Saturday 3rd September

We finished hiking a week ago today.  It is amazing how quickly the time has passed.  Since then we have been to Vancouver, then south to Portland, and are now on an overnight train back to California.  But not much has happened.  We have mainly eaten, rested and felt, well, just lost.

The city is a world away from the trail.  I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I miss it.  I miss the daily exhilaration.  Being physically challenged, but then rewarded by nature.  I miss the simplicity of the daily routine.  I miss the fresh air.  We obviously got complacent on the trail.  I also now appreciate how having endless choices (like what to eat) in a city is stressful.  And there are far too many people around!

Having had some time to reflect on the experience, there are some basic things I’m taking away:

  1. There are some very kind people in the world who want nothing in return for their helping hand.
  2. Being fearful is a waste of time.  I learnt this after the first couple of nights sleeping in dark forests fretting every single sound.
  3. Hiking as a couple really tests a relationship to its limits – there are times I could easily have pushed Conrad off a mountain, and I know he felt the same – but I also appreciate what teamwork we achieved and the experience we shared.
  4. Because we survived 48 nights of camping I no longer need to feel like a novice in REI.
  5. I have a new-found appreciation of simple things I used to take for granted, such as: a bed, hot water, and carb-based foods.
  6. Camping for days on end is tiresome, but I do see how it allowed us to discover special places a car wouldn’t allow us to reach.
  7. Modern life has made me too precious.  It is OK to be a bit dirty and to just get on with it.
  8. I really like oatmeal.  Maybe I should eat it in real life?

So who knows what’s next.  I know that this experience has left a lasting impression on us. And I know that when we do return to London the mountains will be calling.  Some images with my partner in crime…

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