Bonded for life. 

I want my first post post-TCT to be about the scariest thing imaginable….the hiking buddy you never met before.

Yes. I posted about my trip on FB (so I would not have to go alone) and a random girl committed to the whole trip from Day 1. It kind of took me aback because I didn’t not expect that and because now I had a whole other slew of new things to consider. For instance, I don’t know this girl. AT all. What if we don’t get along? What if that ruins the trip? What if she is this crazy person who has no business hiking? What if she ruins this special trip of mine? Plus, my coworkers wouldquestion it as well causing more doubt in my mind.

I know those aren’t exceptionally polite things to consider, but in this day and age, for safety purposes, you kind of have to and it weighed on my mind.

Lo and behold, all my fears where extinguished since the beginning of the trip! Pretty rad, huh?

In fact, the very beauty of our friendship development would at times bring me to tears on the trip and I would feel so grateful. So much so that on one particular morning I decided to write my friend a letter.

This was on Tuesday, May 23rd. Sometime before 8am.

Dear Graciela,

Im sitting here drinking coffee at the table (at parsons) on our last morning here. You’re still asleep even after all the noise my sleeping mattress made, haha. It’s a beautiful overcast morning–perfect for some reflection.

You posted that to really get to know someone, backpacking facilitates that ten fold. For example, I have learned that you are super organized with your pack, and your things in general. You clear your throat as you’re going to sleep and you snore (very cute). You’re an avid listener and great at giving advice and perspective. You verbalized the very thoughts I had in my head. You embraced the hiking culture for what it was and approached strangers even when that was not the norm for you. You enjoyed the little pleasures we found and also talked (quite frequently) to the plants and little critters we found. You opened my appreciation for the “day-after” bonfire smell. Your skin tans like a mofo and I’m jealous about that, haha. Your love for all things oceans is quite exciting and enjoyable, especially at Starlight beach. You silently encouraged me when I found myself in tears and you tolerated my badgering of you to take pictures of me. You’re an independent woman, who had a calculated career-change not too long ago and are really kicking ass at this adult thing. You realize the inportance of self-care and gave yourself resolutions that you’re following through with. And You have a passion for the empowerment of woman and for latinas that is super courageous and inspiring in and of itself.

I don’t think a single negative thing escaped your mouth (except maybe at mile 12), and you allowed me to share in your appreciation for this trip to not only supplement but to also enhance my own experience.

I sit here with my nose itching and my eyes filling with tears because I know that as silly as it sounds, it was meant to be. L You were exactly the friend I needed to meet and the most perfect person to share in this dream of mine.

I don’t want this trip to end. God knows I need to shower and I need to do laundry, haha. But I don’t want this trip to end only because this starting as strangers and ending as friends has been so beautiful. To go from dying trying to get to Blackjack, to mental breakdowns, to chatting like old ladies that we forget to pack up our stuff, to do laundry out of a bag, and to feeling unjudge and completely comfortable with you, while still judging our scandalous neighbors lol….I don’t want this trip to end. I fear what real life may bring to take that away, but even so…I am so grateful. You are a Godsend. It’s clear as day.

So as you sleep, I write you this letter. You said that you needed more love letters from you to you, so I hope you can add this to your repertoire from a friend. And I hope you can realize how appreciated you are by me.

Thank you for the bottom of my heart ❤️. We are bonded for life and I could not be more happy 😊

Ps. I think it’s time for you to get up now. Lol. We have to get to two harbors. Buffalo milk awaits us!!