Blog for today. Fairly rough story from early in my journey. 28 days left, More tomorrow.
4 days. It’s been 4 days since I left, but if feels like forever. Waking up in the safety of a hotel room, I realize that it’s 10am. My first night in a hotel room and I’ve missed breakfast. I begin to pack up my things, taking the hotel shampoo and soap to replace my own. I eat a bland meal bar, wishing I had something tastier.
I lug my 80 lbs pack down stairs and begin my days journey. With in minutes I feel the familiar pain in my arches, knees and hips. The exorbitant weight of my backpack wreaking havoc on my body over the last few days. ‘Pain is weakness leaving the body’ I think to myself while I check my watch. It doesn’t tell the time, but my pulse. 165 bpm and rising.
2 miles down the road, I stop by a laundromat to wash my sweat stained clothing, happy to have an excuse to set my pack down. I talk with the locals and learn more about a town, that despite being an hour by car north of my home town, I had never visited.
Crystal river a small town with people either retired or working the tourist industry of the town. Known for their beautiful river, springs and manatees, the entire town is themed accordingly. Full of businesses that had been there, doing the same things for decades mixed with hotels and gift shops built in the real estate boom. The familiar quite desperation of the poor, serving the vacationers and retired that was typical of my own home town.
The owners of the Laundromat had lived in Crystal river for over 30 years, they knew all of the regulars, and had immediately spotted me. They, like most of the people I had talked about my journey to, thought my ambition was impressive, but that I was crazy and going to fail. Their farewell wishes was a $10 bill and that I stay safe. “what’s the fun in that?” I jokingly replied.
A few miles later I came across a GNC health supplement store. One of the supplements I had forgotten to get was Bromaleen, a powerful, natural anti inflammatory. I had first discovered Bromaleen when I started working out with my brother, a former Marine and personal trainer. If it worked for recovering from JD’s insane workouts, it should work for this walk. The search ended in disappointment, but resulted in another discussion of my journey rough the sales representative in the store. He wished me luck when I left.
At my 8 mile mark, I couldn’t keep going. The cumulative pain from 4 days of that backpack and the alluring call of a river side bench brought my days progress to a halt. I gave a call to my friend Brittany, a woman who can be described as nothing less than beautiful and brilliant. We talked about business, Charity and her friends in high places for two hours. Hedge funds, YouTube Rockstars, and micro finance were not unusual topics for us. I loved my discussions with Brittany. It is a relationship I have sorely missed as distance caused it to wane.
After talking about how moved in the world to an assistant to a hedge fund manager, I went to find my camp spot for the evening. A wonderful spot under a bridge, in the middle of the swampy nature coast. The night was hot and humid, but the sky was characteristically clear for a spring night in Florida. As I walked along the dirt path down the side of the bridge, the sun sunk below the horizon. The beauty of the sunset was suddenly obstructed by thousands of bats leaving the concert if the bridge for a night of feasting upon the droves of mosquitos in the Florida swamps.
I set up my one person tent and laid down to rest. Rest did not come easy, and when it did, it was in few hour fits of sleep. When I awoke for the second time thanks to a semi driving over the bridge, I was in complete darkness. The bridge had blocked the sky, and the moon had gone down.
Perhaps it was my fascination with space, or the years I had spent in the city, in able to see the true sky. Nothing prepares you for the staggering beauty of night sky, revealed in all of its majesty. The endlessness if the blanket of stars and the dust cloud of the galaxy created a feeling in me that drove me to tears. I could not tell you what I felt, but it must be how the religious feel when they experience God. In that moment, I knew why I had left, why I would keep going, and why I would never stop.