Well, I figured it couldn’t last forever, right?
I got up at stupid o’clock (4AM) and continued to press snooze for half an hour.. then it still took me until 5:20 to have my life fully packed and walking away from my tent site.
My knee still ached, but at least it was a superb sunrise.
It totally/almost made up for the tiredness, the freezing cold, the agony of each step.
I was walking in the clouds, but they slowly rolled into the valley beneath me and I could begin to make out the landscape I was surrounded by.
The mix of fog, trees, and boulders gave the feeling I was walking through a live set of The Land Before Time.
I found a stick I called Wilson (have you seen Cast Away? Because similarly, this staff saved my life and kept me semi-sane). I found Maya (aka. Khaleesi) and Dario, and Innearly collapsed in tears of gratitude.
Later, Khaleesi told me how much she loved our hiker family. I couldn’t agree more. Those two, with their Voltaren and knee braces and love, gave me the strength to keep going.
Overnight, I’d received replies from the messages I had sent in desperation yesterday: different stretches that would/should help, massage techniques, and general good vibes that got me through.
I don’t know how I pushed through.
I did, somehow, though.
I couldn’t have done this on my own – and I don’t feel like I am.
Take when I got to this water cache, for example: there were two love notes in there waiting for me (aka. Warrior and Wizard of Oz – we’re trialling trail names for me).
No, I am not doing this on my own.
Otherwise I might have to eat mashed potato with my Vegemite tube more often.