|Glacier National Park along the CDT (2013)|
It's a comment I have heard often among thru hikers, a comment that resonates deeply within my being these days! I too feel ruined, but ruined in a good way. I can't wait to get back on the trail. It's nine months post Continental Divide. There has not been a day that has passed in the last nine months that I have not felt "ruined." It's the "elephant in the room" if you will. Within all of my daily interactions with people and place lies the fact that I would honestly still rather be on the trail. No matter how hard I try to be present, that realization remains. I can be present as long as I need to be throughout the day, but as soon as that time passes, I am dreaming of another thru hike. I hope that time comes sooner rather than later. For now I am doing my best to be patient, but everything feels like a cheap replacement, which is absolutely absurd considering where I am right now.
I love being on the move. I love being in the best possible shape. I love the feeling of clean socks or a warm shower after several days without one. I love the feeling of freedom, of eating whatever I want. I love waking up under the trees, or sleeping under the stars. I love looking at maps and planning, meeting new possible trail friends. Swimming in lakes and rivers, climbing mountains, sunsets, hitchhiking, being paralyzed by fear, experiencing the awe and dread of the power of Mother Nature. I love looking at wildflowers and clouds, that strange yearning feeling when looking out over a vast expanse and the 1000 mile stare. I love the trail!