As we near the last days of our walk of America, I have a few words...
I have tried my very best to share that which I have discovered, leaving out politics, religion, and criticism. Also left out are my own feelings...for those I have left behind...for places never to be seen again...for moments that will be with me to the end.
I have been blessed - yes, blessed, to be so fortunate to find, share, and love so much that most of us only dream of. My pleasure has been to share with you, my friends who have stood by me; My biggest regret has been that I have been made to stand alone, wanting so desperately to have a hand in my hand as the beauty and wonders of our country have passed before me.
Not mentioned before...two years ago, I received my "walking" papers in the form of a Dear John - presented during dinner from my own partner...presented because I no longer have $$ to continue the life we shared.
I have made an attempt to continue, my head held high, looking to find that magical discovery around the next bend in the road...over the next hill...
...and yes, I found them; many of them; many of you reading these words.
Returning to the Peace Arch...a small success by an old man attempting to prove that old minds...old bodies...still cherish dreams and have the audacity to chase them down.
Has it been worth it? To me, it has. Simply, I cannot imagine finishing my life without having taken this stroll through our country.
I look forward to continuing my stroll the rest of the way around our World.
* * * * **
The first image is how I feel just about now...riding off into the future...hoping to meet again...knowing it is, in many ways, quite improbable.
Most of us will never meet again. From all, I have received and cherish a bit of you.
Know, though, that in my heart you are all with me...and there is nothing you can do about that.
Please say GOODBYE to Malin.
I knew this was to be a very special day.
Please say HELLO to Zach.
Zach lives in Spokane, Washington; about to enter Washington State University, Zach will one day be a Registered Nurse.
Go Zach Go
Please say HELLO to Steve Nelson.
Steve was a neighbor "camper" last night at the campground near Mazamas, Washington.
...and now, few words...a picture story of my 7 hour - 24 mile climb up the mountains of US 20, reaching for the North Cascade Pass.
Thinking of you, Ron - of Soso - as my camera slurped up these majestic mountains.
...yes, even Dandelions are beautiful.
* * * * *
Here, we rest a moment. Please say HELLO to Malin.
Malin rode into my life this morning...all smiles...chatting like a bird as though we had been friends for eons. Just returned from biking ALONE in China and the adjacent "..stans", Malin, from Sweden, is biking to visit friends on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
In awe? you bet! An old man being thrust into friendship with a beautiful confident young woman throwing herself at life. Instantly, I was smitten...even before she said "Hi, there".
...and yes, we meet again...on the far side of this same mountain!
The road UP is way down there...a most gorgeous place on Planet Earth.
...yes, we met again on the far side of the mountain.
Malin suggested taking a day off ... go hiking by Ross Dam...
and, I let Malin get away.
Please say GOODBYE to Malin.
...another curve in the road...another hill to cross
Malin rode into my life a second time as I was walking BACK up to the mountain top, picking up from the 24 miles I walked up the East side this morning.
The image above is Ross Lake. I parked SPIA at the mountain trail leading from this high vantage point to the lake below.
In the morning, I plan to walk DOWN US 20 to Ross Lake...then back up to fetch SPIA; continuing parking and walking in 10 - 12 mile increments all day tomorrow as we head into destiny at the Peace Arch.