We’re in Oregon, Let’s Celebrate
Well Friends, we have made it to the great state of Oregon - FINALLY!! What a feeling, an indescribable one, really. For so long, we knew the border was a few weeks away, then a few days, then a few miles, but when we came upon the sign that marked the border, a feeling rushed over me that I was not prepared for, I could not speak, the tears rolled down my face as I read the sign that announced we had entered our beloved state, that we have walked over 1700 miles since the end of April and we had less than 1000 miles in front of us - and then I smiled!! What celebration filled the air and Ben and I congratulated one another and whipped out the camera! It had been 95 days since we left El Campo and here we stood, one foot in CA and one in OR and the end of the trail, the end of our journey was in sight. The knowledge that we would "make it" was confirmed.
The last few weeks on the trail have been filled with all the emotions one could find in one's being - utter amazement and joy when witnessing the beauty and landscape of the Trinity Alps and the Russian and Marble Mt Wilderness; the taste of bliss when drinking thirstily the clear delicious spring water spouting from a hillside source; the pain of marble size hail pelting you through your soaking wet rain coat, lighting over head, your only protection a grove of smaller trees and the spirit of one another; 110 degree heat, radiating from the granite and marble slabs from which the trail is cut while climbing mile after mile out of the valley you just descended into, the disappointment when you finally get to a phone and everyone you love has their answering machines picking up and the excitement of receiving a letter or a box, unexpectedly from a friend.
One day, I sat down and cried - for whatever reason - the list would be lengthy with excuses I am certain, but I did, I cried, I was weak, the tears flooded down my cheeks, Ben could do nothing but sit with me for a while - I tried to smile, but the tears would not stop - I could not determine the root of my sadness, but it was there and it was real - and then, very shortly afterward, my good spirit returned and I was floating inches above the trail and dunking my head in the small stream we had passed - I am tired, I am strong, I am determined to reach Canada, when the trail takes its toll on my spirit and my body, I remind myself that the trail is supposed to be hard - at the end of a 30+ mile day (we have been average about this since South Lake Tahoe) when I am scarfing down my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and my 3rd snickers bar of the day, I can't help but smile and remind myself how lucky I am to be laying in the middle of a grassy saddle, overlooking a pink sky as the sun drops below the horizon. I could not be happier.
And now for the details of the next couple of weeks! We are in Oregon now, so that means there are many of you that we would love to see!
Can't wait to see so many of you soon, thanks for all your emails, I love hearing from you.
Take care, be well and eat an ice cream sandwich for me, they are oh so good.