Before you could snap your fingers, our lives had instantly changed. Just like that, we had to make a new plan. We found ourselves scrambling, hashing ideas back and forth. We needed to find a new home and a new job ASAP. There was no going back, only forward. The hardest thing to do in times of darkness is to find a light. While talking with our co-workers, I was given a flicker.
This idea, would grow over the hours before seeing Sierra at the end of the day. It was bold, brave, and almost crazy. We had planned on doing a back-to-back hike of the PCT and AT, from March to December 2018. The hurricane and its unmistakable truth was that the AT would be a dream for us. We would not recover and could not recover our financial loss. We spent more than four thousand dollars in our time running from the hurricane.
If we stayed in Colorado, at best, we would make it back and a little more. The loss of income while generating work was more devastating to our plans, than having to leave. This bold idea, that started to burn brighter in me would take over my thinking for the remainder of the day. I had so many questions. Could we do it? Can we afford to go? How much would we lose if we didn’t?
When I approached Sierra with the idea, it was still in its infancy. We took to the internet and researched, cost, transportation, housing, and food. The more we dove in, the more likely it looked that we would be able to pull it off. If our math was correct, we could take this four month venture and still do the PCT, with plenty left over to start anew again.
After dinner, we hashed our ideas out with Yoga Jim, our friend and co-worker. He gave us a few helpful pointers and then we said our goodbye’s. All packed and ready, we left the next morning for either Oregon or Wisconsin, a phone call would determine if we went left or right. Our 18 hour drive would be determined by who would or would not answer the phone. With one unanswered phone call and another answered, we left for Wisconsin.
During our short 18 hour drive we booked our tickets and started to tell our friends. We would be hemorrhaging money no matter what we chose to do. Trying to find housing in Colorado was not cheap. A job would be easy, but housing would not. If we returned to FL, we would have no housing; to IL, no job; to DE, neither. So we decided: Thailand it is until March; then the PCT til August/September.
I had come across a poem while sitting in my dark room in Colorado that I thought fitting for this.
The Laughing Heart – Charles Bukowski
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight