Measuring the Days

May 18, 2017

Trying to understand and comprehend this extremely lengthy journey sometimes makes my brain hurt.  I seek to find the familiar in numbers.  Journey length – 2,200 miles.  Time possibly taken – 6 to 7 months.  Number of days – 200 (or more at the rate we’re going.)  Fraction traveled so far – one third.  And yet, these are just numbers.  How to capture and measure the true breadth of this journey?

In many ways, every day is the same.  We get up, pack up, walk, get water, walk, eat, walk, set up camp, only to repeat everything the next day.  Jay summed it up when he told our friend, Alan, “We have a high tolerance for monotony.”

And yet, every day is different!  I find that I don’t measure the days in increments, but rather in attributes.  A hot, sunny day is measured by how many water sources we pass.  A cold day is measured by the number of uphill climbs and lee sides of ridges, where I get warm.  A rainy day should be measured by the number of times the sun appears.  A Saturday or Sunday near a popular trail head can be measured in the number of interesting day hikers with which we chat.  A day after a town stay might be measured by the number of privies available!  A day after a tough trail, when I am starting out tired, might be measured by the number of flat sections I hike!

And then, every now and then, a perfect day happens.  Sapphire blue sky, cool breeze, birds, mammals, flowers, and unusual plants populate a gentle trail that makes the miles roll by.  Such a day is truly a gift and can not be quantified or measured.  Such a day reaches the depths of happiness on this long journey.

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

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Author: Sarah and Jay Bigelow

Hi! We live in the Carson Valley in Nevada near Lake Tahoe. Sarah is a retired elementary school teacher, and Jay is a retired fish biologist. We are in our 50's, and have been married for 30 years.

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