One Hundred Sixteen: 2,016.9km

Washington

Is

A

Babe.

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(But she’s also a bit of a biatch).

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My knees are in agony again. I thought I was doing pretty okay – I’ve been taking glucosamine (for joints), I’ve been stretching like four times a day, I’ve been taking more care of my body than I ever did coming northbound.

I think it’s all the elevation change that is chewing up my cartilage. We had nearly the same gains and losses as yesterday, and the day before that. Tomorrow looks like it’ll be the same overall, but a heck of a lot more gradual instead of the quick super steep climbs.

But apart from the crazy pain I’m in every time the trail slopes downward, I’m on top of the world. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else; or doing anything else – even though this does hurt.

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More life lessons from the Pacific Crest Trail:

Even though it hurts, it might still be the right way to go.

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Not always, of course. There’s no need for pushing too far or making choices that aren’t in my best interest. If my knees are screaming, I need to listen to them and rest a while.

But at the same time, just because it’s uncomfortable, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop. Just because it hurts, doesn’t mean I’m going to quit.

At this point, it’s a mix of gritting my teeth and bearing the pain, and loving this journey.

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We passed a field of these fluffy flowers this afternoon. The late sun caught each plant and lit them up like gold. They looked like something straight out of a Dr Seuss book, and I couldn’t help but feel I have been living out my favourite story of his: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Below are a few lines from here and there that seem to describe perfectly the life I’ve been living these past four months or so.

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the (girl) who’ll decide where to go.



It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way! *

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* Taken from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, by Dr Seuss
If you’ve never read the whole book, do yourself a favour: please do! This is one of my all-time favourite reads.

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