ImageIt’s after midnight and I have finally gathered, sorted and packed it all up. All of my possessions now sit inside three boxes, one trunk and a duffle bag. Well, everything except what I’m bringing to New Zealand, which of course includes my backpack, as well as one small duffle which will hold my trekking poles, tent stakes, knife and extra shoes. It’s been a catharsis that has made me look at what I’ve accumulated over the years and makes me ask: Do I need this? Do I want to come back to this? I’ve sold my truck, bike, kayak, and countless pieces of gear. I’ve donated many odds and ends and all the in-betweens. I wanted to downsize so that my life is simple, and that any adventure that may await won’t be weighed down by too many belongings. And there’s a balance to it all, as I don’t want to just discard every possession of mine, as some of it is very useful (even if its not taken with me on the next thru-hike) while other items are of memories of the adventures I hold dear to me. So I’ve kept what I deem worthy and I will keep those boxes with two very good friends who I can’t thank enough.

My emotions lay between that of the cleansing, soul-searching type (hopeful, ambitious, openness, acceptance) with that of excitement and, as one would expect, a bit of nervousness. I try to live in the moment, eagerly anticipating the hike, welcoming the many experiences that will soon unfold. I try my best to keep my head in good spirits and to not let the task of putting this hike together overwhelm me. As I do, I leave behind many friends and family which brings sadness, but at the same time I know we will all live ours lives as we choose, and then, months later, and sometimes years later, we will reunite. We will share our stories and inspire each other with our unique walks of life.

ImageSo what’s the next step: My bags are packed and I leave tomorrow at 7am for Portland. There, I will spend the afternoon with friends and then get an early night’s sleep (way overdo) at a hotel I booked for myself. I figured it would help to get a room near the airport so that I don’t need to worry about traffic or inconveniencing a friend at the early hours on monday morning. My flight takes off at 7am. From there, there’s no turning back. But I think we all knew that was never an option…

2 thoughts on “GOODBYE BEND

  1. Hi Mary!

    I recall the first time I ever I met you at the Patagonia shop in Bend. That was a special day for me. I was visiting Bend on that day exploring new real estate investments. Your kindness and hospitality assured me that Bend was the perfect place to invest and live. So upon returning back to Ca. I decided I would move to Bend Oregon full time.

    Mary thank you for being who you are. I wish you the best adventure of your lifetime. Please know that I am your friend always and will be available to you should you be in any need of support or help. :0)

    I am so excited for you. I am planning a trip to New Zealand for 2015. Thanks to you. Cheers my wonderful friend.

    I can be reached at 559-349-3922

    Adrian Reyes Bend Oregon

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Bon voyage, strong woman. I sure will miss seeing your smiling face at Patagonia@Bend! I’ve already found two more books to share with you when you return! Be well, be happy, keep being true to yourself. You rock!

    ~ Jill Duncan


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