Life on the trail alone is so different. These past three days without Julie have felt almost as if a piece of me has been missing. For perspective, we have walked over 6000 miles together. We know each other so well and our hiking and camping routines can happen without speaking.
Also, while I’ve spent nearly a year of my adult life sleeping in America’s forests and wilderness lands, Sunday night was my first night ever camping out by myself. I have new respect for our hiking buddies who hike solo, it’s often very quite, lonely, and sometimes scary. Coyotes howled around me the moment I got into my tent on the first night.
This adventure is now so different. I haven’t been taking many breaks so far because it doesn’t seem quite as fun without Julie to talk to. I simply walk all day now. I was a bit of an emotional wreck the first couple days, probably crying more than I have in my adult life. It was almost as if Stopwatch disappeared from the world and I was left to remember all the special things about her and then realize she is no longer here on the trail with me anymore.
I am adjusting but I miss her tremendously. However, I’m also fully supportive of her and want her to be happy. I know I can do this on my own, it’ll just take time and focus. Already I’m getting better. I’m eating better and am back to brushing and flossing again – the first night I simply laid down to bed without doing anything but take off my shoes. I miss you Julie and can’t wait to see you soon. After nearly eight years of being together every single day, it sure is different without you. But we will be better and stronger for it.