Friday, August 28, 2009

The Start



It’s four in the morning, and I can’t sleep. Even my parents’ dog, Tweety, who has taken to sleeping on the floor in my room, has been up these last fifteen minutes, somehow tuned in to my anxiety.

. . .

Today, I’m starting the hike. From Corpus Christi, I’ll head northeast along the coast. I don’t know how far I’m going today or exactly where, but this doesn’t bother me.

. . .

My restlessness seems to have taken root in the overall unknown of the project. I can’t tell you how uncomfortable this is. I do take some solace that this general mode of life has existed with regularity for quite some time. But I stand on one side of a divide right now, tossing and turning in a comfortable bed; stepping over it will soon separate me from the life I’ve led.

. . .

On the Appalachian Trail, I had to hitchhike from time to time away from the trail along a busy road to get to a grocery store. Hitchhiking is no big deal along the A.T. because people have gotten used to seeing thru-hikers in their area. However, I still remember the first few moments of sticking out my thumb. It was a very humbling experience. I got rejected, as is the norm, for quite some time, and I felt stupid having my hand out there, secretly wishing there were an easier way. It’s the same feeling, the uncertainty of sticking out my thumb, that I’m having right now.

. . .

I’m reading a book my mom wrote for her children called Stories I Want to Tell You. In it, she recounts many of her mother’s and father’s stories of growing up and living in Texas, as well as several of her own. I’m thinking of one in particular in which my grandfather’s family put him on a train to Texas from Mexico City. He was wearing a nice suit, had some pocket change, but otherwise was unprepared for the country. In my grandfather’s later years, he referred to that trip as enormously stupid. He hadn’t known the language, nor anything of the country. Perhaps it is a common trepidation felt between travelers, no matter what the era, against an unknown vastness.

. . .

I want to try for another hour of sleep. I’ll be hiking the first few miles with my friend Darren, and I’d prefer to be awake and in good spirits when I do.

. . .

I have added a few photos to this post, things either one or both of us will pass in the first few miles. Enjoy! My favorite is the juxtaposition of the two signs. That just strikes me as too funny.


I don’t know when I’ll post again, but I’m hoping for sooner than later.

. . .

Until next time, faithful walkers…

2 comments:

Smatt said...

Quick note on the title and description change:

The original never quite sat right with me. I threw it up there to have the blog up and running several months ago. To boot, Paul Theroux just wrote a travel column for a magazine entitled "The Long Way Home." I enjoy Theroux's work, but I draw the line at duplication. Plus, I think the description is more accurate now. Cheers.

KSensei said...

So are you carrying some sort of GPS? How do you know when you hit a boarder? When you hear banjo music do you know you've found Louisiana??