Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let Us Remember

This is a day all old enough to remember, will. 
Where were you when you first heard the news?
I was 89 miles from the Canadian Border, in the little town of Stehican, heading to a breakfast buffet.
I remember we were starving. Everything closes early in that last little town on the Pacific Crest Trail.
A fellow hiker met us. Told us. It seemed a joke. Surely not, surely not.
Both towers had been hit. The Pentagon had been hit. A fourth landed in a field, the Ranger told him, in Pennsylvanian.

A thought crossed my mind. Yeah, War of the Worlds, the fake alien invasion broadcast like it was happening in a play by play scenario. People actually believed that fiction in those days.

Once inside the Lodge, we paid our $12, lined up, got coffee. No cell phones back in those days, not on the PCT. No t-vs, no wifi.

Pretty remote. But the radio in the little store was on. It was true. 

We cleaned out the buffet, along with other starving hikers. They brought more scrambled eggs. Those became history.
The border is closed. No planes are flying. We didn't have our passports on us. Of course not.
But I'm heading to Canada. I've been on the trail 5 months. My hiking partner joined me at Crater Lake. He is determined to see this to the end, if it means walking back.

We are not leaving the trail. No one is.

Back in the store, we listen to live reports. People are jumping out of windows. New York City is bedlam. I feel the lump in my throat growing to unmanageable proportions. Nauseated, I leave. Its too much to grasp.

The next day, we headed north. As you can see, despite the terrorist attack, we kept on with our lives, finished the trail and made it back into the United States.

May we always remember, regardless of which political ideology  we embrace.

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