and all the time have amazing views… but does that change your life?  I mean, sure… it changes your life as much as any decision impacts the flow of events, but is this any more impactful than those?  We wanted to say no so badly because, I dunno, we didn’t want to think of this crazy thing we were doing as any crazier than regular life I suppose.  But we were wrong.  We couldn’t see it while churning out day after day after day of hard hiking, but I can see it now.

It seeps through in stressful situations.  It helps you enjoy the highs and puts perspective on the lows.  It’s not a cure all or a free pass, it just helps accentuate and ground the good things while letting the everything else roll off a little more easily.  

And that’s what I got.  I suppose that was meaningful and insightful, but it just feels normal, and it feels good.    

A huge part of the trail were the people.  And not just the fellow hikers, but everyone that was involved.  A monster thanks to our parents who meticulously packed and repacked supply packages, went shopping for us, interpreted cryptic messages sent from patchy cell service from the top of a mountain and supported our endeavor through every step.  We received so many hitches from generous folks who didn’t mind sitting with two ridiculously smelly strangers for miles to the nearest town.  A family friend took his truck off-roading for many miles to come find us in Southern California.  Another friend sent us the finest instant coffee known to man to give us a boost as we entered the high sierra.  We received care packages and items to make us smile along the way, and they were essential to our journey.  There were trail angels and day hikers who shared food and conversation and we are grateful to each and every one.

Thank you all for helping us on this life changing journey,

Adam and Liz