Mile 915.0-926.1 (11.1 +3)
This morning we had the upstairs of the hostel, kitchen and all, to ourselves. Somehow we were the only guests there. We fixed breakfast and packed up, hitched to town for a few last errands, a last meal together. Then the hostel manager gave us a lift to the trailhead. Spider and I said goodbye for now. I won’t see him until he has finished all his errands in New England and has moved all our stuff west to Bend, Oregon. Then he’s gonna come visit me wherever I am on the trail. I hold onto that thought as I start walked back down the paved road to the PCT, alone.
The mosquitos keep me moving at a steady pace, and anyway my panting drowns out my thoughts. Best to keep trucking. This is the hardest part.
I pass Thousand Island Lake, melting in the recent heat wave. It is beautiful. I feel like the only person in the world. I keep hiking.
Island Pass is snowy and my path is loopy, following the footsteps of those in front of me who also had trouble navigating. On the descent I loose the trail constantly. The last mile of the day takes forever. But finally I find a sweet campsite surrounded by pines, big mountains visible between pine needles. No mosquitos, somehow. I hear frogs in the distance and running water.
I think about how if you don’t test your mettle now and again, you might be fooled into believing you are not strong enough or capable enough. That stretching your limits will remind you of your power and resilience.