For thirty-two days I walked through beautiful wild country from Yosemite Valley to Death Valley. Every adventure comes to an end though and a few days ago I reached Badwater in Death Valley and my wonderful journey was over. Then I had to get home. That took two rides from friendly Canadians, a night in Las Vegas, five airports, an excellent meeting with Smarter Backpacking author Jorgen Johansson that gave some relief from the surreal weirdness of cities and airports, a train journey and a final drive home in the dark, by which time I'd lost all sense of the time of day or whether I was tired or hungry or neither. Two days later I'm still not sure!
Lower Ottoway Lake, High Sierra
My mind is still in the mountains and forest and desert though and will be for some time to come as I absorb everything I saw and experienced. I've started sorting through my photographs - the ones I took with my cameras not those I posted during the walk, which were taken with my smartphone. I'm thinking about the pieces I'll write too - there'll be more here and also in the next two issues of The Great Outdoors. Look out for a big spread with an analysis of the gear I used in the January issue. Eventually I expect there'll be slide shows too, though none are booked yet. Slowly I'll come back to life here. Slowly. I don't want to lose the magic of the wilds, the satisfaction and completeness of a month in nature. Not yet. Or ever.