After having read a series of books written by Appalachian Trail hikers, we set out on our own adventure: Hiking the entire Arizona Trail.
The endeavor is not to be taken lightly. The planning is just as hard as the actual hike. We sat in Macy’s downing caffeine and egg sandwiches, studying this week’s edition of Flagstaff Live. Mo looked at me. Wanna go for a hike? I couldn’t think of an excuse quickly enough, so there we were.
It’s our 17th anniversary of marriage on the planet. Mo used to worry that it wouldn’t last; I suspect I have gradually worn her down into acceptance. We celebrate in the best way possible; a quiet trail in a forest.
Mo is trapped in a quilt of butterflies. The wind makes the aspens shimmy. A bear may or may not be off to the left side. We see only a few other hikers. The sign tells us we’re well on our way to Mexico. I don’t know if there’s a wall there.
In the end, we don’t quite make it the entire 800 miles, falling about 797 short. But one never knows about the accuracy of Garmins, so maybe.
We go back to town and have way too much banana nut bread. Security guys stake out the block for a congressman’s visit. A guy with a Batman pack and a missing leg hits us up for money. We sit in the grass on the lawn of the courthouse where we were married. We’re all old, Jami says. I guess. But we’re happy. That’ll keep you young.
We drive home to check on the elderly cat. Just 297 miles to go. I suppose the Arizona Trail, much like marriage, isn’t a sprint. It isn’t even a marathon. It’s a life.
A happy life.