Andy - 5,739 miles, 179 hours
We might as well be the same person now. I was up in Vancouver this last week with Caroline, and every time we sat down at a restaurant I would crave a nice beer. Something strong like an IPA or another pale ale variety. There were a few times when I would try something light like a Molson (the Budweiser of Canada) or a Kokanee (the Natty Light of Canada), but many times if I didn't want a strong beer it was water for me. Caroline basically lived on an IV drip of Caesars all weekend (the Bloody Mary of Canada) but that was to be expected.
During our trip up north, we stopped by Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort for a couple days. Given it was the summer, we were able to go up the mountain on the gondola and hike around form there. You would've loved it man. Miles and miles of trails allowing you to go every which way, all leading to these little slices of heaven in the form of lakes, lookouts, or glades.
At the top of one of the mountains there was a scree field that from a distance looked pretty standard. As Caroline and I walked closer and closer we could see people huddled around it taking photos and moving rocks around. Once we were close enough to see what was going on, we found that the scree field had actually been transformed into a kind of forest of cairns. Hundreds and hundreds of rocks piled upon each other by other travelers made this otherwise seemingly insignificant scree field come alive.
In the moment, we decided to make a cairn of our own to add to the fun, but thinking back to how I felt upon arriving at the site, I was actually quite moved. As you know a single cairn is usually created by hikers on their way up a trail to signify for other hikers that they are on the trail and headed in the right direction. So to see so many of them built up in one location, it made me feel confident and strong. As if there were so many others who had been there before, and they all took a moment to sit down and build a cairn. Almost as if to say that everything would be alright, and that we were on the right path.
As I continue on my trip, I'm finding it more and more true each day that we are never alone in our journey through life. In fact, there are so many people here to support us along the way, and without them it can be tough to get by. I think my biggest lesson so far is to be able to trust in others even when you may think that no one wants to listen, or that you can go at it alone. And conversely, to also always be there for others anytime they may need you.
Thanks for always being one of those folks I can always trust to be there for me to help me talk through things. I've always admired your pursuit of happiness and approach to living a fulfilling life, and whether you know it or not, I do try to emulate it when I can. I think I must be doing something right if I'm starting to drink the same beer as you now.
Best of luck down in Tucson this weekend. I'm super proud of you for starting that team, and always continuing to pursue what makes you happy. Night time's coming - give 'em hell.
Boop, boop, boop,