The alarm went off at 3:45am as we needed to catch a shuttle at 4:30 this morning, to the Seattle airport. Even though neither of us have slept very long over the last two nights, we were both up and excited to go. We were going home to family today!! The lodge, where we stayed in Seattle, was so great and we both wish we could have taken advantage of it more while we were there.
We got to the airport and started to take advantage of all of the perks we were getting today. We decided to treat ourselves to first class flights returning home, which is the first time since our honeymoon! After checking our bags we had a little bit of a walk to get on a train that took us to our gate. Today, our legs and feet feel like they know they no longer have to hike 20+ miles, as each step feels arduous and painful. Being back in the real world, we also stopped by Starbucks for a coffee, almost as good as our coffee on trail 😜.
Having the extra leg room was a huge bonus as it felt like we could really stretch out which helped to prevent our muscles from cramping up on us. We celebrated fittingly, with mimosas, as we headed to Phoenix for the first leg of this journey home. After taking off, we looked out the window to see a beautiful sunrise and Mt Rainier saying goodbye.
Once in Phoenix we had to change planes. This caused us to have to walk to a different terminal. Let me tell you how our legs protested this the whole way. We even took the people mover and just stood there as it helped us get down a long corridor. We both agreed that this was the first time we had used that, EVER 😂. Now we were ready for a few more celebratory mimosas as we made our way back to Southern California.
Once at LAX, we waited for our packs and then headed for the curb where our daughter would be to pick us up. Maddie and Savannah (our son’s girlfriend) showed up with Cafe Rio in hand. We are blessed to have such thoughtful kids. Then we were whisked off, heading HOME!!
As we drove up to our house we were surprised by decorations adorning the front of our house! Erica, our sister-in-law, had somehow gotten a picture of us at the Northern Terminus and blown in up. She had it propped up on our front lawn with balloons showing our mileage on trail. AMAZING!!! Then we also had a huge red banner saying “Welcome Home” along with balloons, which had been put up by our good friends PK and George. We are significantly humbled by the amount of support we have received by family, friends and by those we had never met before starting this adventure back in March.
Both Double Down and I were super excited to see our dog, Mikey, who we haven’t seen in 4 months. With my beard and long hair now, we weren’t sure if Mikey would recognize me. So we came up with a plan, I would walk up to our front door, but not say anything, to see if Mikey would know who I was. As I approached the door, Mikey did what he always does, he came running at the front door barking. Funny thing was, he continued to bark at me even as I got closer. It wasn’t until I started to speak to him that he recognized me. I guess the significant amount of hair I have grown was a good disguise….LOL! Once he knew it was me he couldn’t control his excitement. Then Double Down approached the door, but remained just out of sight. She did her patented whistle, which she uses to play hide and seek with him normally. This got his attention very quickly as he froze in place, almost in disbelief of what he heard. The second whistle had him sprinting to the front door knowing it had to be Double Down!!! For the next couple of minutes Mikey was sprinting back and forth between the two of us. There is nothing like the unconditional love of your pet!!
Once the initial excitement died down, we even found that friends had dropped off gift baskets filled with all kinds of goodies, including a massage gift certificate, for us. Holy cow this almost brought tears to our eyes. Thank you PK, George, Vanessa, Anna, Joanne, Wendy, Terri, Traci, Dina and Heidi!!!!
The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out at home visiting with Maddie and Savannah, as well as constantly petting Mikey. We unfortunately had to wait until later that evening to see our son Max as he had to work and wasn’t getting off until late that night.
Adjusting to home life has been a bit strange for the two of us. On the trail, we just had to get up and hike, only worrying about water and where we would camp. Being back to civilization has brought the flood of chores and “To Do Lists” back to the forefront. We find it hard to concentrate on one task without our minds wandering. Our legs and feet are very happy for the rest, but our minds drift back and forth from home to the trail. Thank goodness we have each other to talk about these feelings, as we each understand it. We can see how it would be difficult for others who hiked solo to go into a “post-trail depression”, as others just can’t comprehend the emotional roller coaster they are going through.
The one thing we both were excited to do was to sit and watch the Steelers games we had missed. Glad we have some football to keep our minds off missing the trail 😜.
We will definitely try and keep you up to date over the next week on how we are adjusting to life at home and eventually work. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding the trail or post-trail issues, please send them our way and we will do our best to answer those in upcoming blogs. We can not begin to thank each and every one of you who has read this blog for your support. The support we received while going off on this dream of ours showed us how many REALLY GOOD PEOPLE there are in this world. So again, thanks so much for following along with us while we completed this crazy ADVENTURE of ours!!! Link