We sat in a meadow, knowing the routine well enough that we didn’t speak. She sat on one end of the boys and I sat on the other, scanning each other’s horizons for danger.
Sentries in a Field of Flowers.
Eventually Sophie fell asleep on her backpack and I watched her, all soft and comfy on a log, curled into her down jacket.
This is A Day of Lasts.
We met Kimberly a few hours into our day. She is a nurse in Arizona and was going to hike the TRT with her sister, but her sister had a medical issue this year that prevented her from the hike. Kimberly is hiking without her, but with her in spirit. She got a little teary telling us how proud she is of us. That people, and women in particular, are taking on challenges like these and succeeding. Particularly this year. Of course we got teary too, and the depth of her emotion made the air thrum.
I felt an instant kinship with her. We talked for a long time. She had heard about us and was hoping she’d run into us. Her excitement made our little hearts glow.
Where yesterday was tinted with a maroon hue from that one unpleasant comment, this experience with Kimberly brought color back into our world.
We are so proud we could give a little happiness as we moved through this journey. Something someone may look forward to seeing. Something special and full of wonder.
And watching Kimberly’s face light up made this entire trip meaningful in a new and powerful way.
We carried that feeling with us all day.
The greens were greener. The blue of Tahoe splattered all over the horizon. Bluer than blue. The sage even sagier.
A calmness settled over us, knowing this would be over tomorrow.
It is time.
It hasn’t been too long or too short. I have no regrets.
It is just time.
So tonight we set up camp for the last time. And we ate second dinner while we looked at the map and reminisced about this journey. The places we camped, the people we met, the sights we saw. The food we ate, or didn’t eat.
We took the boys to the top of the hill and watched the sun set and the clouds flame out to grey. We took a thousand photos of the boys with Lake Tahoe behind them.
Now this place is ours. Sophie said.
We conquered it. I said.
And we put the boys to bed for the last time.