All good things do not have to come to an end. I write this while sitting on a Pacific beach, waiting for the sun to make its final descent of my PNT journey--an adventure where I hiked 1,000 miles viewing some of the most impressive natural gems of our world while becoming better acquainted with some of the different personalities that populate our world. I am not saddened by the closing minutes of this adventure. Instead, I am excited to have logged an incredible life experience that no one can ever take from me and that will exist forever as long as I remain in the proper mind to live its learnings.
This trip has taught me to live a more simplified life. All I need is nourishment, shelter, and companionship. Anything else is a luxury and potentially frivolous. Tonight I inventoried my back pack. Everything left after 51 days was essential for this trip (anything not needed had long been discarded); however, few of these items will have any relevance for my life starting tomorrow. For this reason I threw away about half of the contents of my bag this evening. I could use these items again when I go on another long through hike, but it is just too valuable for me to have a liberated mind, free from the clutter of misc., well used gear which would be more expensive to store for years than to buy new. For the rest of my life, my adventure will remind me what is truly needed, preventing me from accummulating excess.
This trip reinforced my belief that the world is full of great people, curious to share stories and to help a traveler. This was evident from all the hospitality that we received along the way: free food, free drinks, reduced lodging, ride offers, future adventure invitations, and much more. Going forward, I will remember this, allowing me to have more confidence and less apprehension while traveling. There is always some great person willing to help. Additionally, I will be better to travelers passing through my town that I meet. I'm excited to buy a beer, offer a couch, or give some advice in exchange for a story and for the spirit of adventure. For the rest of my life, this adventure will remind me to be a good traveler and a welcoming host.
I can't express all the ways the past 51 days have affected the rest of my life. Nor can I even know all the long term effects. I'm going to let this experience live on forever, and I'm going to let it contribute to the long line of adventures that will occur in my life. The sun has still not set, but the beach has emptied except for me. My body is shaking from the symbolism of this moment. I can already tell that I see the world differently.
Barefoot hiking on the second to last day.
Walking on sand.
Another shot of some of the beach.
Eating our final breakfast of the trip.
Trying to keep feet dry during high tide.
Putting my shoes back on after our final ford of the trip.
Rachel and Dave deciding to play in the ocean a bit before putting on shoes after our last ford.
Tide out, revealing a very large beach.
Rachel electing to go under some rocks.
The final stretch of land to navigate. Our "finish line" and the sun was just around this corner.
David reflecting after we finished the hike on Shi Shi beach.