By: Dwayne Parton

Vague Beginnings

It’s not everyday you turn 31. But today I do. It’s my birthday. Last year, I finished the Appalachian Trail on this day and was headed home. This year, I embark on a somewhat vague trip to Alaska. A walkabout of sorts. I say vague because it’s really hard to explain the why’s and when’s. It’s just a feeling in my guts and I feel like I’ll know when it’s time to come home. Whether that’s 1 week, 3 months, 5 years, or however long.

Right now, the bugs are churning in my stomach. I feel a similar nervousness to what I had when starting the Appalachian trail. It’s not a question of whether or not I will finish because there is really no set goal. Alaska is just a destination, but it’s not what the trip is about. The trip is about the journey. Aren’t all good stories about the journey. I’m nervous about how that’s going to look?

It’s not just an adventure. It’s a process that I know is necessary for my well being as a person. But the lantern hasn’t shown me much more than the first couple of steps. Today I’ll try to make it to Arkansas and tomorrow Oklahoma. Maybe, I’ll figure out how to explain this better as I go.