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, a bit 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.  Maybe we got complacent on the trail.  I have also realised that having endless choices (like what to eat) is stressful.  That, and there are far too many people around!

Having now 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!
  4. Because we survived 48 nights of camping I no longer need to feel like a novice when in REI
  5. To appreciate 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 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.

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