Walking 486 Miles. 380 of those miles by myself. Just me, wide open wilderness, and a heavy backpack.
To Thine Own Self Be True
I got my best ever hitch hiking ride leaving Gunnison after my resupply.
A sporty couple in a massive, duluxe, very swish, RV pulled over.
The side door opened and the automatic stairs slowly lowered like I am about to ascend up into the gates of heaven.
They welcome me in to their posh home on wheels, politely asking if I could please remove my shoes.
The amazingly nice and friendly couple made the decision to sell their house in Santa Fe, New Mexico and move into the RV full time. They had been living in the RV for two years, parking up at different sporty locations so they could mountain bike and work via the internet 4 hours a day.
They said I was the first hitch hiker they had ever picked up!
Dropping me off 35 miles later, after an interesting and uplifting ride, I was back at the Colorado Trail head.
I set off feeling happy, revitalised and renewed after my resupply and day off in Gunnison and Crested Butte. I had stayed with my amazing friend Erika, who runs her own non profit, which empowers Central American women who grow Maya Nuts, a fantastic Super Food, that she then distributes. I also had a successful Skype interview with the retreat centre in Bali, who said they in fact did need a yoga/meditation teacher and could I be there by October! Saying thank you to divine guidance and Erika, I booked my ticket to Bali, and headed out.
My next few days on the trail felt like a true spiritual experience.
Walking through wide open expenses of land with views for as far as I could see in complete solitude, I felt the incredible, overwhelming connection with the land, mother nature, and infinite source like I never had before. I felt an incredible sense of love and connection that would spontaneously bring tears of joy to my eyes.
Something in me had transformed, and I was so grateful.
The walking felt easier, the time passed faster and I was feeling happy just to be there. Alone but feeling completely connected and supported by an indescribable source that was pure love.
A source that would always be there for me, bigger than any human or material connection could ever be.
I finally got it. Looking outside of myself for answers was the cause of my confusion. Going within, surrendering my internal fight, and asking this incredible source for guidance, help, clarity, confidence and direction gave me the truth I had been searching for. My truth.
To thine own self be true!
Little did I know that I was about to encounter my biggest challenge yet. After two days of pure bliss the weather turned just as I was reaching the top of a pass. Coming out of the trees I had a decision to make. Find some shelter or charge on. I put on my rain gear and chose the latter. Things got pretty intense. I was above treeline, very exposed and the rain kept on coming. Freezing cold and wet to the bone I knew I couldn’t stop. I had to keep walking and keep walking fast to stay warm and eventually descend to a lower elevation. It rained hard for three hours, and the trail kept climbing. It was after 6pm when I reached the top of another pass and spotted my safe haven below, a sheltered camp at the start of treeline. YES! Exhausted and still freezing, I quickly set up camp that night, crawled into my tent and have never felt more grateful.
The scenery the following day was magic. I took my time taking photos and soaking in the amazing beauty. I was above the trees and about to walk across a massive mesa when the skies darkened. Feeling a bit helpless, naive, and with no other real option I put on my rain gear again and kept walking through another thunder storm.
Realising I was rolling the dice, I prayed hard and thought positive. I put the teachings of Abraham Hicks into action and it worked. The storm passed, and that night I spent watching nature TV on the mesa. Just watching. The clouds passing, the light changing, I absorbed the reality that nothing is ever permanent. Everything rises and passes away. This moment is all that exists, all I ever have, and it too will pass.
The following morning I made it to the road to Lake City. I stuck out my thumb after setting my intentions for a great, safe ride. It wasn’t instantaneous but eventually an old red Bronco pulled over. The driver was the most enthusiastic Texan I have ever encountered. He talked nonstop for the entire 17 miles into Lake City. He was a painting contractor who had gotten his vintage, red Bronco as payment for one of his painting jobs. He dropped me off on the one main road in the small mountain town of Lake City. I quickly found the hostel, that had been recommended by the solo thru hiker girl I had met two weeks earlier, and set down my pack. The note on the door said come in and make yourself at home.
The Ravens Rest Hostel did feel like home and was a hikers haven. 4 Thru Hikers were just leaving as I arrived and so I had the place to myself. Shower, laundry, food shopping, and internet done I was about to call it a night when Bob and his dog turned up!
Oliver and I had met Bob on Day 3! I thought he would have been finished with the trail by now as I had taken a ten day break when Oliver decided to pull the pin in Breckenridge.
It was amazing to see the transformation that had happened to Bob on the trail.
When we had met Bob on day 3, he had recently quit his pharmacist job at Walmart. He was packing some extra pounds, and wasn’t that nice to be around.
After over 30 days out on the trail Bob was like a whole new person! He had lost 30 pounds, he was happy, and we had an amazing conversation! Incredible!
He told me his whole life had been about making other people happy, and as a result he was miserable. He said this journey on the Colorado Trail he was doing for him. He was out there on the trail because it felt like the right thing for him to do, and he was happy!
It was very refreshing and inspiring seeing Bob, his newly made commitment to himself, and the amazing results.
The encounter left me with this realisation:
No person, place or thing outside of me can make me happy. I am responsible for my own happiness.
To thine own self be true!
to be continued….