Well, here it is six weeks after we finished the CDT. We had a lot of fun picking up our new car in Whitefish and driving south along the same route we hiked. We slept in the back of the Subaru, ate at some of our favorite CDT restaurants, and slack packed some missed sections. Ended the road trip with six days at the Grand Canyon, visiting Emma.
After lots of time to think about the thruhike, I have these comments. The mountains and camping every night felt like going home. I don’t feel changed by the experience, only reassured that I love long demanding journeys. Dopamine, a good appetite, excitement, deep fatigue, and new experiences make me very happy. I was surprised to discover I enjoyed backpacking—the slow pace, the remoteness, the physical challenges. Also surprised that I’m not a nature lover so much as an exercise lover. While other hikers exclaim about the beauty of nature, I’m in my head daydreaming or making plans, grooving on deep breaths and moving muscles. But happy to be doing it in the mountains!
John and I talk about doing another long hike in the future, considering the American Discovery Trail or the Nakasendo Trail in Japan. We just bought two Yamaha XT250 motorcycles and want to ride to Alaska one day. We still want to bicycle around the world and the architect is finishing the plans for our house, construction scheduled for 2022-2023.
The near future has us moving back to Cary, NC, where we rented a tiny house for three and a half months. I’ll be training for a marathon, learning how to ride a dual sport bike on gravel, cycling, and hanging out with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. Celebrating the holidays and birthdays. Giving retirement a shot before I start thinking about working.