Once again we find ourselves within the last week window. Months have trickled away, time once again taken upon the paradoxical concept of having been lightning fast and infinitely slow at the same time. If we but blink, we are once again transported back to the terminus upon the North Country Trail, a blink and we are standing in that frigid November weather along the plains. Many moments, weeks, and months lay before us as we took our pack off, and embraced the off-season. Resting our burdens upon the trail to once again lift our burdens of life off trail. As we looked forward in excitement and trepidation towards the next few months, we had much to do. Yet, we had nothing but time ahead. Then we closed our eyelids shut and opened them once more, and the time has now been consumed by the constant cycle we have found ourselves within, the cycle which we are all subject to, no matter whether we embrace it, fight it, or refuse to acknowledge it, the cycle of a constantly shifting life. Now, we once again return to the same feeling we had a few months ago, the same feeling of excitement and trepidation, as we look forward to life once again on trail.
No filter, no edit, simply a picture that appears as if it was painted.
Our last sunset of hiking season 2021, as we now soon shall begin hiking season 2022!
We have now spent close to 4 months off trail. Just a blink of time, but a blink in which we have accomplished much. We have lived through a Canadian winter, which is probably our most impressive accomplishment. As the snow, ice, and temperatures sought to freeze our very soul, we learned to harness the internal fire within, reaching into the depths of warmth that can only be found in love, togetherness, and life shared with others. We faced our constant fear of heights, as we shakingly harnessed the activity of snowboarding to fuel activity in the world of ice we had found ourselves within. We say shakingly as a literal and figurative metaphor. Still, fear remains between us and the mountain, but we have chosen to face it most days that we are able, and for that we have found growth.
We have done as much as humanely possible with ElevenSkys. We have once again began the process of a new production. We have spent days pouring over our designs and hearing feedback to consistently find what we can do better. We have branched out towards relationships with retailers. We have set our goals for 2022, and have began the long process to achieve them. We have spent countless hours editing footage to make a cohesive and condensed version of hikes, with which the work only remains endless. We have created a home for all 11 National Scenic Trail finishers as well as seekers to share their journeys. We have created a podcast called, Off Trail, and have poured our entire heart and soul into sharing and spreading others stories. Creating connection through learning who a hiker is, not measuring the miles, trails, nor physical feats, but instead taking a look inside the mind, heart, and soul of the person. We have written or more accurately rambled articles upon articles to try and capture the moment and journey of our mind forward. We have done countless interviews with others, to share our story. We have began a book with which we hope to finish by the end of this year. Our list only ever continues to grow, and for that we are eternally grateful to you. Grateful to you, the very people who fuel our passion to create a better company that embodies what it means for us all to seek happiness, joy, and love in the outdoors. Thank you.
Thank you for all the moments of our past that have brought us here.
Thank you for all the people that have been on this growing journey with us.
Thank you for letting us truly be us.
Yet, the very concept of ElevenSkys is never-ending. Built not just for the "off-trail" season, but built to be run from the very place with which the inspiration was born, the trail. So, as we find ourselves within the week window once more, we look back towards our last 4 months, and know we accomplished much, but the work now continues. We have created the groundwork for the year of 2022, and once again soon will be heading out towards the trail to work, play, and learn the ever-shifting and growing balance between the two. Our work does not end once our feet touch the terminus of the first trail. We have said it before, and shall say it again. It as an incredible privilege and blessing to be able to live through, live within, and live towards a well-rounded life on trail and off. As our journey continues, we are consistently humbled by the teachings that life decides to bestow upon us in this aspect. We have learned how to listen from years past, and now we must learn how to live these lessons in each day. A continuously changing and growing lesson, but one we again are ready to face.
As we blinked and these past 4 months have melted away, we have the very same feelings that we have when we finish a hiking season. Excitement mixed with anxiousness, as we know life is about to change. Change of our own choosing, but change nonetheless. It seems that no matter which precipice of change we find ourselves upon, heading towards trail, or heading away from trail, our response is the same. We are excited because we truly love change, it is one of the very pieces of life that are integral to making us happy. Yet, no matter the happiness that we know lies ahead, it always comes coupled with a touch of anxiousness. Anxiousness for the unknown? Anxiousness for the struggle we know lies ahead? Anxiousness because every action needs an opposite and opposing reaction? Does science lay at the root and definition of our emotions? Or, is it something else, something with which we can never define, but only live within?
We are here now because we trust our feelings
So we shall continue, not needing to define them but trusting where they will lead.
Forward we shall go.
As our mind tends to do, we dive too deep into our philosophical ramblings of someone who has spent too much time on trail. Instead, let us say this, we are ready. Let us say this more accurately, we are as ready as we can be. We have done the work. We have paid the off-season piper. We have eaten too many cookies and doughnuts to count. We have reserves of let's call it "strength" upon our body that soon shall melt painfully away. We accept that what lays ahead cannot be controlled, and that we are but a whistle on the wind, a tune that has direction, but must shift and flow with the momentum that carries it forward.
To sound very cliché, the journey of 7,000 miles begins with a single step. Is that step the physical step upon the first trailhead, or is that the figurative step with which we have already taken? Well, we believe we have already taken that first step, soon now we shall begin. In a week we shall begin our journey anew. Time to step.
With Frozen Eyelids that No Longer Blink