Goodness gracious, is it hard to concentrate on work today. I have plenty to do, but my mind keeps drifting. Tomorrow afternoon, I board a plane to head out west. By Sunday afternoon I will be cut off from all of civilization as myself and 5 others will be hiking through the muddy waters of Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon out in Utah. We will not come off the trail until the following Friday afternoon.
This will be my longest trip of this kind, and really first since a few camping trips in college 6 years back. There is a slight feeling of intimidation which quickly gives way to excitement and adreniline. The past week has been a mad dash to make sure that I have all the food and gear that I need. I have basically everything. Tonight I need to come across a few stuff sacks and stuff for two more dinners. Making sure I would be able to do this entire trip vegan has not been as challenging in my head so far as I have thought. Oatmeal and dried fruit for breakfasts. Granola and a protein bar for lunch. Dinner, lots of beans, lots of protein. Amazingly I have even found a dehydrated Pad Thai pouch. Just add boiling water, let sit for 15 minutes and I have Pad Thai out on the trail. Amazing!
I went down towards Bloomington on Wednesday and hiked a 5 mile loop just in Yellowood Forest. The first half ws peaceful and quiet enough, nothing special. The second part was a bit better. Plenty of crossing through creeks and just overall a more interesting terrain. Just jumping into a small creek and splashing around a bit got me excited for wading through water for large parts of this coming trip.
To be honest with myself though as much as this trip is to be a physical and mental challenge, I hope it to be spiritually challenging. Working two jobs and always being on the run sometimes it has been difficult for me to slow down. It's something that I really need to learn how to do in my Christian walk, but I have always been jumping from one task or event to another and not taking the time outside of my midweek group and church to really look inside myself and towards my Creator and ask difficult questions. It's not that I am expecting to find a calling while I am out there. Or to see a burning bush. But I do expect to learn something.
There is something about time spent in solitude before God. Sometimes I try to find that on an early morning run. Or a walk. Or just a long drive in silence. But to be entirely cut off from the outside world, and to be surrounded by Creation, I just expect something else entirely. Whether it will be in the form of more clarity, I do not know. It certainly does not need to be though. Sometimes, you learn more through asking hard questions that you have yet to find teh answer to. And sometimes you just need to consider that another step in the journey. At any rate, I go in with a feeling of optimism and openess of mind. I have not been this excited for a vacation in a very long time. I got my journal, some reading material, a camera, and just want to start.
I had posted it before, but for those curious about the trip it will be along more or less the same route that These guys took in 2004. Hopefully, I have learned enough about my new digital camera to get some pictures up when I get back sometime next weekend.
Joshua 1:3,5 - Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that I have given to you as I said unto Moses. There will not be any man able to stand before thee all the days of thy life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.
I'll be at Radio Radio tonight for the Gentleman Caller/Mysteries of Life show and am accepting good luck pats on the back and Bourbon as farewells for a week. :)
Until next weekend...