Where Adventure Begins

Despite the negative feedback we’ve received concerning our route choice – deviating from the ‘actual’ divide trail for another alternate – we’ve also got some real positive messages (thanks!). The reality is sinking in – we’re off trail and relying only on our own abilities to create and survive this new route. No red line, no water or resupply or milage data, no northbounders to ask about tips. Only topo maps and a couple of anecdotal examples guide us. It’s awesome.

Also terrifying. We’ve talked at length about how thru hiking the AT & PCT were essentially urban disciplines. If one is skilled at logistics and willing to withstand some discomfort, the hiking takes care of itself. Ramen, peanut butter and Clif Bars create the illusion of wilderness, but thru hiking is essentially a life facilitated by data sets, technology, and processed food. On the surface it’s  very different from existing in the city (pooping outside!) but underneath it’s strikingly similar. Which is not to say it’s simple either…

It feels good to push beyond these boundaries. Not that we’re building deadfalls for chipmunks & tanning their hides with their own brains to make loincloths. But we’re increasing our map literacy, overcoming fears of asking for help, and trusting our intuition.

I’m a different person than I was when I began walking long trails, and this world is a long, long way from the city I’ve called home for the past 15 years, and even further from the suburbs I grew up in. It’s a world Harpo and I create and navigate together thru shared vision, integrity, honesty and sometimes a few tears. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly not boring either.

4 thoughts on “Where Adventure Begins

  1. Kristin Tollefson

    Thank you for this post. I hope you continue to receive positive feedback.

    I am struck by how your words reflect facets of a fundamental belief system I hold to be true: that actions and words aligning are a form of truth, and that movement through and being in nature help us to keep these two threads bound together. I’m certainly not in a position to be doing what you are doing (two teenagers, a cat, single mom!), but I’m all for it, and thankful to be reading your words as a testament.

    Your names came up in conversation recently, as we are currently at Swan Lake, in MT, where we went the summer you came and stayed at our house, and left us a home baked pie on our return. So grateful for you in many ways.

    Sending love, Kristin

    Kristin L. Tollefson kltollefson@gmail.com 206.331.1857

    1. GROUCHO Post author

      K – thanks again & again. It’s encouraging that there are some sane and interesting people out there. People who know that a moral code is only as good as deed and action, and certainly isn’t a weapon or a crutch. Thanks for the positive words… Let us know if you ever need house sitting!


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