I can honestly say that hiking this trail, or any long distance trail, is something I never thought I would do. This is unexpected (hence my blog title). I’ve always loved hiking, backpacking, and generally just being outside. But, a desire/need to take on something like this, that takes up so much time and commitment, really never developed until recently. I’m not going to go into the reasons that brought me to do this, but thought I’d share where I’m at now that things are happening and my start date is coming up quick.
There used to be a lovely blue frame on the wall of my sister’s kitchen and for some reason, the words written inside came to mind right away when thinking about what’s coming up. I think she had just the second half of it, but here’s the full poem by Erin Hanson:
“There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”
I certainly have questioned myself and doubted whether I’m making a mistake/going to “fall.” I left a good job with the company I’ve been with for the past 6 years. There’s fear that I’m building this all up in my head and will be disappointed in the reality, that I’ll get there and realize hiking 15-20 miles day after day isn’t actually all that fun, and that I’ll get nasty blisters or a gang of rattlesnakes and scorpions will attack!
As it gets closer to starting though, I’ve resonated much more with the last line of the poem…I’m overcome by the adventure that I’m in for! The trail lifestyle, all of the scenery, the relationships that will be built along the way and the memories made, and all of the exciting unknowns that I’m bound to experience.
It’s probably cliché for folks setting out on long journeys to quote The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, but alas, it fits so well. So here’s Frodo reminiscing about wise words from Bilbo prior to leaving the Shire (Yes, I am indeed quite the nerd):
“He often used to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep and every path was its tributary. ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,’ he used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.'”
So cheers to the unexpected and unknown!