The sun was just making it's announcement on this cold winter morning. Figaro, my gorgeous, purring alarm clock was doing his best to steer me down to his empty food dish. Today's "to do list" laid in wait on my kitchen counter. But I was far away...pictures of mountains, gorges, valleys, running rivers filling my mind. The distant sounds of an old west sort of song, I think it was a harmonica drowned out Fig's frenetic meowing to attend to his empty cat belly. I just laid their thinking...plotting, planning, pinching myself to make sure this was really true and that I wasn't merely dreaming.
I did it. I took the plunge, pitching headfirst into a dream. I booked my adventure out into the wide open spaces of Utah. If you've been reading along, you heard me tell of an itch that needed scratching, a thirst for something new. I signed myself up for a canoe trip that will lead me 60 miles through the scenic waterways of two National Parks in Utah - Canyonlands and Arches. I'm not sure how I'll get there, but just hearing the name "California Zephyr" leads me to believe that I'll be boarding a train heading due west come August.
I haven't done anything like this since I was in high school. The summer before my sophomore year, I signed up for a camping and canoeing trip to Quetico National Forest in Ontario. I wasn't a camper. I didn't hang around with, or really know for that matter, any of the people that would be sharing the adventure. I just wanted to go. And I didn't learn until it was too late, that we'd be REALLY roughing it. The night before we set out on our expedition, I called my mom crying, telling her that I wanted to come home. I had never done anything like that before. She was ready to charter a helicopter to come get me. Obviously, at this point in my life young life I hadn't been out much. But I prevailed. Over 60 scary, amazing, ardent miles of paddling, portaging, hiding out storms, and setting up camp, I discovered a completely different side of myself. One that I wouldn't have know if I hadn't taken a chance on adventure. I went two years in a row.
I feel the same sense of excitement, anticipation, the little tingle of fear (a good tingle), that I did when I boarded that bus for Canada a lifetime ago. But now? I feel like I'm 16 again. I've had this on my mind all week, telling myself "just do it, just do it." The decision about this trip came as I was working my cardio at the gym yesterday morning. I was going to the beat of my little iPod, swinging back and forth on the cross-trainer when all of a sudden I had my answer. Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks. The words of that song hit me like a ton of bricks. I pushed replay 3 times.
a young girl's dream no longer hollow
it takes the shape of a place out west
but what it holds for her she hasn't yet guessed
she needs wide open spaces room to make her big mistakes
she needs new faces
she knows the high stakes
The only mistake I'd make is not going. Going I am...out west.
On my own dime. In my own time. There's still a few spots available.
Green River Trip - August 5th through the 9th
to find a dream and a life of their own
a place in the clouds, a foundation of stone