This feels odd… odd to be writing one of these in Alabama, in my apartment, on my couch, with my cat in my lap, and my favorite scotch in my hand. My other world… or one of my other worlds at least (this one with air conditioning ain’t bad). I’m getting back into the swing of civilized life (i.e. showering daily, using deodorant, being boring). However, lets recap for a moment on the incredibly ridiculous thing I just put myself through.
When it was all said and done, we walked over 2,000 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. We hiked through deserts, over mountains, across snow and ice, etc. It was a 6 month journey filled with highs, lows, life lessons, and honey buns. It’s been a little over a month since I got home to my cat and scotch. Just long enough to make the writing of this blog a nice little journey back in time to some great, recent memories… of my other world.
– One night, Michigan wakes up to a disturbing, rustling sound outside of his tent. He looks out of his tent, expecting to see the worst, and realizes that it is just a nearby deer chewing on something so he goes back to sleep. The next morning, he realizes that the deer was chewing on his only shirt that he had hung up to dry during the night. The deer licked and chewed the shirt until it had harvested every drop of salty sweat the shirt had to offer. The shirt resembled the holes of a Lite-Brite from that point forward.
– I set a new personal record for “longest time waiting for a ride while hitchhiking” (when all you do is walk all day, you pay way more attention to personal records). Boo Boo and I arrive at a very remote road crossing one late afternoon about an hour before dark. We need to hitch a ride into a town to get more food. The word on the street (trail) is that this is the type of road where only one car drives by every 45 minutes. Unfortunately, this turns out to be precisely accurate. After 2 hours of no luck whatsoever, we resort to setting up a flashing light show using our headlamps to reel in the drivers. Nope. After 3 hours, we begin acting like we are injured… (I know, I know, insert the “your going to hell speech” here). Fail. After 4 frustrating hours, just as we are about to throw in the towel because it’s 11pm, a car stops. A car full of twenty-something kids, out on a joyride, all extremely high on mushroom, and more than happy to take us into town.
– It is my second to last day of a 5 month journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, and I witness my first two bears in the wild. It was on top of “Grizzly Mountain.” A coincidence? I think not…
– I’m thinking about writing a book on the life lessons I’ve learned in my travels. I believe I’ll call it “Showering In Public: Tips & Tricks from the Field” Here’s a sneak peek: If you ever find yourself needing a shower in a public park and don’t have a towel to dry off with, fear not, there is a simple solution. Use the paper towel out of the dispensers! But, oh no… could it be? They planned for riff-raff like you to show up and switched out the paper towel dispenser for an air-powered hand dryer. Good thing you have this book and a backup plan now! Wait until midnight when you are far less likely to be humiliated by normal people (unlike yourself) walking in to you standing butt-naked and soaking wet under the previously mentioned air-powered hand dryer, repeatedly hitting the big silver button to keep it on. If you’re really lucky, the nose-like part that directs the air flow straight down will be a little loose and you can aim it up toward your hair.
– Every time we are in town resupplying, taking time off, and showering in public places; I make a point to find the most random things for us to do. During the entirety of the trip, I kept a list of activities we accomplished: karaoke, basketball, zoo, pool (swimming and billiards), tennis, lazy river, golf, disc golf, casino gambling, volleyball, river floating, table-top shuffleboard, real shuffleboard, power boating, movies, bowling, and hot tubbing. My only regret? Easy… not crossing putt-putt off the list.
– I believe that I have previously mentioned the card game “Euchre” (some terrible mid-western tradition) that we often played during breaks and at camp. We decide to keep track of wins/loses the entire time we are on the trail. I am proud to announce that Boo Boo and I are Euchre champions, defeating Michigan and Snapper 38-32. (I can’t believe I played 70 games of Euchre…)
– Michigan continues to have bad luck with the night-time woodland creatures. One night, we are all settling into our tents and sleeping bags and beginning to fall asleep (like the sweet little angel backpackers that we are). The night is silent and peaceful. Until, out of nowhere, Michigan begins screaming like a small (not so sweet angel) child. He violently wrestles his way out of his sleeping bag and tent. We all awaken, shine our lights toward him, and ask him what the hell is going on. He simply screams “SCORPION!” He had awaken to a rather large scorpion in his sleeping bag cuddled up next to him.
That’s a wrap! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has supported this trip, my other adventures, my businesses, and my absurd life in general. It is only because of you, that I am able to accomplish the things that I’m deeply passionate about. Believe it or not, you kept me going when times got tough out there. Thank you.
Thanks to my PCT family. I couldn’t ask for a better cast of thrown-together misfits. I’m honored to be a part of our family and beyond grateful that I got the chance to walk through deserts and over mountains (and do karaoke whenever possible) with you.
People keep asking me “What’s next?” Answer: “I have no idea.” However, I do know two things: I know that I’m happy with life at home and that I’m equally content with the rambling life. Maybe part of true happiness lies in balance. Balance in all aspects of life. Even if it involves being naked in a public restroom, after midnight, under an air-powered hand dryer…
Until next time, do what you love.