I had imagined I would have a nice little sleep in and wake up refreshed, happy, and full of peace. I
did wake up refreshed, happy and full of peace – there was just no sleep in. The roosters two metres from my head made sure of that.
I stretched a little, stayed snuggled up in my quilt, and looked around (cowboy camped again – sleeping directly under the stars is my new favourite thing).
Last night I had set my mattress up next to a yard, and there was a horse looking at me, probably wondering what the heck I was doing so close to him.
There were a sea of tents lined up beside one another, with more chickens and roosters pecking about in between them.
I didn’t really want to start my day. The roosters had started up as soon as light peeled out over the horizon: 5AM, and although it seemed like daytime with the light, my quilt was just so snuggly and mattress comfortable. I stayed curled up and chatted with Mike, and Manuel, and others as they walked past on the way to the port-a-loo’s.
It’s funny how these don’t seem to smell bad to me anymore. It’s actually a little gross, I guess, but other parts of my body are changing with this crazy adventure so why not my sense of smell?
Actually, speaking of body changes, this is the best diet ever. I get to eat burgers and fries and chocolate and drink thickshakes and wine, and I’m down 4kgs/9lbs so far 😂 Although I started off a little heavier than normal, thanks to all the farewell meals and ‘this is the last time I can eat ____’, so I’m about my normal weight – but it still counts 😉
The smell of coffee drifted down toward me and pulled me out from my cocoon.
The lift to REI was arranged, and I went out with three others to get shoes and a feed.
Outback Steakhouse, anyone?
We were slowly freezing when we got an unexpected call: the trail was on fire.
All of us started calling our different people back there, or friends up ahead on the trail to try and figure out what was going on. It took me a while to get on to Speedy, but even as we were driving home we could see the plume of smoke. He told me that people were packing their things, the fire was right across the trail, and no one really knew what was going on.
Not exactly the day we’d imagined at Hiker Heaven.
When we got back, I grabbed the Koreans and Speedy and we FaceTimed Maya and Dario, who were still at KOA.
They were trying to convince us it was a good idea for them to stay there and stay safe. We were trying to convince them it was an even better idea to hike up to us and all spend the night together. Yes, there was a pretty big fire. But it was mostly grass/hay, and so while there was a lot of smoke it didn’t exactly compare to a eucalyptus bush fire in Australia. This fire in particular was north of Hiker Heaven, so they’d be able to get to us no worries, and we could all reassess there together.
For ONCE I was able to convince Maya to walk on and catch up, instead of her convincing me to slow down or hang behind. They’d come in late, but they’d be here.
I have to admit, I didn’t mind not being able to hike out first thing the next day either. Detours, alternate routes and shuttles had to be organised. That proper sleep in had to be had. Today’s ‘zero’ wasn’t exactly a relaxing one; I wanted to stretch out, have a foot bath, do the rest of my laundry. I wanted to calm my mind.
Amidst all the fun and challenges, constantly pushing myself has been taking a toll. Rests don’t feel restorative; sometimes it feels like I’m barely keeping my head above water even with the zeros. Fatigue is cumulative, and mounting. A sense of overwhelm has been slowly growing, and I’m not sure how to fight it, even with prayer and singing and quiet times and exercise. I reckon I’m due for a big cry… Lord help whoever catches me in that state.
Not tonight though.
I ordered pizza, pasta and salad to arrive when Maya and Dario did, and inside a teepee on cushions, we had our last feast with Kim and Lynn.
Tomorrow marks one month of this lifestyle.
Four, five to go.