In the morning Pete drove me and Freebird to the airport and stayed by our side until we went through security.
The plane raced down the runway and quickly rose up into the air. We looked through the windows as the La Sals, the desert, and the canyons slipped out of view.
|Canyonlands Airport and runway below.|
|Salt Lake City.|
In Salt Lake City both of us had a layover and had one last lunch together. From there we would part ways, Freebird heading to Hawaii and me to Indiana. Interestingly enough, our gates happened to be next to each other. My flight was the first to go, and as I was being called to board, Freebird and I hugged each other goodbye. I had no idea if I'd ever see him or my other friends out west again, which was difficult. Sometimes you just don't know where you'll be called to go next. It's a huge lesson in non-attachment and faith. But I had to trust in God's direction that I was doing the best thing for my continued growth by returning to Indiana.
|Landing in Chicago.|
I arrived at O'Hare, and though it was a bit unnerving with how gigantic that place is, I easily made my way to the baggage claim. As I waited for the conveyor belt to carry out my pack, I felt a tap on my shoulder. My brother, Matt, had found me! We grabbed my pack and drove back to his place in Valparaiso, calling our parents along the way. That night I stayed with him, Carly, and their playful black kitten, Felix. The next day my dad would pick me up and return me to Fort Wayne to catch up with family and friends, most of whom I hadn't spoken with in months.