Just past Turkey Spring – 3/22
I splashed back and forth through Diamond Creek, rising up its long canyon toward the Black Range and the Continental Divide. I reached the crest of mountains at a low pass and turned north, weaving along the peaks, picking my way forward through patches of snow and dirt, light and shadow. The “Continental Divide Trail” a sign read. I stopped and stared at the familiar emblem. The “C” and “D” split by an arrow-shaped “T” that always pointed the way forward.
It would point all the way to Canada if you let it.
I’d missed these signs six years ago, if they were even here then. I’d traded this section and the Black Range for the alternate route through the Gila, but the dirt path still felt like the trail I knew, the one cobbled together from a hundred different trails, the one that would split high and low and force you to make decisions, the one I used to dream about as I stared at documents in a San Francisco office.
I looked out at the string of peaks stretching into the distance and thought of the day I walked past my old office to the Greyhound station. I’d rented out my old apartment, sold or given away all my furniture, donated clothes, whittled away everything I had until it all fit into a backpack stashed in a seat on a bus to New Mexico. Everything I had in one bag, enough to take me three thousand miles from Mexico to Canada. Everything I needed to make a long line across the earth my home for five months.
It’s nice to be home, even if it is for just a day or two.