When I was in Moab during the winter, I met Cory Nachman. He had recently left his job, packed everything in his apartment into the car, and drove down to meet us in the desert. If anybody understood what I was going through, it was Cory. He’d lived off the grid for several winters while he guided ice in the Adirondacks and knew everything about living in a car from bed/storage issues to taking Nalgene baths. He reassured me that everything was going to be okay.
As we drove through the desert, watching mesa after mesa disappear, Cory told me that this felt like his last hurrah. He felt the growing sense of urgency to figure his life out; he had been a dirtbag for most of his life. I guess that being closer to thirty than I am twenty, I understand this. Those January desert days were the concluding passage to a chapter he was finally putting to rest.
But a part of me disagrees. I’m not ready for my “last hurrah”, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be. I’m not finished. Being finished means I’m not searching anymore, and I think a part of me will always be searching. I think we all are. It’s why we climb mountains in the first place. Climb mountains, climb through good and bad experiences, and at the end of the ride, if we tried our best, what does it matter what the finish line says anyway? For me, it will always be about the journey and not the journey’s end.
Cover photograph courtesy of Daniel Kokoszka.