When I was in Moab with my NYC crew, Cory Nachman joined us from Salt Lake City and we both found ourselves in very similar predicaments: Cory had left his job in the city, packed everything in his apartment into the car, and drove down to meet us in the desert.

We talked a lot (meaning, I cried a lot in the car to Cory about being a spaz and throwing away my old life) and he reassured me that everything was going to be okay. 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. His empathy felt reassuring.

As we drove through the desert, watching mesa after mesa disappear, Cory said that this felt like his last hurrah (at least for a little while). I guess that being closer to thirty than I am twenty, I understand this. These January desert days were the coda to an old chapter we were both finally putting to rest.

Even though I am a terrible hiker, this was a perfect day exploring the desert. Photograph by Daniel Kokoszka
You can basically shoot guns anywhere in Utah

After Utah, I made it to Tennessee and was ready for some crack climbing, but I have mostly been excited to be home. I was definitely starting to feel a little homesick. Spending a little time at home with my family was exactly what I needed. It was so good to come back, spend real quality time over too much sushi and unplug.

But I’ll be leaving again soon. 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. I think that’s why we climb mountains in the first place. Climb mountains, climb through 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.

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