When she pulled up in her 30-year-old pickup truck, honking jubilantly as she did, I had a feeling we were in for quite a time on our resupply stopover. DD, our trail angel host for the rest of the day and night, was a spitfire force of nature. Alternately with a joint, chewing tobbaco, or a beer in her mouth—sometimes all three…
We slept in a ditch. Not exactly like the one from the CDT last year, and certainly not this one from the PCT—I’m beginning to sense a troubling pattern—but a sandy, flat, wash nonetheless a literal stone’s throw from passing traffic.
Every trail has days like today. Hell, the last 4 days. The rest of life is no different. In between the few snapshots worthy of putting on display for anyone who might care to see them, the real work takes place. Quiet. Sweat. Fatigue. Pain. Frustration. Elation. A thousand other qualities, none of which anyone gets to see but us.
To watch the desert sunrise or sunset is, in some sense, to witness it for the first time. An expanse of land brought to life with color beneath an equally expansive sky, only to have the sunset slowly steal those very same colors in exchange for an ocean of stars. Blackness yielding to layers of gray before deep hues of blue, red and orange bleed away
My mind floats an inch or two just above where my head is. Almost imperceptibly detached from the rest of me, it examines the trail that is about to pass beneath me. It imagines what a passerby might see if they look at me in this moment. Eyes glazed over with concentration. Sweat and salt caked to my shirt.