“It is solved by walking”. No truer words have been spoken. Diogenes of Sinope, (Diogenes the Cynic), a 4th century (B.C.) Greek philosopher, “coined” this phrase in his response to some knucklehead (probably another lesser known philosopher) who was questioning the existence of actual motion. Diogenes is said to have replied, “solvitur ambulando” as he stood up and walked as an answer to the inquiry, thus solving the question of whether motion is real. Solvitur ambulando more than answers the question of motion, but for many long distance hikers is their “battle cry”. In absense of the joy of adventure and the inherrant challenges said adventures present, it is at the heart of why we yearn and enjoy the “art” of long (extended) distance (time) hiking. It is not suprising that simple act of walking serves to “cure” so many ailments, and when done regularly (regardless of distance or time) is unquestionably beneficial to the mind, body and soul. We never thought we would enjoy and find such satisfaction from the simple act of walking, considering our aquatic backgrounds, but we do. With that said, we are in the active phase of planning for our next walking adventure and have bought our tickets to Spain (via France) and anticipate having boots (trail runners) on the ground in St. Jean Pied de Port, France early September for another “long distance” walk. Our plan to hike/walk the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) is coming to fruition. We will be joined by Paul’s oldest sister Sue and her husband Jerry, and from what we read, hundreds if not thousands of others who will traverse the Camino either as simply a long hike through culturally, historically and visually rich terrain, or as a religious pilgrimage. I expect it will be a little of both for us. Compared to the PCT, this trail will be a more “social” trail, in that we will literally be surrounded by people from all over the world. Upwards to a 100,000 people walk this trail annually. We also will not have to carry as much “stuff”, but it will still require us to walk over 500 some odd miles (800 KM), and for me to learn Spanish (via Rosetta Stone and some Spanish speaking neighbors). Paul is exempt from learning Spanish as he is a language “murderer” of the “serial killer” variety, and finds great humor in his linguistic carnage. I am hoping to learn and assimilate enough by the time we leave that we will be able to successfully communicate to some degree with our Spanish hosts along The Way. If anything it should make for some unique stories. As time progresses and we frim up our gear list (what’s an adventure without new and improved gear), we will begin to chronicle our planning and strategies for this next adventure. In the meantime we are off to ADZPCTKO (Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off) to hopefully meet up some of our 2014 “classmates” to reminiscence and tell stories (with embellishment all around) of our time on the PCT. Best part, is we will meet up with Larry and Vicky of Winthrop on our way out to “catch up” and share a beer or two. Rarely a day goes by that we do not think of our adventures and the wonderful people we met on the trail.
On another note, and rather than reinvent the wheel, a friend of ours and fellow 2014 PCT hiker “Arizona” shared a great article posted by the Washington Trail Association. I think it’s one of the best descriptions of, and proponents for “long distance” hiking and how to bring an idea or dream of hiking a long trail or planning for an extended backpacking trip to fruition. Hopelly this link will work www.wta.org (Long Distance Hiking 101). This article is a great read for those considering a long or extended distance hike/adventure.