“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so … get on your way!” Dr. Suess
It doesn’t get old … in less than 2 weeks I will be heading out on my 9th West Coast Trail backpacking trip. As I wait in anticipation and the days to hike draw ever closer a kind of inertia sets in. I will myself to complete the tasks at work and clear up the last minute items on the to-do list so that I will not be missed or leave anyone in the lurch … but my heart just isn’t there … it’s already on the trail.
Four Weeks Later
Four weeks have passed since I began this post. We have come and gone, our journey has been completed and we are back in civilization. We had a wonderful trip, … good weather, good food, outstanding scenery, great company … and no phones. It doesn’t get any better than that. Here’s a short glimpse into our trip.
The West Coast Trail fights its way through the rain forest, facing new obstacles every year as the winter storms alter the landscape. Even the dead-fall make up their own unique arches over the trail.
We camp mostly on beaches, close to the constant sound of waves washing ashore, advancing and ebbing with the tides. It’s a great place to enjoy the warmth of a beach fire, and watch the night set in, replete with stars and galaxies.
Hiking along the shelf is my favorite place on the trail. Perhaps I feel at home with the uninterrupted view of the horizon, much like my comfort with living on the prairies.
I am mesmerized by the sound and sights of the waves as they break on the rocky shores and am reminded of God talking to Job about His sovereignty. ” … this far you may come and no farther, this is where your proud waves halt.”
The antonym to anticipation is the realization or consummation of the dream. I spend a lot of time planning and preparing … checking tide tables, making the reservations, figuring out the logistics of getting to the trail and back, eking out every small savings of weight on my back, reading hiking blogs … it’s very satisfying to have it all come together.
Sometimes, the end of the journey can be anti-climatic; it seemingly takes forever to arrive, and then is gone so quickly. Not so for me … I left my heart on the trail and someday I’ll return to pick it up again … maybe even next year.