There is a place

I’m sitting by a fire with a group of men and boys. I’m in North Carolina. The miles somehow slide by and I don’t say that easily. Days are long. I climb and my body feels heavy and unnecessary. This is what I’ve chosen. What all of us have chosen. The sky is full of all of the broken diamonds of stars. I should be asleep after 17 miles of rough and tumble ups and downs, noteworthy climbs and decents, hard breathing and 100 percent mostly pain . This trail is so different. So lonesome and unforgiving. There is almost always no reward of a vista or view . The only validation is a completion of a climb…and that climb leads to a dense tunnel at the top of a mountain of rhododendron. This is a place of mental and physical reckoning, a proving ground for every hope, fear, doubt and god damn belief in magic and alchemy. I have given up on all of my anxieties because here there is no place. This perhaps…is just the way it’s supposed to be day by day. 

   On the PCT I had a strange comfaderie. Here, every single moment it earned. Each breath is hard. I awaken before the sun rises every morning. I’m cold and slow and confused. And I’m lucky enough to walk. The birds all sing the songs I cannot decipher but am lucky enough to hear. Their language is all their own, their songs bright and loud. Shrieking but quiet. The red ball of the life force rises and illuminates everything, the path, the white blaze, the plants and trees ever abundant in the green tunnel, the massive clouds lining glacial carved mountains ever beneath me. This quiet time in the morning pushes me. This is what makes me climb into the oppressive midday climb…the painful sweaty descent. I’m hiking long miles fairly fast but it still isn’t easy. This is my home and my reality. I could quit and work a job and go to the beach. But I don’t want that. I want the pain. I want the agony. I want the magic. I have the key. I just have to unlock the door. I just have to find the door.  

2 thoughts on “There is a place

  1. Mchael Goshey (Maxheap, Sobo '14)

    Kimchi! So great to meet you and Storybook on your first night on the AT, which happened to be my last. You guys rock and I have every confidence you’ll do very well on the AT. Now you’ve got my email address via your WordPress site, but I’ll send you an email too. I posted a picture of you two on my trail blog (www.maxheap.net) so check it out when you have time. Take care and all the best from one thru hiker to another! Max

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    1. kimchiwalks Post author

      Thanks!!! You are the man max! You should be on one of the upcoming podcasts. I have so much to say to you but no time at the moment. You are a special and amazing man! I’ll give your blog a looksee . Sending love! -kimchi

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