AZT Journal: Bonus Day!
Bonus day! (Flagstaff)
My body didn’t let me sleep past 6, but it was ok because I didn’t really get to talk with melody and tim when I got in last night. They were basically in bed when I arrived, so I was eager to go downstairs and hang out with them. Tim made eggs, hash browns and bacon for breakfast and I scarfed it all down and had two cups of coffee. It was really relaxing to tell them all about my week of hiking since I saw them, knowing I was done, knowing I didn’t have a north rim hanging over me or anything. After breakfast I did my laundry and while it was in the wash took care of all my other chores. I was doing them for the last time now. The gelato jar will stay clean. The air mattress and tent will stay nicely rolled. A few hikers I know were congregated at the hostel downtown, so via Facebook I made arrangements to hang out with all of them. Melody even let me take her car out to run errands and go meet up with them. I stopped at the post office and sent my poles home and the second resupply I had sent to flagstaff, then picked up Swami, whom I had met at colossal cave on day 4, and we headed to the hostel. There we found Bones, Greyhound and His and Hers. It was so amazing to sit around that hostel for over an hour all talking. I loved seeing them all again, all of whom I had seen at some point on this hike. I missed this part of thru hiking so much. Swami, who is working on a documentary for CBC about thru hiking, even got a small microphone out and recorded our conversation. I’ll be happy to listen to it later. We all went to Mart Anne’s for lunch, the same place I got breakfast with melody a week ago. After lunch we said goodbye to his and hers, dropped swami off where he was staying, and Bones, Greyhound and I headed back to Melody and Tim’s. We shot the shit there some more, also with an ultra runner they’re hosting tonight, and all shared a delicious dinner together. As the evening wound down greyhound hit the sack, and bones and I stayed up talking thru hiking, and the lifestyle in general. It was one of the more real and intimate conversations I can remember having in some time. I’m running on a high because of it. Today was so special. It reminded me how lucky I am to be a part of this community. People like melody and Tim, hikers like the ones I was lucky enough to hang out with today, they make the thru hiking worth it. They make me want to keep coming back to trail. I’ve never felt so at home than when I’m shooting the shit in a strangers house in a random trail town with a bunch of other hikers. I’m at the bus stop now, I said goodbye to Bones a half hour ago and hopefully I’ll soon be on my way to Los Angeles. I’m excited to go there and experience a totally different familiarity. But god will I miss days like today. A part of me just wanted to stay here in flagstaff indefinitely. But that’s not the spirit of a thru hiker. We are always ready to move on to the next. It was a big part of our conversation today. This hike is finished. In a few hours I won’t even be in Arizona anymore. But it will stay with me. Today was the perfect end to be sure.