Oh, Oregon: I know you don’t like people from California moving up into you, but once they’ve seen you, can you blame them?
I’m ensconced tonight in a dark forest with the daylight streaming through the trees as it slips away. The wind has kicked up, and it’s sort of beautiful and haunting.
The good news is, I made about fifteen miles and I feel entirely in working order. We shall see what tomorrow shall bring, but I didn’t have any problems during the day’s journey. It was a lovely day again; my concern is that all my pictures are just endless shots of the trail disappearing among the trees. The photos just can’t capture the endless layers of hues and shapes kaleidoscoping into the distance. It’s certainly the most beautiful landscape I’ve hiked through.
Now for a whining bit. (I am actually quite concerned that people are going to stop reading this entirely due to my endless complaints about the adventure of a lifetime. To you all, I can only apologize: I’m trying to capture my feelings and thoughts honestly, and I just can’t put on the mask and shape them into a narrative of simple triumph, much as I’d like to.) Today I met a fellow hiker, Quad (and since I’m far ahead of the pack, I may not meet many others). Quad was a genial, gangly young fellow swanning down the trail. He’s been hiking for about a month and a half, and upon my asking how he was finding it, he replied, “Oh, I love it.” We parted soon after as he pulled away at speed.
My only thought and question after this was a simple one: why am I not loving this? It seems like every element—nature, solitude, romantic adventure—is in place, and there are certainly moments of peace and beauty, but the daily journey feels like a weight. I suppose it’s a clash between what I imagined myself to be and what I actually am. As I suggested to my wife, that’s valuable information; it may be wiser to discover it without sinking oneself into enormous and costly projects, however.
Despite this philosophical rumination, I’m doing okay tonight. Here’s looking forward to greater and greater wisdom in the days to come.
I’m not sure this will get through tonight, so I’m not attaching photos. Imagine a picture of a trail wending into an magical forest, and you’ll have the right idea.