Anddd that’s a wrap on Walk 2.0!
It’s a gift to take on such a big project, learn, learn, learn the hard way, and then take another run at it.
In the final week of this walk, I reflected on how content I felt this time compared to last time and all of the ways this walk was so different than the last. I was better nourished, less scared, more disciplined, and more open to the open road. Most significantly: I believed in myself.
But as content as I felt in the final weeks, it’s a thing amongst thru-hikers to be unsettled in the post-walk period. Life on the trail is so routine: wake up, eat, pack up your 20-some belongings, walk, eat, walk, eat, scope out your sleeping quarters, set up the abode, sleep, repeat. In amongst the routine is complete freedom: I can wake, walk, and wander whenever, wherever I want. And, it’s full of stimulation: every day is a new day, new terrain, new sights, sounds, smells, new people to meet, new hurdles to hop, new locales to learn about. What more could a cat want?!
Life at home … well, for one, can we please #revolutionnow for the 4 day work week?! We need more time to ourselves, more time to rest, more time for community, more time for creativity, more autonomy in our own schedules. Or, at least I do.
But as much as the pace of life is (much!) more predetermined in the “real world,” with its work and family and community obligations, I get to take another run at this post-walk period, too. I get to come at it with the knowledge that there are some things that help (meditation! alone time!) and some things that don’t (working full time with a part time job! overcommitting!)
So I traded in my tiny green tent (18 sq ft) for a big blue tent (450 sq ft) to transition back to “real life” with a 5-day yurt retreat, separated from “civilization” by a short but significant 2k walk.
It was a dream. I read, slept, stretched, piled firewood, wrote, caught up on paperwork, watched the fire, and set intentions for the coming months, which are sure to be quicksand as I work toward a future business, a book, and Walk 3.0. And at the end of the five days, a bit to my surprise, I was ready to reengage with the outside/inside world.
On my walk out, I startled and was startled by the biggest coyote I’ve ever seen.
We met just past the apple tree, where the lane bends and dips over a hill. I thought to grab my phone and take a picture, but, separated by only a few metres, I drew my bear spray instead.
Coyote moved with leisure, disappearing in five or six casual steps into the soon-to-be-harvested corn field. I often see and hear coyotes as I walk and sleep beneath my nylon walls, but this very close encounter left my heart racing.
“Go on, get!” I shouted, even though Coyote had already got. “This is my path,” I called out, asserting my dominance as I have been taught by many well-meaning men on my very long walk. And then, more true to myself, and as I have been taught by others who are more concerned with well-doing than well-meaning, I added, “We can share this path… but you have to be gentle!”
My terms, clearly stated, though I clutched the bear spray for insurance and spun my head around every now and again all the same.
Coyote is wise and wily, playful and adaptable. In the coming months, I will be, too.
Bonnie, So Happy for you and glad you had a very successful adventure. It was great following you as much as we could, due to our hectic schedule and a European trip that I embarked on for a month. It was such a pleasure meeting you. I did send you a package for your next reunion. Enjoy a much-needed leisure time. And hang in there getting back into the swing of things, wishing you the very best in your future endeavours.
Hey Bon bon, it is so nice to hear you have completed yet another fascinating walk about✌️
I say fascinating, because that is the kind of cat you are, fascinating!😘
One never really knows what you will do next, and honestly I am excited to find out!
A book written by you…I feel I have already read several chapters and I must say I am intrigued.
Hope to see your smiling face soon xoxo
Hi Bonnie!! So glad you are home safe and sound. Will the book you are writing be about your trail travels? I have recently taken up geocaching and it gets me out into nature more. Hope someday we will connect again. Best wishes on your future endeavors. Annette L.
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