It was the first few miles out of Stehekin. We were headed North down the trail. The crisp air was welcoming itself into my lungs. I take a deep breath. You're almost there. A couple more days then you can rest. Just a little bit further. I know it's getting harder to hike; you're so close. If anything happens you're w people now. They won't leave you. You WILL make it. Kristo said he'll carry you if he has to. Just keep walking...
I admire all the beauty I'm immersed in and I start reflecting on my journey. I can't believe that in less than 90 miles I will have accomplished what I set out to do. I cannot believe that I have made it this far in my current state. I cannot believe that I have continued to push on.. ever since that day in Sierra City so many miles ago. I am eternally grateful to be able to see and witness all this pristine beauty. I have no regrets. If I go... I'd be okay w that. I am blissfully happy despite being in so much physical agony. I have proven to myself that it is possible. There is only one other hiker that I believe understands what I mean. I am almost to Canada...
Thoughts are racing through my head like stars falling across the night sky. I think of the Sierra's so vast and teaming w power. I think of the unbearably hot desert. I laugh at all the sunburns I've gotten. It's ironic. I think of all the time I've spent alone and it makes me appreciate the times I've been w hikers that much more. I think of all the streams I've fallen into and I smile. I go back to all the nights I've spent shivering waiting for the sun to wake up. It makes me appreciate the daylight more. I am proud of myself for never wanting to quit. I have seen so much life that the fears about my future fade away like the setting sun.
I begin to wonder if any of us really know what our limits are. Have we tested them? Have we taken ourselves as far as we are physically capable of going? How do we know that we've given it our all if we're still here? By definition, doesn't that mean we still have more to give?
With each footprint I pass, I sense the urgency in which my body has been SHOUTING at me for months. I cannot listen to you just yet. We have to make it to Canada. I proceed to drown out all the alarms my body tries so desperately to send me. I notice the colors change. I have watched summer turn to fall and winter is now on its way.
I stop and let the wind dance along side me. It's getting colder. I don't do very well in the cold. It's time to open another hand warmer. I place them under my arms and hat. Hopefully this will help w the shaking.
I love it out here. This has become my home. Despite all my ailments I am still able to admire all the rugged beauty. I am at peace despite the war raging inside me.
The beautiful thing about the mind is it's ability to overcome. I am no stranger to pain. I have been living every single second of every day in it for years. Something special happens when you are able to look past this physical aspect. It no longer has any power over you. You are still aware, but you are able to acknowledge it and move on.
My mind wants to stay out here forever. My mind is healthy; I just wish the rest of me would follow suit. I take each step deliberately. I am willing myself forward; just as I have since Sierra City. I am strong and I am capable. I have clearly proven this.
Just a couple more days and I'll be in Canada. I know I will make it. Canada is calling and for the first time it is clearly within my reach. I no longer have any doubts that I will be able to finish. If I have come this far.. what's a couple more days?
As I lay down to sleep I am happy. I am w my traveling family. Hardly any of them know the battles I have been fighting. I pride myself in my ability to mask pains. I try my hardest to retain my goofy and lighthearted personality. I shock myself at how well I have done. My only wish is that I were able to share these last days w the person who brought COURAGE to the forefront of my life. Aside from that, I wouldn't change a thing.
Right before I drift off a thought sneaks into my head... I know what my final entry in the register will read. Now I just have to get there.