People tend to evaluate their weeks by the amount lost very rarely are they boasting about what has been gained in the week; today I sit in front of this computer scared to write...no words can do justice to the thoughts, feelings and emotions gained from being on the West Coast Trail (WCT) for a week. No cell service, no deadlines, no questions about how to lose that last 5 lbs, no worries or thoughts that are self defeating or pointless.
What I gained in a week on the WCT may be well enough for a lifetime to literally change me forever.
There's always the epic view pictures from everyones trips out here, they really are that stunning and unfortunately since I wasn't the photographer who lugged his Nikon DSLR camera 75 km over trails unfit for animals my pictures will speak perhaps not as loudly as his will but the words I have inside are stuck a little and over time will unfold.
In 75 km (100 km by another friends GPS; the 75 km is if you went in a straight line which you never do) I was humbled by vastness, greatness and unbelievable surroundings that seemed not to be from this world. Even if you can't hike the WCT head out to the Juan De Fuca trail or others that can give you a taste of this beauty. The rawness and sheer beauty out here is amazing. WOW was the only word I used for the whole week, this could mean beauty or how the hell are we going to get over or down this trail??? it was a challenge not an impossible one but one where you had to think a lot on the harder parts of the trail, no rest for the wicked or you were down a very steep cliff with only ferns to break your fall over the rock and maybe a fir to slow you down.
In the week I was lost I learned a lot about myself, patience is a virtue...to rush on this trail is to miss it all. Hike for a week and not really see anything if you wish; we saw a lot of things that many didn't! Have you ever been 50 ft away from a grey whale and her calf while she rubs on the barnacles to clean herself? Wow, even the guides on the trail took pictures since it is so rare to see this close up! Humbling, touching and surreal.
We saw eagles, otters, mink, sea lions, seals, whales, slugs and I mean slugs tons of them yellow, black, white, green you name it! Oh and snakes particularly one that slid around us while tanning on the beach. Did you know if you lick a banana slug your tongue will go numb? It's their self defense mechanism. Otters sleep holding hands in the water to avoid drifting apart and getting lost. Whales don't sleep and anenomes use their mouth as their other end as well? See all the infomation you can learn out in the middle of nowhere lol!
For now one day after being home I am trying to sort through pictures and emotions from the trip, we had perfect weather not a drop of rain and only one morning of fog I don't think we could replicate this great trip again if we tried!
So, my question to you is this: Instead of focusing on what you lost this week what have you gained? Weight loss is such an easy focus but really means not much in the big picture. Being strong enough, fit enough and ready to enjoy adventures such as this is what your focus should be. Yes, many fitness levels can hike this trail but do you want to feel like death warmed over completing it or would you rather feel great the whole time because you put in the hours beforehand to enjoy an epic journey?
More blogs to come day by day from the trail...stay tuned!
I Live Life Now,