Day Eighty Six: ZERO

I’m definitely absolutely not sold on it yet…

But I’m maybe kind of a little bit coming around to the idea of a flip flop.

It makes sense.

I don’t love it, but it does.

To be able to reach Canada straight through, I need big miles: like fifty kilometre day miles.

Even with that, I’m looking at a mid October finish, and every day into October is a gamble. Not just rain, but sleet, hail, and snow, of course. It would be miserable, bone chilling, wet snow – not fun, happy, puffy snow. It gets dangerous the further north you go, and one more thing that hadn’t really occurred to me is how much the snow would slow me down. You can’t hike big miles in those conditions, because you literally can’t get through fast enough.

However…

IF we flip up – and that’s a big if! – timing wouldn’t matter anymore (apart from my visa; still have to be out by Oct 19th, but that’s another story).

We could still hike to maybe the halfway point, and then go north and hike the second half southbound. We’d get to do Washington late summer, which is perfect for berry foraging and the waterfalls there, and the weather would only get warmer as we venture further south. There would probably be less mosquitoes in Oregon too by the time we got there.

The wheels are turning.

I’m so glad I went to Bridgeport yesterday.

I went with the intention of going to church, but this morning I felt that my heart was so blessed just by being there already I didn’t have to try and squeeze it in.

I SHAVED MY LEGS!

First time since APRIL – I think I must have lost an ounce of hair 😉

And I was fed eggs and coffee for breakfast, and given a KILOGRAM/TWO POUNDS of fresh blueberries! 😳

These girls are rockstars. Kirsten, April and Jasmine. Bob was with them too, but left early this morning. If you’re reading this, you all blessed me more than you know!

I ducked into town to do my resupply and got a few odd looks as I sat at the back of the grocery store, divvying up my purchases into ziplock bags – including sunscreen. It’s just a lot lighter in a baggie than in the plastic bottle. The things you learn/take notice of: micro grams count.

Getting back to trail was the first time I hitched on my own, and I got lucky. Steve was driving past exactly where I wanted to go, and it was a fairly smooth ride as we ascended from the valley floor and chatted away for the hour long trip.

I had imagined that I’d get to Kennedy Meadows North so I could ditch my bear can, and the others would be a couple hours into the trail ahead of me. I figured I’d be able to catch up within a day or two; finding an excuse to not walk too far is something we do very well. I was both right and wrong…

We pulled into the parking lot and I saw Jimminy, Pickleback and the Prodigal sitting on the porch waiting for lunch. They were with old friends – Jay Jay and Danielle, who I haven’t seen since 100miles in! Finding that excuse proved too easy, and instead of doing my chores and getting straight back to trail (as was my plan – and theirs), we may have/totally did end up staying together for lunch. And foot soaks. And dinner.

And before we knew it, another zero had happened.

We’ve had a brilliant day hugging and laughing and swapping stories about our week apart. I think it was the hardest week (mentally) for us all. And we spent a bit of time talking logistics about a flip flop.

Like I said, the wheels are turning. Right now I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’m glad I’ve come to peace with wanting to embrace the journey. I don’t want to run the Pacific Crest Trail, I want to keep sauntering, and I think maybe a flip flop will allow me to do that.

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