“Woke up. Drank hot tea. Covered in dirt. GPS says there is a spring around here but all I see is sand. Camped close to a cowpie again.”
“Woke up. Drank hot tea. Covered in dirt. Another 12 miles of 2 tracks. Threw the GPS in the gravel again.”
“Woke up. Put the oatmeal in the tea to save a step. Sat on flowers all day. Covered in flower sex.”
“Woke up. Skipped the tea and just ran out of the tent. Covered in frost. GPS says 8 miles to town, guidebook says 19, map says 12. Hmmm.”
And so went the Arizona Trail experience for me. As I’ve mentioned, it was nothing like I expected. For example, I expected desert and I easily could have been in Hawaii or Alaska depending on which day you judged it by. I expected my largest challenges to be physical exertion and boredom .. my largest challenges were sleeping and trying to psychically merge with the mind of the guidebook writer so I could figure out what the hell he means when he says words like “shortly” and “cross at an angle” (what kind of angle ????) . I expected to be really alone and I was very frequently bonding with others. I expected to write a lot. I blabbered alot but just couldn’t pick up the pencil. I expected to complete it in a straight line and instead I square-danced it. I expected to meditate and I discovered that it was much more necessary to give all of myself to what I was doing without retreat. I expected sun exposure and was coerced into a hat. I expected to want ice cream and I wanted diet soda. I expected enlightenment and embraced banalities instead. I expected to mark a period of life intentionally absent of romantic love and instead experienced a romance of the largest proportions. The trail was way more challenging than I expected and I became more warrior than philosopher, more survivor than earthwalker, more beast than princess, more carnivore than dehydrated coleslaw eater. I changed. My life changed, but no where near in the ways I thought it would.
And so it’s time to move on already.. and face what is directly in front of me.. Namely the preparation for another trail! Which trail?? Well, if the virgin sacrifices worked AND true love reigns in the kingdom.. It will be the TGO Challenge in Scotland! Could also be the originally planned Pacific Crest Trail.But no matter where, time to refine the gear strategies and start sticking things into the dehydrator…
Meanwhile, stay tuned for more posts about life in Sedona, the BIG move, and 25 MORE things you can do with your trekking poles …