20.1 miles (Miles 592.9 – 613)
PCT Mile 592.9 – PCT Mile 613
As I hiked this morning through perfect forests with perfect trees, perfect flowers, perfect trails, shade, sunshine, and smells… I thought. A lot. Yesterday afternoon was bothering me a bit. I don’t want to feel so distracted that I have a hard time enjoying my surroundings, especially out here! Thankfully that didn’t last too long yesterday, but it’s still something I wanted to work out.
I thought about that and all kinds of things. I haven’t really given myself the chance to just let go, quiet myself, and just think while hiking out here yet – at least not like this. It was a really, really good thing for me. I prayed, too. I asked God some questions and got emotional when some answers I didn’t expect were revealed to me. I learned a lot from my prayerful and thoughtful morning, and I pray that I’m able to make something of it all.
Sometimes the choices I need to make aren’t the easiest, and sometimes they’re not quite what I’d expect… or want… at first. I like that God is always challenging me, and I enjoy these challenges much more when I recognize them. He’s challenging me in a few different ways out here than I thought. It’s all good stuff, though, and I’m thankful for it! I guess this is kind of the emotional/spiritual part of this journey I craved. It shouldn’t be something predictable, I suppose. Anyway, I probably won’t rattle on too often about this stuff on here… today just brought me back to my center a bit and it felt pretty significant – worth writing about. I’m learning, and that makes me happy.
Right now I’m laying on a bed of pine needles for a short siesta. We are in what feels like a cool transition between desert and mountains. It’s still very hot, dry, sandy and waterless like the desert, but the barren landscape has switched over to tall, sweet-smelling pines, sharp and rugged hills, large boulders, and twisty and unpredictable trails. We are getting closer to the bigger mountains!
Now I’m at camp… laying in my sleeping bag, staring at the blue sky, lightly swaying trees in the breeze, and the orange glow on the horizon from the sunset, and listening to “Up on the Mountain” by Patty Griffin. Aaah. So peaceful that it makes my heart ache with happiness. It’s really peaceful out here tonight.
The afternoon was really nice. Our great surroundings continued the rest of the day, and we enjoyed a really fast-flowing spring – twice! Yeah, it was a good day. At the second spring I got to meet Bryan, boyfriend of a fellow thru-hiker, Honey Bunny. He contacted me through this blog so he and Aloha could tag-team some trail magic in Oregon when we get there. He came down to visit Honey Bunny and was hanging out at the spring. It was cool to meet one of my readers! And he’s super nice – and I’m not just saying that because I know he’s reading this… :) He even gave me a sparkling apple Izze and some snacks. Thanks so much, Bryan!
Laugh-until-we-nearly-pee statement of the day: “You’re going to have to say “I ripped one” when you fart because that’s exactly what it sounds like. I actually thought you ripped something.”
Tonight (and pretty much every moment of my being) I love the best thing there is to love in my existence: God. I’m so thankful for His guidance today!