A delay in Boston led us to miss our connecting flight in Phoenix. Once in Arizona, we were redirected to Fresno, CA, then San Diego.
The wings gripped the wind and climbed.
My skin tightened to gooseflesh as the white horizon of clouds gave way to the serrated snow-capped peaks: the Sierra Nevada. I hope I get there—I hope I get there, I thought.
Fresno to San Diego, the distance that would take us two months, we covered in 53 minutes by plane. Time, Marisa and Jeremy had warned, warps when you return from trail. Having completed their own thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, our friends had talked about the toil of miles by foot, which was laughably completed in minutes by car. I was getting my own taste of this now as we left a city an hour away from Yosemite and headed towards our starting point at the southern terminus.
My sense of time was going to shift, slow down, revolve around connecting foot steps. My world was going to be devoid of the quickness of society, just walking; my body propelling me from Mexico to Canada. As the flight descended, it hit me. We were close, an hour car ride from the terminus. Tomorrow, dirt and sand would be my highway, a narrow path guiding me north. Tomorrow time changes.