Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Divide and Conquer
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. ~Raymond Inmon
My 22 year-old son is leaving this week for a grand adventure.
At the end of the month, he and a friend will begin to hike the Continental Divide, a United States National Scenic Trail running 3,100 miles (5,000 km) between Mexico and Canada. It follows the Continental Divide along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states - Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. In Montana it crosses Triple Divide Peak which separates the Hudson Bay, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean drainages.
Those are the facts. There are other facts. Like they will carry 40+ pounds on their back, including 3-5 days of food and water plus all their camping gear, each day for the roughly six month journey. Other things to note: camping gear is made by NASA-like people these days - super light and ergonomically designed for warmth or comfort or both. Only a few dozen people a year do the trail. There are bears in the north and dehydration can be a problem in the south.
I am not a practiced nature person. I trust in its power because I believe the poets, not because I have had the epiphanies myself. In fact, I can't really comprehend what Nick and Alex are about to do. I know it will be hard. I know it will be long. I know it will be life changing.
And I know that it is a trip to remind me that I can never walk in another's shoes, only cheer them along on the path they have taken - offering up food and/or shelter and/or light when they need it, even if that means sending freeze dried beef stroganoff to a P.O. Box in Idaho.
Bon voyage, Nick and Alex!!
Divide and conquer.