Hike on (again…)
We are fighting the strongest, fiercest headwind that could only form along the long, flat, never ending highways of the north western states. Tic-Tac the van is literally screaming as he red-lines his way along, giving us all he can, yet sadly falling short of the minimum speed requirement. Dan and I can’t hold a proper conversation – it’s too loud, and we get frustrated repeating ourselves. Sitka our dog looks green with nausea as she sways back and forth in our bed, oblivious to the pending hike she will be participating in just across the border back in Canada.
We’re on our way back to the Great Divide Trail. The forest fire closures had us kicked off the trail back in the end of August, with only 145 kilometres left to go. It sucked. We were so close. We wasted no time finding other fun things to do, such as rock climbing in Squamish and jetting back to Victoria for our favourite little furry friend Sitka. And of course, there’s the month we spent in Ontario visiting family and friends and gaining weight.
That chapter, as fun and distracting and gluttonous as it was, has drawn to a close. Back to the van. Back to the road. Back to the trail. Back to our yo-yo hike.
There are still sections of the GDT that are closed from fires, but my navigating genius of a partner has come up with several alternatives (if need be). For 145 kilometres, there sure are a lot of anticipated hiccups and challenges. There will be snow in the alpine (hurray!) bringing a high likelihood of snowshoeing. The temperatures are dropping in the Rockies, as it is late fall, and it’s going to be cold! I have this thing where I “don’t do cold,” yet I “do cold” all the time. I always get myself into these things, so I only have myself to blame, but still. I hate being cold!
But for now, I savour our final days of blasting the heat in our van, ordering coffees to go, and binging on Instagram and other time wasting societal norms. Sure, the wild is calling and I must go…but only as fast as Tic-Tac-the-van will allow. Slow and steady and patiently. It kind of reminds me of putting one foot in front of the other – hiking, if you will. Our feet move slowly, and we wonder if it’s worth it. Am I getting anywhere? And before you know it, you arrive – at the waterfall, the ocean, the alpine lake, the mountainous peak, the end of a thru-hike.
So HIKE ON we shall.
(We should be arriving back on the trail on Saturday and finishing on Thursday, so expect an update by then!)