I’ve been laying low these past few days with Adam, trying to decompress and take this whole re-entry thing kind of slow. It gave me time to think, and with more thought, more would bubble to the surface. This time off has been good. I’ve laid around, napped, been lazy, ate food, watched movies, and acted as a hermit for part of it. We did get out some… I first bought an $8 pair of blue jeans at a thrift store. Then I overwhelmed myself with the task of trying to find a real bra that was comfortable. We even got to the theatre to see Gravity in 3D, immediately followed by a second movie, Rush. But our time is up. It’s time to go home. After a few more quick errands, like an oil change, we’re heading east towards Wisconsin… and our family.
I have to be honest here as the PCT gets smaller and smaller in our rear-view mirror – I still feel disappointment. I don’t like feeling this way, but it’s a feeling I can’t really ignore. Trust me, I’ve tried. The lingering what-ifs still float around in my mind. I could have done those 60 miles… dammit, I know I could have… but I chose not to. There are a lot of reasons why I chose not to, and I think all of those reasons are justified – especially at the time I decided on them. What’s been bothering me most recently is the question to myself, “Did I make these decisions too soon?” I can’t help but think, “Yes. Yes, I did. I should’ve waited a few days, rested so I wasn’t so exhausted and gone back out.” But at the time, with all the wavering, all the back-and-forth, and being turned away from that trail… I just wanted, so badly, to make a solid decision. I wanted to be strong and confident about it. I wanted to be okay with it. And I felt sure I was. I believed I was. I really did.
Adam knew it – sometimes he knows me better than I do. I’m pretty sure he saw this coming, so he asked me a number of times if I was sure. When I asked him if he would believe me if I told him it was done, I think he responded, “I’m not going to believe you but I’ll trust you.” What else could he do, really? He tried, and I love him for that.
The good part of what I’m feeling is still in progress, but I suppose good feelings can stay in progress as long as they want, right? Maybe that just means I’m starting to focus on the right things… I think! I know that it’s time to work on letting go of what-ifs and disappointment, and start working on what I have accomplished, because 2,600 miles is a lot. I hiked each one of those miles mentally positive and physically strong, and I’m really proud of that. I’m looking forward to working on ways to lock in all of the happy memories through slideshows, photos collages, and journal entries. I hope that with every day, the pain of that series of decision-making will fade. I’m pretty sure it will. The amazing experiences, memories and pride will fill in those holes. It was a great summer. It really, really was. And when I look back on it, that’s what I want to remember. Instead of “60 miles short,” its going to be “2,600 miles of freakin’ epic adventure.”
I am walking away with unfinished business… you’ll see me back on the PCT. It won’t be tomorrow, and it might not be next year, but I’ll be back. Save a cheer for us when Aloha and Toots Magoots makes that decision…
Stay tuned… answers to your questions are coming soon, as are some gear reviews. And if I can find a way, the 165 daily Instagrams from the hike. For now, we drive!
I love road trips with Adam. Here we go! To Wisconsin!
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!