As I said in an earlier post, “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on? When in your heart, you know there is no going back. There are some adventures that have gone too deep, that have taken hold…” Life off the trail isn’t easy. I have gone from hiking 50 km a day to sitting in an office as radio dispatch for Last Frontier Heliskiing in Stewart, BC.
Life is quite different. Funnily enough, Jake and myself work for the same company, except at different lodges. For the first time in nine month, we’re not sharing a tent or patch of ground for sleeping. I get a whole bedroom to myself.
No longer do I shiver in frosty sleeping bags, wearing every single piece of fabric possible to stay slightly above frozen.
No more eating from a char-coal blacken pot. I can shower. Even more than once a week or two (which seems silly, but we live in a bathing obsessed society so I wash more than I would like). And we have wonderful wonderful meals, 3 times a day.
People always ask if I miss the trail, which of course I do. I miss the adventure and simplicity. Life was a routine – walk, sleep, eat. However, everyday was different. We went from mountain to mountain, valley to valley, desert to desert, buffet to buffet. Everyday was a story. Now, everything is complicated. I have a schedule, whereas before we were in charge of ourselves. If we were late packing up camp, it didn’t matter. We only walked longer into the night. Now if I have a problem, I have to solve it. And there is always many different ways to do so. Before if we had a problem, we would just keep walking. Walking solved everything. Lost and map-less? Just keep walking. Hungry and out of food? Just keep walking. Cold and hankering for a buffet? Just keep walking…You could always walk your way out of trouble. You cannot do that in an office.
Although A DoorStep Adventure is over for myself and Jake, it’s affect on us is not. I still have some trail mentality:
1.Distance means nothing. Having someone tell me it’s “within walking distance”, only means that there isn’t an ocean between here and there. Does that mean it’s a block away? Or should I start preparing food drops and sawing the end of my toothbrush off to save weight? In the past, I always liked buying local produce, but now when I see a red pepper from Mexico, it’s local – as it’s within walking distance.
2. I always finish everything on my plate. No matter what. I struggle not licking my dinner plate everyday as I don’t think the hoity toity heli-skiing guests would approve. What a waste!
3. Whenever given the chance, always eat bacon. If you ever find yourself walking across a country, you’ll remember all the times in your life when you didn’t and you will regret it (I still regret not eating more at my sisters wedding 15 years ago). Dearly!
4. I talk to myself. Loudly. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t just squirrels and cows listening any more. People are judging…
5. I savour talking to people. Like the quote from Into the Wild, “True happiness is meant to be shared”. 5. I struggle not being able to go to the bathroom everywhere. Toilets are just so inconvenient.
6. I miss binge eating…
Although this adventure is over, there will still be plenty to come. One of particular interest would be following the Divide North from Jasper to the Alaska Highway. Maybe one day… Until next time – Happy Adventuring Everyone!