Day 102: Neverland

102. July 21: Mile 1407.20 Burney Mountain Guest Ranch to Mile 1430.20 Peavine Creek
When I was a child I loved letting my imagination run wild in the world around me. Being able to freely play in the yard felt like a vast landscape for me to roam and explore. I distinctly remember once when I was in Bloomington, IN for the Hilly Hundred bicycle ride and my grandma was taking care of me while my dad was riding. We were walking around the Holiday Inn I’m sure just to entertain me, but in my mind’s eye we had gotten lost in colossal building with infinite rooms and halls. It felt like exploring Hogwarts. The day felt like it could have endless possibilities and opportunities for adventure. Even when we left the hotel itself and crossed the street there were massive slabs of cut limestone to climb and play on; as if I was investigating a forgotten quarry. Better yet, next to this archeological site there was an imposing mansion with tall brick walls, small windows and slate shingles. Behind the gothic monolith was a deep pit surrounded by a wrought iron fence with spear point on the tips of the bars. 
If I walked through the same Holiday Inn and its surrounding area today it would definitely seem very small and I would feel quite uninspired. I’m unable to conjure the same imaginative thoughts now that I’m an adult. When I was little it was so easy for me to come up with a story in my head to play along to, but now it’s a struggle. 
I can even think of summer days at the Beech Grove, IN city park when I was in summer day camp during my elementary years. There was a small forested hill side that my friends and I would play in. We would get one of the leaders, Andy to play Jurassic Park with us by pretending he was a T-Rex and chasing us around to our hearts content. Those hot summer afternoons could go on and on with hours of living in this fantasy world. 
When I’m on the PCT, I feel the same as I did all those years ago when I was a little boy. The trail is an endless universe that is my playground. My mind is free to roam and imagine and wonder. I feel like I cant wander through the wilderness and discover unbridled. Society no longer has shackles on my spirit and I can live unhinged like I did when I was a kid. This is truly living. 
Today started off kind of rough with some issues ordering shoes and getting a slow start, but we managed to make some good miles. It’s really interesting and I’m sure Glowworm wrote a really interesting take on the day as she always does so please read her blog at thecaffinatedhiker.wordpress.com. 
Instead I wanted to describe what it’s like to hike this trail and be out here day to day. It’s like Jane and Michael playing with Marry Poppins in Burt’s chalk drawing or Wendy being taken by Peter’s hand on the way to Neverland. It’s a mystical world with no bounds or rules or borders or restrictions or walls. Never grow up. 

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