August 22, 2011

Letters from the Pacific Crest Trail #8


Canada, Here We Come

Dearest Friends –

Since leaving Portland on Aug 16th, Bluegrass and I have traveled 250 miles and are spending a much deserved day of rest at my father's house in Bonney Lake - he retrieved us last night from Snoqualmie Pass after a long day of walking through water logged huckleberry bushes, overgrown trail and a dense white fog. We rest here today and tomorrow depart to make our final push toward Manning Park, Canada; scheduled arrival date Sept 5th! Hard to believe we have come this far.

I want to thank all of you who were able to make it to our gathering at the Curriers - we had a wonderful time with all of you and stepped into Washington with renewed energy and excitement - it is the smiles of our friends and your warm embraces that give us the strength to keep on truckin'.

As we approach the end of our journey, I begin to understand what people meant when they told us "the trail will change you".

This is not a change that happens all at once, when you step across the Canadian border.  It is a slow wearing away and building up of strength and character and courage that happens over the course of the trail, each hour of each day, foot step by foot step. My mind is clear and my heart is light - I feel a sense of freedom I have not experienced before in my life. A freedom not only from the confines of the city and work and life, but a freedom from myself. A freedom from the confines of my own mind, from the pressures that I put upon myself since I was a small child, from the shoulds and need-tos and musts. I am free to live a life that makes my spirit soar high above the mist and clouds and steep rocky trail - my heart and mind sing out loud and I am not ashamed - my voice carriers through the damp forest as I greet the birds with song and I hesitant to watch an elk cross my path. I am happy; I have good friends who know not how I appreciate them and a wonderful family who knows not how I love them. These are the truly important "things".

If nothing else, I will walk these last miles with a smile, knowing that I have learned something along the way, something that I have been taught so many times before but never really learned - the most important things in life are really things at all.

Much love to all of you, Scarecrow.