A new year with some new words.

I’m back. Refreshed. The Chattahoochee River looks particularly good today. So I’ll take that as a personal prod to return to this blog.

Nearly a year ago, I published my last post about a trail I had hiked in South Africa, the Hoerikwaggo. This path from the Cape of Good Hope to the summit of Table Mountain is not particularly long. Most people can complete it in the span of a long weekend. In fact, over a year after completing it, it takes a certain stimulus to pull the memory of that hike from the recesses of my mind (a gust of dehydrating heat will usually do the trick). Five days on this trail have been swallowed by 365 of the most formative days of my life. 

But I still remember how I had anticipated this trail. My plan to hike the Hoerikwaggo at the zenith of South Africa’s summer was a strategic attempt to start the year doing something I love with someone I love. 

Before the fact, I knew 2013 would be a memorable year for multiple reasons. I would be briefly reunited with Mindy. I would be back on the African continent for an uninterrupted six months. I would follow that time with four months in the mountains of northwest Montana. I would then proceed to the final installment of a four-part series of my undergraduate career in Atlanta.

Of course, the year would become much more than that. Amid five days at the Cape, three weeks in South Africa, five months in Dakar, four in West Glacier, and an autumnal return to Atlanta where I sit by the Chattahoochee and write these words – I’ve been implanted with much more than I can begin to explain or even comprehend. Maybe I’ll attempt in subsequent posts.

A year ago, at the top of Table Mountain, I stared off into the beautiful strain of peaks and troughs. I didn’t yet know what this image would signify as the year progressed. 

I brought in 2014 in a similar way in a much different place – staring off into the clouded azure of northern Mexico from Texas’ South Rim. And I can say with the same uncertainty of a year past that more uneven ground lies before me, with a personal invitation. 

So I’ll strap on my boots for 2014. Happy New Year!


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