Walls of trees stand to each side of me. Tall bouncers with their barreling arms branching out and interweaved with each other. Red rover red rover we call the hobo in the pink shirt over. Flowing water tings as it meets the rocky creek bed below. Somewhere beyond the bouncers I can hear the splash of a small waterfall.
I turn 30 in a week. This hits me as I climb this mountain on my way to Tombstone Pass, I still can’t believe I’m actually doing this. I’ve been saying this since the day I left. I don’t think I’ll ever actually believe I’m doing this.
I’m glad the scenery is so calming. Someone said this road is closed up ahead because of landslide debris. This happened to me in Northern California. I spent 4 hours waiting the construction workers to do their dynamite-boom-boom thing. It wasn’t so bad. I met a lot of strangers that day; I love strangers. Some lady handed out granola bars — I ate a full box — She offered more. I declined, we were too far from the next bathroom. Unfortunately today probably won’t be so fruitful, there is little traffic on this road.
The next town is sixty miles away. I do not have enough water for sixty miles. That’s okay. I will stop at a strangers house and ask them if I can have some water. Today will be the first time I’ve ever done this. Ken Ilgunas did this in his book Trespassing Across America and I was moved by the idea. It gives you an opportunity to connect with strangers, gives them an opportunity to help and share your story, and shows the world that strangers aren’t so bad after all. It’s an opportunity to touch another life, to show them an example of the world I believe can exist. An opportunity to do good. Like I said, I love strangers.
The sound of the creek splashing below is so tranquil, I’m going to take a bath in it later. Taking a bath with nature, that is what it means to be free.
I’ve been on the road for 8 1/2 months now. I have so many stories I can’t wait to share with those of you just tuning in. The stories are going to make these blog posts sporadic and non-linear for a while, but it’s an opportunity for me to relive all of my favorite adventures.
I’ve been dreaming of a journey like this since I was a kid, I never thought it was actually going to happen though. My grandma actually biked across the country when I was younger, so I grew up dreaming of this grand adventure where I walked across the country riding trains, infiltrating criminal organizations, and fighting bad guys.
As the years went on, the trains and criminals faded but the dream did not. And then one day I stumbled across the story of the founder of Yvon Chuinard. Yvon had a passion for rock climbing, so he did everything he could to live that passion, to be happy. And when I say he did everything he could, I mean he went to discount stores that sold cheap damaged cans of food and bought cheap canned cat food to live off of. Yes, my man ate cat food. He was happy though, and I think that’s all that matters. I read this a few months before I left, but it changed me. If he could descend down into the depths of something so miserable and still find happiness, I had no excuse not to do whatever It took to find it myself.