So tomorrow it begins. Really, I guess it begins later today, since it is past midnight. After all the preparations and planning and packing it begins in just a few hours. I am nervous and I keep asking myself "Why?". Maybe it is because there are so many factors. Maybe it is because I am going without my husband. Maybe it is because there was so much heartache and turmoil before it could all come together. But now my car is packed and all I have to do is wake up, pack up the food and go.
Here is my planned itinerary:
7/31/2010: drive to Bend, Oregon. Meet up for a bodywork session and then drive to Rose's for the night.
8/1/2010: Drive to Stanley, Idaho with Rose for one night of camping.
8/2/2010: Explore the Sawtooth mountains and drive to second campground.
8/3/2010: Hike the Sawtooth mountains.
8/4/2010: Drive to Salt Lake City and visit with Mandy, who I haven't seen in 14 years. Leave my car at her house and go to the airport for a red-eye flight to Syracuse.
8/5/2010: Arrive in Syracuse, late morning. Go one hour north to Sackets Harbor to visit with my sister Therese and her husband Jason. It will be my first time seeing Therese since returning from Iraq a week ago today.
8/6/2010: Hang out and explore Sackets Harbor.
8/7/2010: Kayak the St. Lawrence River, the Thousand Islands area out to an island where we will camp.
8/8/2010: Kayak back and go back to Sackets Harbor.
8/9/2010: Hang out in Sackets Harbor.
8/10/2010: Fly out of Syracuse, back to Salt Lake City. Pick up my car, replenish my food and drive north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I will stay in a Climbers Bunk Cabin.
8/11/2010: Hike around the Grand Tetons. Drive to Yellowstone and set up camp.
8/12/2010: Drive around and explore Yellowstone.
8/13/2010: Drive to Cedar City, Utah and stay in a cheap hotel.
8/14/2010: Drive to Zion National Park for a short hike. Then I drive to Las Vegas. If time permits I will visit with April, her husband and meet her young son for the first time.
8/15/2010: Drive back to San Francisco.
Really, I am hoping that Paul will be able to join me for part of the trip. It makes me sad to be away from him for so long. I will miss him. We have been apart this long before, but he is my husband, my partner and I long to share this adventure with him. I have made many commitments on this trip. I hope I can keep them. Not just for times and places and people, but to myself. Commitments to keep writing, to feel and let go of the physical pain eating away at me, to photograph, to hike, to document my journey both over miles and places external and internal. To be okay with going at much of it alone. I am pretty independent and I have done a lot of traveling by myself, but I don't like to feel lonely. Maybe I won't feel lonely. Maybe I am already fearing that I will, before I even know if that will happen. I would like be open to whatever may come my way. Maybe that is good advice to myself, not just for this trip, but for life. Don't make assumptions about how something "might" be, because you don't know. Be open.