The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a long-distance hiking and equestrian trail that starts on the US/Mexico Border near Campo California and ends on the US/Canada border on the edge of Manning Park in British Columbia.
I had been counting the stairs, but realized I lost track some time ago. How long can a staircase be? What silent images are these that drift past demanding my attention with such force?
"Is this where good men go to drink?" I asked the bartender, looking around and seeing only patrons of questionable character. Confused, the man replied with hesitation, "Certainly not." Hesitation and certainty are interesting bed fellows. "Where then, do the good people of this town drink? I should very much like to go there instead." "Try across the street, they seem a better lot," he replied while surveying his customers. Across the street I saw a crowd of better repute, dressed in suits and sweaters. But I heard nothing but lies and conceit. Incredulous that this was the best lot, I asked the new bartender "Please sir, I asked the owner across the street where the good people go to drink, I believe he was mistaken with his answer, is there another establishment in this town where good men go to drink?" Questioning, the man replied without hesitation, "Certainly not. These are the good people of this town." I returned to the first bar and settled in at a game of cards. Upon being dealt a hand I overheard a naive man at the counter asking where the good men go to drink".
Awake, I reviewed my food bag. 7 days of food left. A typical day consisting of Breakfast: 2 Oatmeal Packets mixed with one Carnation Instant Breakfast Snack: 1 Cliff Bar Snack: Ramen Lunch: PB or Tuna on Tortilla, Jerky, MM's Snack: Trail Mix Dinner: Mashed Potatoes and cheese Snack: Too many Crasin's or MM's or Chocolate Chips
Today would be my first 29 mile day. My feet will be swollen, my throat will be parched, but I will Dream tonight.
But the burning red cross shines through the night. A crucifix of fire calling its children home. My feet nestle with each step deep into the sand. The sun will blaze down upon me tomorrow, there will be no shelter. Just the way I need it to be. For in the night, I have returned home.
I have arrived in Wrightwood CA. An interesting little town. Its businesses strung out along the highway. A day of mixed emotions ending with concernation, unless things change. I find myself increasingly unable to access the dream world or meditative states as the land becomes dominated by trees rather than sand. I feel robbed of the environment that was so conducive to bubbling up insights to my psyche. The woods are but a poor, empty shadow compared to the power of the desert. I pray dearly that my real journey has not lost a powerful facilitator...or that its over all together.
The teachings are but a raft. A raft is a burden when one is done crossing the water