Europe N to S: Leaving Civilization (9/5/16)

Today’s Miles: 21.5
Total Miles: 1,375.3

Hårrådalen – September 5, 2016

I pull my phone off the plug and slide the charger into my pack, knowing its the last full charge for days. It’s early morning and Stian is about to leave for work and I have a train to catch back to the trail.

I pull off the cotton shirt and jeans I’m wearing, replacing them with the ripped pants and sweat-stained shirt I walk in. I fold my dancing clothes on top of the shoes that were two sizes too small and leave them on the coffee table. I shove gear inside my pack and we walk out the door. As it shuts, I wonder when the next roof will be over my head. 

In the parking lot we say goodbye and I walk away down the street. The weight of my pack presses into my shoulders for the first time in four days. I know I could still call Stian or Anja if I needed something, but I feel alone again. My time in Trondheim is over.

I walk past the city park to the train station and ask a woman how to buy a ticket to Meråker. Tired-eyed people wait on the platform, ready to go to work. I stand and wait with them, nervous about missing my train.  

On board, I sit and stare out the window as Trondheim slips away and the tracks rise toward the mountains. I try not to use my phone, unsure when I’ll be able to charge it again. Instead I think of the trail ahead and how many days of food I need. 

I step off the train in Meråker and know that I’m on foot again now, connecting my steps toward Tarifa. I walk down the hill to the grocery store on the same path I walked a week ago. I wander the aisles for a few last supplies, trying to hold back my hungry eyes that fear all the things I may regret not buying now while I have the chance. Outside, I pack food into my bag then sit and write using the store’s wifi to upload a few last posts.

I fill my water bottles in a sink then follow a road our of town. The pavement gives way to hard gravel, then rocks, then dirt tracks, then a single path through the grass. I walk from one to the next, peeling away six days of civilization layer by layer until I’m in the wild again. 

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4 thoughts on “Europe N to S: Leaving Civilization (9/5/16)

  1. We hiked about 13.5 miles yesterday and I thought of you so often and how much you walk on a daily basis with few days off, I have a whole new appreciation!!! Your writing is wonderful! Thanks for sharing the process!

  2. Mr. Miller here…
    O.K. we have about 30 kids following your progress. I have “Friday” sessions with most of them to pull up the posts, try to locate you on a map, and they are “hammering” me with questions, which I can ONLY speculate. So, when you are ready we will start posting 1-2 questions. However, as you can imagine these kids’ minds are exploding with “is he safe?; don’t his feet hurt?; what does he eat and where does he get his water?; isn’t he afraid to be alone? what does his mom and dad think about him being out there by himself?, and SO MANY more!!! What did I start? Cheers, Mr. Miller’s Kids!

    1. What you are doing with the kids is so beautiful! I only wish more kids around these parts and everywhere could have this opportunity. So rich. So exciting. So inspiring. It must be fun for you, too. Please tell the kids how happy Carlos and I are to have them involved in the adventure. Tell them how we feel happy for Daniel to have this journey and all it’s life lessons. Tell them how when you have a dream and go for it, it is worth the risks. Life is to be lived, and the only failure is in not trying.

      Anna Lee (Annabanannamom)

  3. Thsi transition piece is so telling. All the parts of movement, decisions about food, conservation of resources by using what’s available. I cannot believe yo danced for so many nights in shoes too small for you and went into bliss anyway! That is also part of the trail experience you have…abiding by suffering.
    “The pavement gives way to hard gravel, then rocks, then dirt tracks, then a single path through the grass. I walk from one to the next, peeling away six days of civilization layer by layer until I’m in the wild again.” Sweet.

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