Steele Outside

PCT 2016: the grande shit show spectacular

Ode to a Great Guy -OR- What I’ll Miss Most 

It hit me again this morning…I’m going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this summer! Excitement swelled in my chest and fizzled through my limbs. I was lying in bed, half asleep, half awake, pressed against my husband’s back. Listening to him breathe. My favorite part of every morning.

I have this thought several times a day now – I’m really going to do this! I’m really going to do this? I’m really going to do this! The countdown is on; serious preparations have begun. I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. It’s so close I can almost feel the dry desert air on my skin. 

I daydream a lot about what I’ll see on the trail, what I will do, how it will feel inside and out. I think of all the scenarios – the good days, the hard days, the town days, heat, cold, rain. 

Just as often, I think of what I’ll be missing – hot showers, fresh food, flushing toilets. Mostly, I think about the people I’ll be missing, the people that I love. I think about my husband.

Hunter and I have a beautiful life, full of so many friends, so much fun, so much love. Why would I want to leave this beautiful life for close to six months and go off on my own? 

I have lots of answers for you, but none of them are the real answer. The real answer is…well, I don’t have access to that in words. It is a feeling, an imperative.

I have gotten this question a lot: “Is Hunter okay with this?” Hunter has also gotten this question a lot. “Are you okay with that?!” While I understand why people ask, it feels intrusive sometimes. The short answer is, “Yes, of course he is.” The long answer is, “It’s complicated.” Of course it is. 

For lots of reasons, it’s complicated. And for lots of reasons, we have decided that we’ll figure it out. That is all anyone who asks that question needs to know. 

All I need to know is that Hunter loves me. Of course he does. He believes in me. He supports me. He is proud of me. He’ll be there with me in spirit the whole way. He’ll be there actually helping me the whole way. And, he’ll be there when I return.

What he needs to know is that I love him. Of course I do. I would not ask something so huge if it did not come from a place of deep necessity. I would do the same for him. He is the inspiration for this whole crazy thing, because I never would have believed it possible of myself before I met him. I will miss him fiercely. He will be there with me in spirit the whole way. And, I will surely return to him, to our beautiful life.

It will be a challenge for us to be apart for such a long time. Sometimes I miss him before I even leave the house in the morning! But, we’ll figure it out. Of course we will.

My guy holding the boy cat and my tent



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  1. Linda Sholar

    Beautifully written!

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