Backpacking magazine may not be calling me anytime soon for a cover shoot but this was not a smile for the camera . . . this was the end of the trail.
Yes, it took me a while to get the photos developed but in a way, I get to prolong the experience by having waited.
My buddy on the left side of the photo is the one who turned the big 40 and wanted to do the trip. I still believe the greatest gift given that week was not to him but to all of us who were blessed by joining him on his adventure.
Please note several things in this lovely photographic representation of my experience:
- the hiking pole in the far right corner . . . if ever you get invited to hike in the mountatins with a 40 pound pack on your back and someone offers to let you borrow their poles, DO NOT say NO. I didn't get these wonderfully back-saving devices until the third day but I relished them ever step thereafter.
- the sunglasses atop my head . . . these wound up being for fashion purposes only. Redwood forests don't let a lot of light in, you know? I didn't know so I kept these right where you see them.
- the bandana(s) . . . one's on my head and you REALLY don't want to know what was underneath (did I mention I didn't shower for five days?) and the other is placed strategically beneath the pack strap. Why? you ask. To wipe the sweat, the seemingly endless sweat that poured down my face and into my eyes.
- the eggcrate contraption on the top of my pack . . . lightweight (yea!) and a luxury to have beneath your sleeping bag so that even if you're on bumpy terrain, you can't quite tell.
- the skinny 40-year-old on my right . . . 'L' lost more than 30 pounds this past year and I'm so proud of his new healthy look and outlook . . . hoping he's inspiration for me to do the same!!
- the sand behind us . . . that's a California beach, people, and I hiked 42 miles to get there!!!!!