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I began my hike around 6 AM. I met a guy along the trail who lived less than a block away. He walked a small portion with me. Then, a Swedish guy caught up with me and I hiked with him for a while. I ran into everyone at one of the streams and continued on with them. When we all hit the next water source, we chilled there for a bit, ate food and shared some stories. I almost got the trail name Dora because everyone kept mishearing my name as that.
Derek, the personal trainer guy, was telling me about the giant tattoo he got on his back when he was 18. He said it was a cross and I was like cool! Josh was all, “yeah, dude, that’s a pretty big tattoo for you!!” And I was like, “Ooo! I wanna see!” I showed him a pic of mine first and they freaked out and Justin was all, “Yeah, I don’t even want to show you mine.” I was like, “Come on, just show me.” And I was expecting him to take his shirt off to find his entire back completely inked and instead, he just revealed his neck to me and it was only a few inches big.
We continued on and I ended up joining with three other girls. I felt so at home because at one point, a girl named Flamingo goes, “Yeah, we’re the tortoise family. Slow and steady wins the race.” I was like, “ Dude, that’s what I’ve been saying all along!” They had the exact pace that I loved. They would walk steadily and take several breaks. We even took a long siesta at Kitchen‘s Creek at the bottom of a steep hill. We dipped our feet in the water, cooled down and ate some food. I felt so relaxed.
Later, we arrived at mile marker 32 at Fred’s Canyon. It was just beautiful. We were near a stream and I got settled in, made some Ramen and washed my dishes. I found so much enjoyment in those little things, such as setting up my space and cleaning.
I looked around at all the other hikers, everyone doing their own thing. Either reading or writing, meditating or talking to other hikers, filling up their water, etc. And I just smiled and began to cry from pure gratitude. It felt so good to me… Watching my brothers and sisters sharing loving energy, enjoying one another’s company. I got to watch and experience my dream come true… Unfolding in front of me!