I’ve been down this road many times and yet no two journeys are the same. Typically the same date. Typically the same route. Typically the same weather. Months after months of yearning, planning, and executing cautiously-made plans to allow for these idyllic moments and yet no two are the same.
Last year higher than normal temperatures and a less than forgiving work schedule kept my journey northward on the ground. Years prior I would have brought one of my children with me. This year, no warmer than normal temperature. No less than forgiving work schedule. And sadly, no child sitting in the back seat with me on the first few days of this adventure.
The eternal struggle of having some selfish time and attempting to balance it with selfless acts.
Surely on paper I’m more than deserving of a day or two in the wilderness without one of my children with me. But no convincing from a detailed log of service to others helps settle the uneasiness of these moments reflecting on the difference between this journey and those of years prior. My moments with my children are precious gifts, yet my moments alone reflecting on those moments are too.
I guess it’s true, Selena Gomez. The heart wants what it wants. I’m sitting here in my favorite chair staring at the ongoing transfer of energy from potential to kinetic in the middle fork of the Salmon River, listening to the water interface with the rocks, the birds soaring from shore to shore singing their praises for a beautiful day, and some chipmunk that can’t shut up.
Conversations on life, on love, on airplanes, roll through the late hours of the evening. Currently it’s 2217 (10:17 PM) and yet the sun has still some shine to give. A faint outline of Jamoneau’s compound curves of the Piper Cub reflect stray photons back through my mesh-lined tent while the water still rolls down those rocks, some birds still chirp, and thankfully those chipmunks finally went to bed.
A shower would hit the spot right now.
Tomorrow’s plans continue to develop. A casual stroll down a few of the Patron Saint of Skypark’s favorite airstrips, some much-needed aviation fuel, and our next stop in the Idaho backcountry await us. Wondering who all may join us is something we’ll have to wait til we return to the lands that Verizon covers, or, in our case, a higher altitude.
Until then, a few scrolls through this last week in pictures. Our four families baseball game slash barbecue, two of the four families at a minor league game, and the reality that up to but not including three hours of sleep have fueled this adventure so far, along with two apple sauce packets, one clif bar, two gallons of water, and a sweet pork and rice freeze dried meal (embarrassingly better than I could make at home) remind me it’s time for some much needed rest.
Same, but different.