I recently discovered adventure writer Mark Jenkins when we were lent his book, The Hard Way, before our trip to Yellowstone.
I’ll admit that I was immediately turned off by the introduction, the list of places been and things done that travel writers seem to use sometimes to establish credibility with a reader.
But as I got into the series of stories in this book, about everything from hitch hiking to trekking in remote mountains, Jenkins pulled me in with his simple language and subtle messages.
While I don’t recall his exact wording, one of these messages has stuck in my brain.
Toward the end of a story about traversing 100 miles of the Wind Rivers on skis, crossing a river via a reaching tree limb, and ending up in a Lander bar, Jenkins talked about the concept of beginning, middle, and end.
The traverse, he said, had actually begun more than a decade earlier when he was a cross-country ski coach and met his backcountry ski partner. The middle seemed like the end, as the two skiiers spent the night at the Lander bar. And the end was somewhere in the future, he was sure even after the trip was over.
So, today we get on an airplane with well wishes from many for this, the ‘beginning’ of our journey.
But it might be the middle. Because the beginning could have been when Alex and I met in middle school and started to foster the adventurey-ness in each other. Maybe it was when we bought my first international plane ticket to Costa Rica and I caught the travel bug. It could have begun the moment I saw laundry hanging on the fence, blowing in the breeze at the GRC in Kenya. Officially, this journey began in January 2014 when we started the Peace Corps application.
And of course today is an end too. The end of packing, prepping, getting ready, and talking about it.
So, cheers to today, which marks a beginning, a middle, and an end 🙂