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Published: December 1st 2016
Well I suppose that a 149 day hike is worth a quick entry... I started my journey alone on the 9th of May in the deserts of California, a border town called Campo. It was not the ideal sendoff with border patrol cars buzzing around like bees, and a giant 10ft corrugated steal wall laced with barbed wire stretching out thru the desert sands in both directions. Maybe I should write Trump and tell him their is already a wall. Anyway I can remember the first mile really well and the last mile comes to mind, unfortunately the other 2650 miles (4264km for those of us who use a more enlightened form of measurement) all kind blended together, looking back now it feels more like a dream than an actual event in my life. But the beard on my face and the nerve damage in my feet is a constant reminder of the truth. Being back in the " real world" has been quite a shock and my biggest fear is that the lessons and insights that were gained in such an adventure will fade and the mind and spirit will once again be confined to the limits of society. I
ended the journey on October 4th with a group of 4 friends, who I will remember only by their kindness, humor and trail names; Wood Smoke, Chili Cheese Dog, Dirt Squirrel and of course Yukka who I spent the last 1400miles hiking with. My name was Sprout on account of the fact that I sprouted beans in my backpack, both for their nutrition value and the freshness that it added to any meal.
I have heard it said that their are more possible connections in the human brain then their are stars in all the universe, and with each connection you make your reality is slightly changed. I have also heard that as you make the connections the pathways between the synapses strengthen, thereby making it easier to access that information or perform the task that the connection allows. So we need to always be careful with the connections we make, to ensure that each connection will shape our reality to something that we desire and not send us spiraling down the rabbit hole with connections of anger, sadness, guilt or fear. It became clear to me as I approached the end of my journey that even in this
short span of time I was able to change the habit pattern of my mind. It was obvious when I left the sanctuary of the forest and entered society that the new connections I was making were not ones that served me in the chaos and noise of the city. Instead the connections of constant amazement and wonder of constant peace and gratitude towards the greater life force that I like to call the creator or nature, and some may call god. These connections started to dominate my reality and became easily accessed when surrounded by the simple and constant beauty. Even now as I sit writing this and staring at my computer screen a small bit of sadness creeps up my spine knowing that I have lost much of this gratitude while I once again form the connection I am use to forming in modern society. It seems in this world those connections don't come naturally but must be pursued thru spiritual practices like meditation or yoga, and I only catch glimpses of them when I return to my home in nature.
I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced this deep appreciation for nature and after a
short adjustment period maybe 20ish days I found that my mind craved the solitude more than anything I could find in the few towns and cities that I visited along the way. While my mind was more at peace on the trail my body was screaming for the Coca-cola, Snickers, High Fructose corn Syrup and processed flower. It was like I reverted back to a child-like diet where all you wanted was sweet sugary deliciousness. The danger of course was that unlike the 6yr old version of yourself you have a credit card. My general approach to this problem involved a series of deep breaths, and a long pep-talk about the health and social unpleasantries associated with these products before entering any store. In most cases I was able to escape with a few bars of chocolate and a craft root beer. This method was also used upon entering most towns, I started to realize the overwhelming chaos of society, the uncleanliness of humanity and the blatant disregard for mother nature in the social design. The first thing you notice when you approach a city is the trash, you can always tell when you are within 5 miles of a
Up is Down
Seriously I flipped this photo around the water is actually on the top, hard to tell but if you look close you can see it.
trailhead parking when you start to see trash on the trail. After that is the noise, and as you get closer the amount of noise (mainly traffic) and trash rise exponentially. Until you drop out of the mountains and are surrounded by noise, the trees become lamp posts, the rocks become houses, natural ground cover is replaced by grass and concrete, the rivers turn into canals and the lakes become swimming pools that need a double dose of chlorine just to stay clean. Here in this system their are rules, regulations, restrictions and laws, this system is unclean, full of toxins and poisons mainly from petrochemical products (so we create more petrochemical products to try and clean it, it is a vicious cycle and it has no end). Case and point, I spent 5 months living in the dirt, I slept in the dirt rarely washed my hands or body other than a quick swim, and I enjoyed 5 months of perfect health. I was in Vancouver for 36 hrs before I became sick. In the forest there are none of these things, it is self regulating and sustainable it has obtained perfection thru a lack of these things and
the law of nature is the only enforcement that is necessary. The more restrictions and rules a system has the more flaws it has, a perfect system is self regulating. What the hell am I talking about? I guess you will have to spend 5 months living in the forest to find out.
In terms of the actual hiking I will say this...I walked up some mountains and then back down the other side, then I did that again, and again. I walked past some waterfalls and swam in some rivers and lakes, of course I couldn't do any of that until I crossed 700 miles of desert. But the desert was not without beauty, in fact it was full of flowers, and cacti, sunsets and sunrises, snakes and scorpions. In the desert you start early because the sun wakes you up and the temperature in your sleeping bag does not allow for sleep ins, but not to worry that will change in the mountains and in fact once I reached cooler climates I enjoyed a lazy morning routine involving morning meditation and yoga, and maybe a swim if their was the option for that (nothing like a jump
in a high alpine river to wake you up in the morning). Later in the journey I might even start the day with a morning fire and a coffee. On a good day I would hike around 23miles (37km), climb at least one tree and swim once and have a fire in the evenings. Although I started the trip alone I was never alone, unless I wanted to be. The trail was full of amazing people from all corners of the world and we started to form a kind of mobile gypsy community. We all had one thing in common, the trail, and although, we all came form different backgrounds, the connections we had made in our brains up to this point were vastly different, the connections we were making now were all shaped by nature itself. I can't express enough my deep gratitude towards all the people that helped me on my journey, I love each and every one of you, and of course nothing but love and appreciation for nature and my place in it, I hope that I don't forget, I hope I can repay my debt.
P.S. Around mile 1750 I met a beautiful man
You can see the only deciduous pine tree turning yellow, we arrived in Washington just in time
named Yukka, who I spent the remainder of the journey with. He has since made a short video of his experience on the trail, I am featured in many of the short video clips, I can be seen hiking, doing yoga, playing games and dancing. If you have a few min. to spare I would recommend it.
Tot: 0.126s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 10; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0558s; 1; m:domysql w:www (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb