This weekend I crossed an item off my
bucket list and hiked the Juan De Fuca Trail solo. That's right, all by myself! It wasn't so much that I wanted to hike that
trail, but that I wanted to face my fear of being in the woods, finally, after
38 years. I figured that it was time. Also, the Juan De Fuca Trail is sufficiently
saturated with bears, wolves and cougars, so definitely scary enough to tackle
by my lonesome!
As it turns out, it was really easy. Initially, I was looking over my shoulder
every time I heard a strange noise, but after a few hours, I got used to
it. It was cathartic in the end,
because after some time of just listening to my footsteps and letting my mind
run away with itself, suddenly I realized that all that I had was silence. Silence in the woods and silence with my
thoughts. I suppose that it was a
meditative state! Either way, I enjoyed
Night time, now that was the next
challenge. I have to admit that I
brought my can of bear spray into my sleeping bag with me, but before I knew
it, the exertion and the fresh air had me out like a light.
The next thing that I knew, it was morning.
When I saw it I was pretty surprised, and initially I thought, "where is
my camera?" Quickly though that thought changed
to "where is my bear spray?" and I was backing away trying to remember, "is it
play dead, or climb a tree?" Seemingly
though, the bear was more intent on flipping rocks over and eating crabs than
chasing down and devouring me.
Anyway, here are a couple of pictures, the
first is my campsite on Sombrio Beach and the second is the Olympic Peninsula
and the fantastic Strait of Juan de Fuca.