Darwin and I have been back in society for almost three months now. Within those three months we have found an apartment, started working, learned to use toilets again, and have found ourselves part of a daily routine. We get up in the morning, work out, ride our bikes to work, work, ride home, fix dinner, watch something on Hulu and fall asleep on the couch (at least I seem to always fall asleep on the couch).
Before we had even established this new routine, before we had even returned to the AT, Darwin had started blabbing about another trail, The Arizona Trail. He is not one to just sit around for very long without a challenge to work towards. I remember sitting on our couch one morning when he asked me “What do you think about me leaving after we get back from the AT and BIKEpacking the AZT?” I am sure I just mumbled something in return unable to really comprehend getting back on the AT, let alone being on my own for two to three weeks. I did realize in the back of my brain, that this would indeed probably happen. Darwin never says out loud that he is going to do something and then NOT do it.
Fast forward to the present time…Hear I sit listening to the damn high school band practicing at six in the morning and Bowie snoring next to me on the couch. Where is Darwin? starting his second day on the AZT. We drove out Sunday to Kanab, UT where the trail starts. Actually, The Stallion (our van) could not make it nine miles down a dirt road to the actual start of the trail but we were close enough to it. We got set up in our van like the good ol’days where Darwin tossed and turned fighting nerves and excitement.
We woke before the sun rose Monday morning and he slowly started setting up his bike. I on the other hand started packing up the van and Bowie in between boughts of nervous poops. He was anxious about starting the trail and I was anxious about the seven and a half hour drive home by myself. As he double and triple checked he had everything he needed I did the same. I started to feel a little sick to my stomach with the realization that I wouldn’t see my husband for two weeks maybe longer. I had to function on my own, we have never been apart this long without constant communication. What a scary feeling this was.
We said our goodbyes and of course I cried. I clung to him for as long as I could then finally I let go. I watched as he rode off down the dirt road to adventure and then turned to the van where a wiggly Bowie waited for me. I started the van and took off for my own type of adventure. This one down a paved road and not as rugged as Darwin’s but an adventure none the less. I am the support crew for him and his connection to the world and the leading role in my own journey as I learn to live on my own.
(I didn’t take a picture of Darwin leaving due to being all snotty and teary when he left so imagine him riding off in the sunrise, beautiful rock formations around him, dust trail lingering behind his tires…)