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Archive for September 26th, 2006

Destination: Manning Park
Starting Location: Below Woody Pass
Today’s Miles: 20.50
Trip Miles: 2600.80
Below Woody Pass (2643.0, 6135) to Manning Park, Canada (2663.5, 3800) ascent (2326) descent (4514)

Arriving at monument 78 was surprisingly a non-emotional event. In fact giving a yell in celebration felt artificial & forced. What a contrast to the interim goal of crossing into Oregon after 1700 miles of California. I am not saying I am in anyway disappointed or let down in reaching Canada. Rather the finish was put into proper context and thus the destination was / is not the point. Being finished is odd and I have a feeling of being somewhat lost right now. They claim it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, I have been hiking for 151 days and I have a deeply engrained hiking habit and the obvious question is “what now”.
Met Eagle Eye & Jackalope at Manning. The last time I saw them was at the kickoff party in April. I would have loved to have hiked with them as they are really great people. They got married on the trail also – a huge congratulations & future happiness.
We all enjoyed Manning Park Resort with its Canadian clean facilities & super friendly staff. An hour in the hot tub got my feet remarkably clean.
I missed my friends Pang, Swiss Miss, Sunny, Tadpole, & Sugar Daddy by a few hours. I was totally bummed but I reached Pang & Swiss Miss by telephone in Vancouver and they are going to try and get back here for a reunion. How cool is that . . . I hope it works.
My international no “whining” button has faded to a point that you can no longer see the blaze across whining and thus it simply says “whining”. Now somehow that seems funny & appropriate to me.
The veins in my feet look like those in our governor’s arms when he was winning body building championships. I had not noticed this before but all those steps sent a lot of blood to my summer wings.
The greatest part of thru-hiking has to be the freedom that is experienced on the trail. This freedom comes from a simple truth that “less is more”. And “a lot less is a lot more”. That includes a lot less stuff, a lot less responsibility, a lot less expectations, & a lot less conformity. A lot more includes a lot more time to think & reflect, a lot more time to exercise, a lot more time to physically &, more difficult, mentally challenge ourselves, a lot more time getting to know oneself, a lot more time to build strong friendships.
So why did I do it? Simply put: a boy had a dream about a great adventure while not understanding what that meant. A man turned that dream into a goal & figured out the meaning in the process of achieving that goal. Would I do it again? Not likely the same hike, but the taste of what is possible beyond a “life of quiet desperation” is intoxicating and so I hope to go-BIG again. But I want Liz to be there the whole time next time.

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