Saturday, August 28, 2010

The End

8/25- I think the reason that I stopped writing towards the end is that I ran out of thoughts. I had raked over all the memories and hopes so many times, but they were like ashes, with no heat left to release. The root of the mental blankness is the body. In 1600 miles I haven't taken a day to rest. I feel 30 years older than I am, like a machine with rusting gears. But the adventure was real and I cannot summarize all the good things. Every moment speaks for itself. And now ith 15 miles until the end I walk through the tunnel of blank light. Every ambition and worry is somewhere South, and all I can do now is feel the wind and smell the flowers and watch the trees sway. If all this is a cycle, perhaps I'll catch up to myself in the bend.

8/27- The end was not as glamorous as I had expected. The monument I had dreamed of waited in a green swath cut through the woods- the lenghty Canadian border. I planned on eating dinner at Castle Pass, 4 miles South of the end. But the urge inside me was too hot, and I didn't stop. The last four miles were tunnels of memory in a deep green forest. A montage of faces and conversations and places flashed over and over on the back of my eyes. Though I had seen few people in the day, I saw someone paused in the clearing. My old friend Smudge came to hug me and say Congratulations, but by then everything was muted and I fell on the monument and cried.

The next day I walked to the trail head on Canadian route 3- the final end of tread. For the first time there was no path on the other side. I walked to the closest outpost, Manning Park Lodge, down the narrow asphalt to my last big breakfast and last shower whose floor I made into a puddle of mud. This morning I tried hitchhiking for hours, but no one knew who I was. In trail towns I was a celebrity. They knew where I was coming from. This morning I had only shrugs and the cold acknowledgment of looking the other way. I can only imagine the quiet thoughts of the two folks in the front of an empty SUV. They look straight ahead or away, unflinching and silent, thinking, I didn't see anyone on the side of the road. But if I had, I would definitely have stopped to give him a ride.

Now I am on the Greyhound Bus, sailing through dark towns and rainy skies to Vancouver. Yesterday I was king of the mountains, and now I am a pauper in the city.

Photos from Washington

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I overheard a conversation on a bus in Hawaii once. There was a man spouting ideas like a whale spouts water- pontificating about space, history, pyramids, presidents, conspiracies and all sorts of shadowy stories. He was loud and confident. Finally the man he was assaulting with words spoke back. You know what, man, the quieter one said. The people who tell me that they know everything clearly know nothing. It's the ones that tell me they know nothing, those are the ones I know that have something figured out.

We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started from
and know the place for the first time.