It’s been an eventful few weeks with socializing on the trail and saying hello to trail angels and their friends along the way. Ever so often I am reminded that this world we live in is a small one. While two women in Belden popped in to the cafe to see the guy in the gown, I learned they live in Noxon Montana which is, in the grand scheme of a 2650 mile long trail, just a hop skip and a jump from my little town of Newport WA. I visited the most eclectic of Post Offices, also in Belden, where the Postmaster looked up the price of mailing my box on a sheet of paper, hand stamped it, then hand canceled it… NO Computers ! Ironic that she was capable of sending that box off without a computer, yet other post offices, complete with computers, were not. All with a smile.
The insoles on my shoes died on me 150 miles ago but I wasn’t able to get my hands on new ones until my stop in Chester. Actually it took a 35 minute ride to Susanville, but all the same I have new ones that I hope will make my fee happier than they’ve been. After 20 miles, the foot pain starts working it’s way up to my knees. The 25-30 mile days were nearly too much some days. The calluses on the balls of my feet are wide and thick, I decided to sand them down a bit hoping that too will help with some of the pain I feel while dropping in elevation on trail.
The same few people that have been a part of my hike are still just ahead or just behind me, so I won’t be out there after three days off trail, ‘alone’, but I’m sure there are a few new people out there, faster hikers, that I will come to meet as I steady my pace and relax knowing I’m right on track with my gowns.
Overall this hike hasn’t been what I expected. The GRAND WILD EXPERIENCE was a dream that is something more expected on the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) , this trail is too tame and populated, never very far from the footfalls of others. I suppose there’s a possibility that it’s my fault for spending too much time in towns, but the people that offer help along the trail are just as important to me. Mine is not the only story out here, and I long to hear those of others. I don’t know what comes of the future, but this trail is still an amazing one, full of beauty, life, and comfort. A comfort that comes only after a 20 mile day, dress off, body covered in dirt, sitting by my tent, making dinner, and feeling at peace while eating what always ends up to be, a DELICIOUS Macaroni and Cheese, or re-hydrated pasta dinner… warm, tasty, filling.
I’m afraid that the second half of this trail will fly by. I have many friends to see in Oregon and Washington. The scenery will begin flat and hot as I likely attempt the Hat Creek Rim at night to stay cool, the volcanoes that have already begun to appear on the skyline will keep me WOW’ed and pushing forward. The gowns ahead are big and beautiful and I hope the weight/fabric/heat don’t take too rough of a tole on my mind and well being. That much fabric wrapped around my mid-section keeps me sweating. Ahead lies more stunning scenery, and my home state of Washington. But I’m dreaming too quickly – Oregon still lies 400 miles from me.
Thank you again and again for being a part of this journey with me. It’s one I would do again in a New York Minute….