Thursday August 20
I am laying in my tent listening to the wind in the trees. Sometimes it sounds like a river; a soothing sound. Sometimes the gusts are stronger and a few trees creak and groan.
There are birds living here too. I believe they are Camp Robbers. They make a funny chirping sound. One landed close by, as if to announce that it needed something to rob.
A chipmunk lives here too. I heard it chiding me as I was setting up my tent.
There are plenty of insects. As soon as I set down my pack, the black flies smelled the lingering perspiration. They were also interested in the smell of my dinner. One fly managed to get into the tent. With a little bit of encouragement, I got it to fly out as I zipped shut the mosquito netting.
I am just a visitor in this place. As I have wandered from Mexico to Canada, I have always tried to remember that. I made it my goal to never knowingly harm any animal on the trail, whether it be an ant, butterfly, beetle, lizard, stink bug, baby skunk, dragonfly, spider, caterpillar, worm, moth, slug, bee, grasshopper, snake, fly, centipede, or frog. I want them to live at least for another day.
I have witnessed that all life is connected. The forest that was burned by fire appears to be tragic. Indeed it was for the living forest that died. But new plants are given a chance to thrive. And new creatures find this their home.
Most of all, however, I have a restored faith in people. Even though I was a complete stranger, they opened their homes to me. They gave me transportation and went out of their way to get me to my destination. They prepared fantastic dishes of food and tasty beverages and invited me to partake until I was full.
I met extraordinary people who were also walking the trail. Most would share anything that they had if there was a need. We all had a common bond and the same goal. We all were trying to do something extraordinary.
I feel sad that I'm heading back to the busy world again. I will miss my nightly cup of hot chocolate and laying here listening to the music of the wild.
But I have reached my goal and come to an ending. I believe that as one door closes, another will open.
I just need the courage to walk on through.