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[pct-l] Re: Does anyone miss the trail?

Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 23:02:59 -0700
From: Ryan Christensen <earthlov@reninet.com>
Subject: [pct-l] Does anyone miss the trail?

Ryan Christensen wrote:

>The problem is the damn trail is so awesome, not only that but my =
>journey last year far exceeded my high expectations. For me the trail =
>was not just a physical journey, it was a spiritual journey to the =
>center.  While on the trail I experienced time and time again trail magic. That >magic has continued to fill my life in all ways. When things fall into place you >know you are on the right path.
>Does anyone understand what I am saying. Please share your thoughts. . . =

   Ryan, this is a good post.  You got me thinking again about life on
the trail.  Last year I was on the trail for about 32 days.  The first
week of my hike was a physical and mental adjustment.  I had to find a
way to turn off the internal negative conversation.  Finally, when I
came to find peace in my mind, I experienced variations of trail magic. 
My body and my mind became tuned to the mountains, the awesome
waterfalls, trees, flowers, high passes and the animals.  One morning, I
began to understand why the native american Indians lived a spiritual
lives.  I was climbing out of Palisade Creek area, up the "Golden
Staircase" towards Mather Pass.  The morning light was spectacular, as
were the water falls up ahead.  I felt like I was part of this paradise,
and that the Gods of Water and Light welcomed me to this paradise.  With
each step that I took uphill, I felt the Earth pushing my legs from
below to help make get up to the pass.  At one point, tears came to my
eyes because I was so happy to be part of this paradise.  I flew up to
the top, on pure spiritual energy.  This spiritual "high" became part of
my daily life.  I began to "see" things differently, without worry or
concern, but with complete enjoyment and understanding.  During one
section, I hooked up with a friend who packed in some food supplies and
we hiked together for 6 days.  One morning, while having breakfast in
camp, I asked him if he could "see" the beautiful lady formed by a
couple of dry gnarly pine trees.  I described her features, her face,
her long dress and that she appeared to be "with child".  My friend
looked at me and said, "I think you've been out here too long"!  I didnt
mind the comment, but I realized that my perception of my surroundings
had changed.
   Back in civilization, not a day goes by without having noticed how
the evening light appears, even if it is in the smoggy Bay Area.  I
notice the cloud formations and am very aware of the change in the
seasons.  Even my kids are starting to notice.  I guess they hear me
expressing how beautiful the clouds appear, or I might point out the
various colors in the evening sky and they notice too.  I took some of
the photos of the Sierras and scanned them into my computer, using
various scenes as "wallpaper" on my screen.  Every once in a while, I
find my self focusing on a lake or a mountain and find myself drifting
away into a preferred environment.
   Ryan, I guess the trail has changed my life.  It has made me more
sensitive to Mother Natures daily activities and how we as human beings
fit into the scheme out things, whereas before, I might notice only
several times a year how the sky might appear.  Next week I start a
series of section hikes on the PCT.  I can hardly wait -- gotta
re-energize my batteries.  The best cure for the trail blues is to get
out there and spend some time on the trail.  I hope your job with the
NPS satisfies some of your needs and maybe I'll see you in the Sierras.

Ernest Chavez
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