The embers of the bonefire glow bright with a red that seems to warm the face. Around me are the laughing faces of Canadians and other traveller, here along the banks of the Simikameen River. The night sky seems to shine like no other night along the trail, and I can just make out the milky way, the center of which we all revolve about. There is a sence of warmth and yet distance. I finds myself in that land in-between, niether arrived to the next journey, and my thoughts still at pace with the rhythmn of the walking life. For this is the fate of all traveller at the end of their long journey.
Laughter and stories, swirl about the campfire, woven in the words of Ferench, Spanish, German and English. A world apart from the self meditative state of a quiet forest, only to echo the sounds of a deep ravine or the calling howl of the wind. For I've emerged upon a new community that I call home for the next few weeks, yet still somehow yern for the one that remains south of 49, of those warm summer days.
This evening I pour over the memories of the last three summers worth of experiences, so thick you have to reach out your hand to whip then away. The two journies along the Pacific crest and the life in between. Now as I Look back to those days, I find that the fire deep within has truely been rekindled. A particular email from an old friend strikes most. It reminds how the trail affects you greatly when you come back to the city. When the voicesof spirits no longer walk with you. Instead youare left with concrete, steel and clocks. And yet somehow to bring partir that wilderness home with you ispart of the real lesson. I remember watching Flop stare out upon the watersof Lake Chelan, with a look of sorrow in his eyes. And as I read from a hiker
fromthe last hike I an reminded how important that we remember thatwe take the trail withis always. Home is part of the journey. But as I have learned in this last hike, so is return.
Soto the life before me, I hope it leads me as well as it has before. And to Ladybird, may you find that journey that lies within on each day. And hopefully ill see you again on the trail some day to complete the stories to be fully written.
From the backcountry mile