We have been home for almost three weeks now and I really do miss our trip. Not all the time and not because I do not love my home, Edison Park, friends, work, or family. It is just that there is no freedom quite like the road. And with freedom comes change that is as hard to hold on to as a good tan.
These are some of those changes:
Nature and other neat stuff does not confine itself to national parks. Walking in the garden at the school where I work I spied a fossil in the grass. It was just a small rock but it had definite leaf prints on one side. It was uncommon to a school garden, but common enough to hand over to my friend Louie. In fact it was just a few weeks ago that Henna and I skipped dozens of such fossilized rocks into Jackson Lake. I also have seen and pointed out to others delicate spider webs (on a gritty street corner on the Near Northside), skunks and other urban mammals, and several hawks all without breaking stride. The kid from the Sixth Sense saw dead people; I see glimpses of our trip.
My points of reference
Corey wore the toe out of her barefoot running shoes (less than one year to do so). Amazingly REI reimbursed her in full and with that money she bought the same pair of shoes. In the process of doing this we met an employee who had just returned from Yosemite. A good five minutes or so were then spent talking camping, hiking, and the lack of both in the flatlands. We could have been at a campground (and I would have offered him a beer) but we were in the north suburbs and I never missed my trip more.
My weight and overall comfort
I lost close to ten pounds. I think it was from being active, Corey thinks it was from a lack of snacks. Either way I feel great. On the trip I also slept well (something I do not always do so great at home). Henna sleeps better on the road too and sleeps best in a tent. Corey only has back and neck pain at home (and never from sleeping on the ground).
I hope this does not come off as whining. I know how lucky I am to be able to take off for months at a time. I certainly do not expect any sympathy from those unable to do the same. But all the same I am spending a lot of time now looking at maps, googling campgrounds, and thinking of the mountains.