3 days to go in san diego
Shamelessly, I write this from the comfort of a partially shaded patio recliner on a perfect 70° California afternoon.
Southern California has turned BRIGHT green over the past few months thanks to the record rain and snowfall. It’s unbelievable. Truly, I’m shocked. Gone is the familiar baked brown chaparral that usually carpets the hills of San Diego–it has transformed into a crazy-lush verdant rolling carpet dotted with flowering desert plants in full bloom. There are small puddles of water in the street. My aunt and uncle’s pool is about to overflow. The sprinklers haven’t been turned on since January. We are NOT in Kansas anymore.
Really, it all feels like stepping into an oasis. And it’s only been two weeks since my last day of work, but the process of closing out/postponing/saying temporary goodbyes to some of the most important things in my life has made it seem like a slow century. It’s odd. Time moves so slowly as I try to make plans for what I’ll do with it, and so quickly when benchmark moments roll around and sneak up on me.
Planning has been fun… and all-consuming. Many a spreadsheet was born. Detailed mailing addresses and instructions were drafted and delivered to the Chief Shipping Executive (thanks Mom!). Two whole rolls of teal duct tape and fifteen priority mail boxes gave themselves to the cause. I’ll mail boxes to towns with limited resources, but otherwise shop at grocery stores when I can. Below lies a good portion of what will sustain me for the next five months:
I have yet to leave and my first box of food is already on its way to mile 110. There will await the treasure: my next week’s worth of food and Emergen-C. Warner Springs Post Office, have mercy. The good news is, I hear the path there is lined with pie (I’m looking at you, Mom’s Pie House in Julian).
I feel super prepared, but I realize I will probably never feel ready until the feet hit the dirt. And maybe not even then. And I think that’s ok.
The past few days have been spent relaxing, spending time with family, and eating as many fresh vegetables as I can get my hands on. I will miss them dearly.
The family yoga teacher had some time to give us a lesson…
And I’ve been working on my base tan so the desert doesn’t scorch me alive. SPF 55 be with me.
It’s a funny feeling to be thinking that all of this will be inaccessible to me in a matter of days. No bed. No running water. No electricity. No doors. NO DOGS (This has been the hardest concept to grapple with so far).
I’m the meantime we’re taking advantage of all the fun stuff society has to offer: zoo visits, zipline rides, hot tubs, smoothies, Thai food, Cards Against Humanity, and drinking fresh hot coffee in robes on the patio as the sun comes up.
That brings up two things I look forward to seeing more of every day out on the trail: sunrises and sunsets. My goal is to be present for as many as I can.
It goes without saying that life goes on anywhere, even when you choose to leave that place. It will be a challenge to remove myself from the lifestyle I’ve grown accustomed to over 25 years.
On that note, I read something compelling the other day that actually turned out to be two separate quotes put together. Oddly enough, the first half comes from a K-Pop idol, and the second from a woman who writes books on meditation:
The contrast is a little funny, but I like how it flows.
I’ll leave it at that for now. If you’re reading this, thank you for being here! I promise I’ll actually start walking soon.