The Journey Begins

Sometime last year, I posted a photo on Instagram—an average shot (I’m not a great photographer) of a sharp cliff, set against a calm sea and a glorious sunset. Isaac and I were road tripping from Seattle to our new home in Colorado, and we’d stopped along the coast in southern Oregon.

IMG_3552I captioned the photo, “Which is better: journeys or destinations?” Unsurprisingly, the response from my social media friends was a resounding vote for journeys. Unsurprising because that’s what I know the answer should be: life should be about the journey.

But I was caught off guard. If someone had asked me that question, I would have picked destinations. I LIVE for destinations. I orient my life around a defined destination, and then I chart a course to reach it. I seldom appreciate the journey along the way. I’m too busy trying to get to the destination.

That incident sparked a few months of reflection in me. And that’s how I ended up wanting to do a long distance thru-hike. I stumbled on the idea of hiking the Colorado Trail, and I was hooked. Who wouldn’t want to spend a month in the woods with nothing to do but walk, talk, reflect, and wander? I talked Isaac into hiking it in the summer of 2017. We got as far as making some preliminary plans, improving our gear, and testing out some training hikes before he got a job offer he couldn’t pass on. So we paused our plans.

But now. Now we’re back at it full force.

Because we’re trying to sustain our current job situations, we’re getting clever with our hiking schedule, including tackling a few miles on Memorial Day weekend before our true start in August. It’s not an ideal approach, but we’re both comfortable with it. It allows us to spend the time that we can on the trail while maintaining the jobs that we enjoy.

Next up: more planning, packing, and preparation. Oh, and I guess we should get in shape.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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