Many of us, as children, remember C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, and in particular the second volume in the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Step into that magical portal and be transported to another world, entirely different from our own.
I sometimes feel that way about the PCT. Unlike most hikers, I’ve been popping on and off the trail, sometimes for a few days, other times weeks, depending on the demands of family or work. One thing I have quickly come to learn: I am an addict.
Off the trail, I go into withdrawal, at the very least for a few days and usually longer. I turn cranky. I watch from afar as members of my “pod” make their way steadily onward, bouncing from adventure to mishap and back again depending on what the trail might bring. And wherever I might be, I wish I were elsewhere — in this case, obviously, on the PCT.
The PCT is a drug. Its highs are incredible, its lows better than almost anything else. It’s easy to understand why we so quickly become addicted. My worry: if the effects of withdrawal are so pronounced for even short absences, what will it be like when we step off forever at Manning Park?
I dread to even think about it. As for me, I am back on Saturday, in Agua Dulce, and counting the days.
Nairobi, May 23