I didn’t realize how much I was missing the interaction with people until I spent some time with a family (friends of some friends) in Bend, OR. I had heard about Eric and Holly before, stories of their travels and adventure prior to them settling down in Bend. After exchanging a few text messages, I arrived at their place for just a shower, and I ended up staying for dinner and a few hours after.
I found that my mouth was uncontrollably spewing out words, that occasionally formed sentences. This was a conversation! I talk to friends and family on the phone, but this was in person! My head felt dizzy with glee and stories, I wanted to talk about everything! I tried to be as polite as possible, but I just wanted talk and to stay with this family forever. I had missed this. People. I didn’t realize how much I craved such friendly interactions until I met Eric and Holly and their kiddos.
Two days later, I met up with Holly and her two lovely children at a coffee shop. I was so excited to have coffee with a new friend that I showed up almost an hour early. We chatted about Darwin, trail life, traveling, and books. I spoke to someone about BOOKS that didn’t have fur and barks! We could only meet for an hour, but it was an hour that I savored. Thanks to a call from Darwin in the middle of our coffee date, the decision was made that I would end up picking Darwin up that night for a zero in Bend, OR; we would stay with Eric and Holly.
A few errands later that same day, I was back at Eric and Holly’s. I took another shower and talked with Holly and the kids while trying to help unload some groceries. When Eric arrived, the three of us discussed a wide range of topics including Darwin until I looked at the clock, noticing I should have already left to collect the main topic of our conversation.
Once Darwin was in tow, we arrived back to find dinner waiting for both of us. We talked well into the night, and at some points, I merely just listened, content. I slept a peaceful, restful sleep. I was in a house full of people, Darwin was close to me, and Bowie was at my feet.
The next morning we woke, and Holly began making breakfast for us. I forgot people cook meals! I forgot how wonderful it is to share a table of home cooked food with friends! The rest of the day was spent running Darwin around doing errands that are a typical part of a zero (you may not be hiking, but you usually find yourself moving around just as much). While Bowie and I waited for him at every stop, I longed to spend more time with our new friends; the peaceful feel of their quiet house…
That night Darwin and I bought pizza and enjoyed many laughs while FaceTiming with our mutual friends in Indiana, Caron, and Mike who had brought us all together. Holly was at work, and I had hoped to book talk with her more but was glad to have the time I had with Eric, the kids, and our friends back home. In the morning Darwin left reluctantly for the trail. He too greatly enjoyed the break and sense of relaxation at Eric and Holly’s. Even their kids were engaging and a pleasure to spend time with. We were both so grateful for these new friends and their hospitality.
Darwin is almost down with his hike having by the time I post this, less than 500-trail miles to go. Until I spent time with Eric and Holly, I didn’t exactly realize just how ready I was for him to finish; how much I missed interacting with friends. The yearning I had for genuine interaction with people beyond just the polite encounters at a grocery store or coffee shop. I am so grateful for the time I have had traveling on my own, but I have to admit some things are better when experienced with friends and family. Those people are a lot of what makes something worth experiencing. I am ready to experience things again with my companion and partner in life. I just have to wait a little longer.
I’ll leave you with a quote, from a person who is now sadly very often seen as cliché and in some ways controversial. And although I am very happy and grateful for my current way of life, I can’t help but acknowledge that my mind keeps wandering back to this…
“Happiness is only real when shared.”
– Christopher McCandless
(Trail Pic From The PCT, Picture Stolen From Darwin’s Instagram)
Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:
I really enjoyed this guest post by Stacia Bennett over at Appalachian Trail Trails.
Macabi Travel Knee Length Travel Skirt Review – Coming Soon!
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Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail
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