Day Ninety Seven: 1807.8 – 1834.1km

Today is all about gratitude.

Grateful that I get to eat choc chips for breakfast whenever i feel like it.

Grateful for my parents.

Grateful for this big old adventure.

Grateful my feet have carried me this far.

Grateful that I still have so many miles left.

Did I mention already that I’m grateful for my parents? And family? And friends? And people at home? And people on trail?

I worked myself up a bit today.

I don’t know how I’m going to finish the trail.

Physically, I can do it. I’m fit, I’m strong enough, I’m more than capable.

That’s not the issue.

It’s timing.

We’ve been so busy soaking up every moment along the trail so far that I don’t think there’s enough time left to finish the rest of it. I’m not even halfway yet, and I’ve been out here for nearly one hundred days. Of course, technically, it’s supposed to be about the journey and not just the destination.

I know that.

But I don’t feel that.

I feel like if I don’t finish the PCT, I’ll have failed. And it’s kind of hard to admit, because I’ve come so far and invested so much time and energy and money into completing this thru hike. I’m living in constant tension between staying in the moment and wanting to get to Canada. Even if we flip – which I’m pretty sure at this rate, we will – I’ve got all sorts of headaches lined up trying to either extend my visa, or jet off to Europe and back to reset my passport for another six months here.

And I’ve got friends just down the road in Reno, and more in Redding. I want to visit them all – I’m going to be so flipping close!! – I just can’t see how to tie up all the loose ends and make it work.

They have so graciously and generously offered to drive out to me when I cross highways close by, or pick me up from trail. I’ve got a place to sleep and washing machines to do laundry and babies to meet just a few hours away (by car), but I’m overwhelmed by the logistics of making it all work. My mind is about as murky as the sky around me.

And then, on top of a ridge line, the sky cleared a little.

I got cell service for the first time in days.

I called my parents.

They’re in Brisbane, with Aunty Ros and Uncle John – I had the four people who’s advice I value most in the world right there with me, on the other end of the line.

And they did give me some good advice.

They reminded me exactly what I knew already: this IS about the journey. And I’m having an epic one. If it ends sooner than Canada, so be it. If I need to take some time off trail to see those friends and push the reset button, that’s okay too. They love me and are proud of me, and reminded me that countless other people are, too.

I’ve been comparing myself to other thru hikers who are days and weeks and months ahead.

Comparison is no good.

How about I think about the millions who wish they could do something like this, but never do? Or the people grateful of each story I write, who get to live vicariously through these posts? Or the strangers I get to bless along the way?

Better yet, how about I stop comparing myself to anyone?! What if I let go of the expectations I put on myself, and let this journey unfold before me – even if it’s at a slower pace than I had planned?

Just an hour on the phone to them, and a whole mindset shift later, I’m feeling the gratitude of being surrounded by people who love me and keep me grounded.

A Thought of Your Own?

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