First, I must say “sorry, but not sorry” for the cliffhanger. The opportunity was too perfect to pass us. I love a bit of drama (actually, I hate drama), and this whole getting stuck in the mud business ached to be used for mischief. Who am I to deny the universe its sick pleasures? However, don’t worry, you’ll get the story, eventually, which brings me to my next point…
I will not be posting my daily logs from the northern portion of the ECT until the hiking is finished. After thinking long and hard about it, I’ve decided to take a break from the commitment of posting consistently. I’m proud that I was able to keep it up for the AT, but finding time for uploading and scheduling is a burden that I no longer wish to bear. I need a break. One thing I learned while hiking and blogging from the CDT is that it is impossible to balance those tasks with other essentials, especially while hiking with a partner. All aspects of my life suffer when I am pulled in too many directions, and the toppling balance is not something that I’m eager to relive. Both the land and SpiceRack deserve my presence as we hike north to Gaspé, and my body deserves the sleep and rest it needs each day. The blog posts will start flowing again sometime in late July, once we’re reunited with Tango and I’m living in the van while SpiceRack hikes south on the AT. I appreciate your understanding and patience.
But briefly, I write this from a motel room in New Brunswick after a long day of road walking on stumpy feet. Spice and I are over 200 miles in to the IAT, and have left Maine behind as we speed north towards Quebec. It has rained more days than not, the mosquitoes have been worse than either of us have ever seen, and the trail is almost all road or dirt road. However, despite the multitude of itches and our shredded feet, I’m pretty sure that we’re having a good time. This northern land is flat, full of rivers, and lies below an endless sky that gives Montana a run for its money. Also, the Subway sandwiches are superior in Canada, as are the potato chip flavors. As a result, I’ve finished a big bag of chips five days in a row now, and I’m approaching the bottom of the next. The IAT so far has been drastically different from the AT, and I love it for all its quirks. I also love having Spice with me again on another international adventure. With English rapidly giving way to French, I’m going to need her patience with this strange language and her smile to smooth over any misunderstandings. The journey north is going strong, and I look forward to sharing it with you all.
Last but not least, a huge thank you to anyone and everyone who has followed the journey, commented, stopped by anonymously, sent good vibes, or supported me in any way, shape, or form. I am grateful to you all. Unfortunately, I have been operating at a significant time deficit, and so have not even come close to responding to comments and following up with those who reach out directly, but I read everything that comes my way, often when I’m actually on trail taking a break or trying to mellow out for a few minutes before dinner. The overwhelming positivity has been staggering and humbling. It sucks sometimes for sure, but writing about and sharing these adventures is something that I truly enjoy doing, and it fills me with all the warm fuzzy feelings knowing that others find joy, inspiration, or whatever in the words that I love creating. I find that the writing process helps me see and feel more, and so helps me understand and remember. Having an audience keeps me focused and committed to this reflection, and for that I am grateful because I inevitably discover more about myself when I attempt to put my feelings and experiences into words. Especially when I am exhausted and sleepy. That’s when my barriers are softest, and my truth closest to the surface. Growth isn’t in the adventure, it is in the reflection of the adventure.
So yeah, sorry for the wait, and thanks for the support. I appreciate you and can’t wait to share the rest of this adventure.
And since I haven’t said burrito in a while… Burrito!
Owen, AtHome, Threeve