We are sitting on the plane 30,000ft in the air. We are 4 hours into a 14 hour flight with another flight to go before we get home. I have been holding her hand for most of those hours. We do that a lot, hold hands. Many people think it’s strange, our desire to always touch. It is one of the ways we communicate but mostly it just feels really really good. The warmth and softness of her skin on mine is like nothing I have ever experienced. 

I have always been someone that liked to touch but it has taken on a completely new depth of feeling and meaning with Uyetsga. We hug a lot, we kiss a lot, we lay together each night and she teaches me to snuggle. She calls me claustrophobic because I have never been able to sleep entwined with another.
When we first tried to sleep like this I would never be able to sleep. I thought my every movement would wake Uyetsga.  I would lay awake for as long as I could and then turn over. She has slowly trained me to accept that she likes to wake when I move in my sleep. She rises to the surface of her slumber and feels my warm arms around her body, my skin touching hers and she sinks back into sleep feeling more content for the interruption. 
We wake during the night and search  for each other if we have drifted apart. We touch, snuggle and then fall back asleep to awake hours later together and warm. 
Uyetsga is now trying to get some sleep. We have snagged a spare seat between us so she is stretched over them with her feet resting on my lap. I can feel the warmth of her body drive the cold plane air from my legs. She does not know what I am writing but every now and then she reaches up and touches my hand with hers. She squeezes to tell me she wants me, she loves me and I squeeze back knowing how happy this woman makes me. 
We have had many people challenge us, We have many people who can not understand our relationship and the depth of our love and commitment. We have had people try and separate us, to attack us and try and stop us doing what we love doing. We have a few people that accept our eccentricities, a few who can see the joy we bring each other. These people are the ones we like to be with and who like to be with us. 
Even our up coming trip is something we don’t share with everyone. Some call us wasteful and lazy because we choose to do these things rather than earn money. Uyetsga and I worked very hard in life. We worked hard to provide for our children and give them an education and a start in life and we have done that. Uyetsga has raised two beautiful warm hearted girls that have welcomed me into their family and their hearts.  I have two wonderful boys that I love very much and am very proud of. We are at a point, where if we sacarifice some comforts, live simply, we can do some of the things we want to do. I am sure any other long distance hiker knows what I mean. We choose to take on an enormous task because we can. We will happily give up things for the privilege of being dirty, smelly, tired, hungry and sore. 
So that brings me back to the trail. We will be landing in Colorado in about 16 hours. We are going home to finish our packing and head out for the trail. The time has come and our excitement at an imminent start is palpable. 
We left Australia with 75F days, we will land in a blizzard with a forecast for up to 3 feet of snow. 4 days later we will be in the middle of a scorching desert. Through it all I can guarantee you one thing, I will still be holding her hand. 

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