Tomorrow morning I fly out of Houston and head for my vision fast in Death Valley. For those of you who have not been around me for the past week or so, here is what that will look like…at least as much of it as I know now.
We will be primitive camping in a Death Valley campground for four days preparing for our solo trip into the wilderness. On the fifth day, we will hike to our isolated camp spot and set up camp. We will have a tarp, rope, water, notebook and a pen with us. That’s it. For four days, we will live completely alone. We will hike to a central place every day to place a stone on a pile to indicate that we are still fine and to collect our water for the day. Other than that, we are on our own. on day nine, we return to the campsite to talk about our adventure.
Did I mention that, during the solo part of our trip, I will turn 43?
Until yesterday, I had become extremely nervous about this decision I had made to challenge myself in this way. I have never been that completely alone before…and certainly never out in the middle of nowhere. But today, I am excited and peaceful. It feels like it is time to do something dramatic. I am overwhelmed with stimulus in my life. I have not really been able to hear anything other than the noise of everything around me for years. One of my goals for this trip is to feel what it feels like to have absolutely nothing to distract you. Four days with only the life in Death Valley to watch and listen to. What must that be like? Will I learn more about where I am going and who I am if there is nothing there to distract me?
In any case, I will be digital free for 12 days. So, when you realize you have heard nothing from me…stop and listen to the noise around you and see if you can hear yourself anywhere in there. Just stop and feel. Then we will be doing that together.
High today in Death Valley was in the low 60s…low in the 30s.
Wish me luck. I will be thinking about all of you.