Reflecting on the Past
Hello again everyone! Here we are in Atlantic City, WY. What a neat historic area, a great place to visit if you ever find yourself in this corner of the world. This is a very important milestone along the trail for me, as 10 years ago this is where I got off the CDT for a month because of a stress fracture in the arch of my foot. What an experience it is to process the pain and uncertainty the memories of this part of the trail hold for me. It is so great to be feeling strong and vibrant as I enter this next stretch of the hike.
From here we head out into the high desert of Wyoming. This is one of the "challenging" stretches of the trail that all the hikers talk about, and worry about before they even start the hike. Yes, it can be a bit warm as we cross this open stretch with no trees, and the potential of warmer temperatures. But to be honest, just like any part of the trail the experience is what you make of it. As I feel slight apprehension arise about this upcoming stretch, I simply remind myself of all the things I have been through, and this is just another opportunity for me to expand myself and fully accept the situations that surround me.
Many Paths to Take
One of the unique experiences of the CDT is that you can choose what route/path you want to take, essentially making it your own trail. There are a few main routes that most people take. And then every once in a while you take your own path without really intending to. By this I mean getting "lost" as it were. We are rarely actually ever lost, as we often know roughly where we are within the landscape. But we might have missed a turn that we were supposed to take, or passed by an extremely faint trail/track with no signage. Yesterday ended up being one of these days. We continued down a drainage that we were supposed to climb out of. A mile or two after the point we were meant to turn we realized that we had indeed missed our turn/junction. So we decided to figure out our own way. It is these moments that one discovers just how much you are capable of. It is not that it is hard, it is simply a matter of awareness as you move through your surroundings. Most hikers now carry GPS with them on this trail. While it is not a bad idea, and can be a great tool to use out here, there is also part of me that feels like it is a bit of a safety blanket. We are making our way along the trail using only the "Ley" maps. This makes certain parts quite challenging, but it also stretches us in all kinds of ways. Calling upon us to stay aware of where we are and what we are doing as we travel along this pilgrimage.
On almost a daily basis the trail offers me opportunities to remember that I am always going through the process of personal growth and discovery. Just when I start to think I have moved through my emotional outbursts, or negative moods, I am presented with another opportunity to work through another layer of it. While I fight these lessons as they first come along some times, when I roll out the other end of it I am grateful for another opportunity to find another part of myself. Each experience makes me stronger and more aware as I take one step in front of the other along this life journey. Life offers us these lessons and experiences on a daily basis, but there is nothing quite like the intensity of a Long Distance hike to really accelerate our learning curve!
Follow along as I share highlights of the adventures that bring me such joy in life, and the wisdom they have imbued into my being.
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