November 1, 2019
The final town, the final zero, and the final stretch of trail is finally upon us. We all slept late, had breakfast at a joint across the street called “Kranberry’s,” and got our resupply dialed in for the last few days. We also set up a shuttle back from the border at 2 pm on the 5th with a guy named Jeffery, and I bought a Greyhound Ticket home to Florida for the 7th. All the ducks are in a row – which feels weird, because I’ve never had everything figured out prior to finishing a trail. I think Jetpack is rubbing off on me…
GREYHOUND IT IS
The biggest reasons for choosing the dreaded Greyhound is that: the bus literally picks up across the street; it’s less than one fifth the price of flying; and the bus ticket to the nearest airport was only $15 cheaper than a bus ticket all the way back to Florida. Not to mention, I didn’t feel like mailing my staffs home or getting them on a plane. Too much risk in losing or breaking them, plus there was nothing in town for packaging them. I could have rented a vehicle somewhere, but my license expired on this hike and I have to renew it in person. I tried to do it online, but the system didn’t let me. So… it’ll be the bus for ol’ Kyle, again.
I took a 54 hour Greyhound from Pensacola, Fl to Bakersfield, CA back in 2016. It was the worst experience of my life. The way I look at it… this bus trip will be almost 20 hours shorter, and my tolerance for misery is orders of magnitude higher. Compared to the cotton-ball me that rode the Greyhound bus in 2016, I’m as hard as woodpecker lips now, so all should be well. Honestly, I’m probably just blowing smoke up my own ass and this bus ride will suck just as much. Screw it.
I’m digging deep and trying to peer into my soul for anything of substance regarding the end of this hike. I can’t find much, and I’m not sure why. Other than the normal feelings of bitter-sweetness and the reality of knowing a daily routine change is coming up quick – I feel normal. I’m not even that excited to be finishing. In a sense, I feel as though my life has become long distance hiking. It’s no longer this vacation from reality that I take whenever I can find the time and money. It is my reality now, and when I’m not doing it… it’s my “break from reality.”
I would not say I’m desensitized to it, or that I take it for granted in any way. I would simply say that it’s becoming my new normal. I’ve found an incredible balance and combination of meaning and purpose between the times when I’m adventuring – or not adventuring. I’m happy, I’m content, and I feel fulfilled at all times – even when I’m not any of those things. That’s the best way I can put it, and I hope it makes sense…
We’ll see what the New Mexico boot heel is all about, come tomorrow.
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