2 weeks, & 5 days. 6514 miles. And what a journey it has been!
I once did a hike up a dormant volcano on the island Saba. My brother came along and I am unsure whether he came for the glory of climbing to the summit of a volcano or just out of courtesy since I asked. It was a gruesome upward battle and I rationed my water so he could have more.
Due to changing moisture levels of the island’s higher elevation the vegetation goes from a deciduous forest at the bottom to a rainforest the higher you go. Around the time we reached the rainforest we needed some rest. Covered in sweat, legs and knee joints burning, the low ambiance of tree frogs and bugs. We sat down for a long gulp of water.
He must have wondered why he decided to inflict this torture upon himself. “Why do you hike?” he asked.
I didn’t say anything immediately, thinking to myself. My knees throbbing.
“It’s not really about the destination I guess, more about the journey,” I had replied.
He didn’t say anything, but nodded his head and we continued on. By the time we reached the summit clouds rolled in. We crawled on our bellies to the very edge of the highest peak and peered over. All we saw was gray. It was an abyss, tough to tell whether I was looking down, up, or at the horizon.
We descended quickly, both excited for some relaxation. When we got back into town I asked him if he wanted to sign the registry of who hiked the dormant volcano.
“No, I’m glad I went though”
I am constantly reminded of this day whether I’m hiking again, traveling, or reaching a goal. Amber and I’s main destination on our road trip was reaching Yellowstone National Park. We ended up getting there late, camping one night, and only spending a few hours the next day in the park. It became just a vague compass direction of where I was driving. West. Yet the trip was most wonderful. Learned so much and saw many things, some beautiful and some disheartening.
Eventually we’ll discuss how the technical aspects of traveling out of the back of a pickup truck worked (it got hot sleeping by morning), try and improve it, and do it again. In the meanwhile, smaller trips like the beach and camping in parks of Virginia.
I have lots of photo editing to do and Amber shot plenty of video as well, but for now I’m going to drink a couple beers and play old video games with Amber. Mario Kart and Yuengling Black & Tan.