Writing is a very slow and labor intensive job, thus I do not do it often. I wish I was one of those people that was blessed with the talent to be able to put their pen down and the thoughts effortlessly come flowing out onto the paper (or computer screen) in a clear and concise way. Instead my thoughts become tangled together and a gobbly mess comes out. It is even more daunting task knowing that others, especially the ones that do know how to write, will be reading my words. Nonetheless, I thought I should write down some of Mom’s thoughts about hiking.
I love to walk, and the longer the trail, the happier I am! So, what about walking that makes my happy? I am a firm believer in the concept of less is more, therefore, I fault the human race of bad design. The day to day life that they have created, is too complicated. It is over designed. Thru-hiking is living in its most simplest form. It is nothing more that eating, sleeping, walking, and reveling in natures beauty. The burdens of day to day life dissolve away. I wake up every morning on the trail feeling that this is the best day of my life. This is why I love hiking!
Before Will and Joon were born, we said we wanted to someday hike the Pacific Crest Trail with our kids. Over the years, every excuse came up as to why we should not do it. The number one consideration was always financial. How do you just quit a job for half a year, face the uncertainties of unemployment, upkeep mortgage payments while we are gone, receive no unemployment, and face the financial fees for no longer having health care. It sounds like a bad decision. Nonetheless, smart idea or not, we are throwing caution to the wind and taking our family on a hike from Mexico to Canada. In fact, there is something in that very wind telling us to go.
In a week, the ravens are “going off the grid”, and thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. We are all excited. We are a little nervous too. Last fall, when we began planning for our trip, my biggest fear was huge river crossings during spring melt in the Sierras. Once again, California has had another winter with exceptionally low snow fall, therefore my anxiety of river crossings has faded away. It has been replaced with rattlesnakes. Since Southern California experiencing a forth year of drought, it is expected to be a record year for rattlesnake bites. I do not know why drought increases rattlesnake bites, perhaps it is causing the snakes to move away from their territory looking for food and water? Nonetheless, I have been telling Will and Joon when they are hiking, not to look at their feet, instead look in front of them and to keep an eye out for any snakes. Also, assume that any large rock in the the trail can have a rattle snake on the other side. Look before you step! I recently gave Will a home school assignment to learn to identify the different types of rattlesnakes in California and to research what to do if bitten by one. Hopefully, that will be useless information for Will.
The only other real concern I have is for Joon and her speed of walking. She is slow! To use Joon and slow in the same sentence, is an oxymoron. Joon is all about speed: she has to swim and run the fastest, she has to do her math drills the fastest, she has to eat her dinner the fastest, brush her teeth or even sharpen a pencil faster than anyone. Everything she does, becomes a race. However, when if comes to walking she is a snail!!! I think this is because she has a very vivid imagination, and when she walks, great stories are unfolding in her mind and she is concentrating more on her stories than walking. As she is trudging along on the trail, you can see her get slower and slower with each step she takes. Tim and I have to keep reminding her to step it up. I suppose if this is the biggest hurdle to overcome, we are in pretty good shape.