On Saturday morning Brian and I set out on our new adventure as Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Tour Ambassadors. If you aren’t up to date on the blog, we’ll be traveling around the U.S.A. for 7 months, living out of a tent, and stopping in almost 40 states to deliver a presentation about backpacking skills and gear and to hopefully inspire people to get out more and live their biggest adventures.
Saturday was a beautiful day for leaving. The sun was bright and the sky was cloudless blue. As we packed up the car a V of honking geese flew over our heads and I thought of the Mary Oliver poem Wild Geese (which gets a nod in my blog logo- take a peek). The poem goes, “You do not have to be good./ You do not have to walk on your knees/ For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting./ You only have to let the soft animal of your body/ love what it loves.” It seemed a bit like a sign, a subtle nod of confirmation that we are right to keep trying to live life on our own terms.
We took a photo. I love new-beginning photos. The new-beginning photo snapped of Brian and me on the way to the airport to catch our one-way flight to Ecuador is one of my all-time favorites. The fear and excitement (mostly fear) in our eyes in that photo makes me smile each time I see it. I always look at it and think, man, you don’t know it now, but your lives will never be the same. Maybe someday I will look back on this new new-beginning photo and think the same thing?
Our new-beginning photo. I guarantee we will not be so clean for the next 7 months.
We said our goodbyes to our families and our dogs. We shed a few tears. And then we started driving, driving, driving, driving. We camped last night in Missouri. We set up the tent and rolled out our sleeping bags and then we went for a short hike. “Hey,” Brian said, “we’re working right now!” And we were. And even though we shivered like wet dogs for the rest of the night we did not complain because this is our JOB and that is amazing.
On the road again.
Buddha is my co-pilot.
Home sweet home.
Just doing a little work in the evening.
Bitter cold morning after a bitter cold night.
Headed towards the Rockies.
Tomorrow we will arrive in Moab where we will take a break from driving so that we can stretch our legs and do some hiking.