a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles to 1649.5 to 1665.9. Grider Creek campground to Kangaroo spring.
The night was horrible thanks to the campers who had turned the generator on again during the night, depriving us of a good night‘s sleep. I got so mad at some point and almost went back knocking at their door at 4am.
We get up before 6am in order to get to Seiad Valley and the famous breakfast there. There is actually a pancake challenge happening. If you finish the 5 pound (more than 2kg!) of pancakes you get them for free. Well we are not participating anyway since we are not especially fond of pancakes anyway. But there are loads of other choices we‘re sure, so let‘s go for it! It‘s a 6.5 mile roadwalk to town, all part of the PCT, and we make excellent time and are there shortly past 8am. Snowwhite, Rocket & Co. are also there, they were further ahead already and decided spontaneously to have breakfast there as well. So they turned around. That‘s how good the reputation of the Seiad Valley breakfast is!
We enjoy two amazing omelettes with bacon, cheese, tomatoes and avocados, re-fill coffee. Life is good! We also have time and okay wifi to call our parents and wish Dario‘s mum a very happy birthday!
We hesitate to get going, it‘s already really hot outside and we know that a huge climb is awaiting us.
And it is huge. And it is bad. Worse than expected. It‘s hot and I constantly feel sick. It‘s also very smokey again, the smoke depriving us of any potential views that I bet would be gorgeous. I can‘t stand it anymore. I feel terrible. I can‘t walk, we keep taking breaks so that I can recover. But I do feel miserable and nothing can change that at the moment. I actually believe I am homesick! I dearly wish for my family right now. I am beyond relieved that Dario is here and taking such good care of me because I feel like I just want to break down. What are we doing all this for? Dario‘s had such a rough day yesterday and I felt so helpless because I didn‘t exactly feel much better, but needed to be the strong one. Does it have to be this hard? And if yes, how long do we need to keep pushing anyway? When is enough enough? I always knew it was gonna be hard. I always thought reaching physical limits would be my reason to quit the trail. Then friends and family would tell me reassuringly that the trail will not be so much about the physical strength rather than the mental strength. And then I would be relieved and think, well, then I might actually make it. But lately we have both been struggling mentally. It‘s still such a huge task to take on and right now I am just not sure I want to keep hiking every day. We saved up money for so long, made big plans for this year abroad and I don‘t want to be spending any moment of it being miserable. Right? Or is being miserable just a part of it and we need to get over it? Someone smart once said that great things never came from comfort zones. A lot of people don’t do great things because most great things don‘t feel great while you‘re doing them. I guess there is some truth in that.
So on we hike but changing our plans according to our mood. We hike on for a couple more hours, but make 6 miles less than planned. We also meet Sababa, a hiker from Israel who has also been struggling today.
We pitch our tent in a very windy valley (after there was no wind at all all day) and go straight to bed, no dinner. When I lie down I am already feeling much better. And tomorrow we will cross the border into Oregon. A big, meaningful day tomorrow. Something to hold on to.