5am: “I need to put an extra hair tie on the list.  Rar Rar Rar.  Aaaah!”  I flailed my arms about.

Aidan: “I’m not participating in rar-rar-aah.”  He flailed his arms about, mocking me and smiling.

5am: “Good call.  You’re totally right.  No more rar-aahs.  We’re going to be on vacation in a few hours.”

Go time.

I hung out at work for a while.  Absently pushed some papers around my desk.  Watched as I twirled a pen through my fingers…wondered if I could twirl it better if I took off the cap.  Unproductive.  My head was already on the trail.

Coworker: “If it gets too complicated to explain your trip, just tell people that every day you go for a walk.”

True.  Life will be so simple starting, well, tomorrow.

Coworker: “What are you going to miss while you’re out there?”

Me: “Cotton-and-jeans-and-fruit…and chairs.”  I guess we’ll go over that again when we get back.

Aidan packed a brownie in my lunch.  I ate it slowly, rolling it around on my tongue.  I licked the Tupperware bowl it came in.  I stared at the bowl for a while.  Why was it only 12:34?

My coworkers brought me a burger for lunch.  Second lunch.  “Who knows when you’ll get another one of these.”  I ate the whole thing.  I stared at the stark, white container it came in.  Why was it only 1:16?  Why am I eating everything I see?  I went down the hall and got a sugar-free soda.  That’s better, I thought.  By then it was 1:23.

It was finally time to leave work.  I drove the speed limit in spite of my excitement, and saw twelve cops during my hour drive home.  Definitely the eve of a three day weekend.  Definitely the Fourth of July.

We loaded all the animals into the truck and still managed to get our backpacking gear in there too.  The drive to my parents house took well over an hour, and it was tense.  Aggressive drivers anxious to get home to their barbeques and beer caused near crashes over and over again.  Tailgating, cutting one another off, so much anger it was palpable.  Come on, people, “This is supposed to be a happy occasion.  Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who.”  It’s a time to celebrate, if you can make it to your destination alive.  It was a game of Frogger.  It was terrible.  We white-knuckled it all the way there, our precious living cargo of family spread all over the truck.  I wanted to cry.

With a shuddering sigh of relief, we pulled into the driveway and began unloading animals and gear.  My parents, wonderful as always, welcomed everybody with open arms and hearts.  They made note of everyone’s eating schedules and special needs, and we settled all our wide-eyed creatures into their temporary home.  When the critters were relatively calm and settled, we humans visited and laughed well into the evening.  It was such a great way to begin our journey.

I hope tonight happens as slowly as did today.

I need the rest.

And then, oh yes, it really is Go Time.

Oh 4am, I hear you coming for me.  I will be ready when you arrive.




Eric · July 19, 2014 at 1:28 am

How is it going out there?
I hope you are having fun seeing and doing amazing and relaxing things.
See you when you get back.

-Eric D.

Jodi Doherty · July 4, 2014 at 4:42 am

Okay, almost 6am… where’s Waldo? I mean where’s Jodie and Aiden? Thinking of you and traveling along in spirit. Love

Paula & Matt · July 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm

The day is finally here! We wish you smooth trails, cool days, warm nights, no rain, happy feet, yummy meals, no mosquitoes, easy water crossings, and tons of fun. Go forth and conquer the JMT.

Comments are closed.


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: