I have recently finally made a decision and am officially announcing that I am off trail for good for the rest of this year. By this I mean that I will not complete my thru-hike of the PCT this year. Nevertheless, I will complete it! The trail will always be there is what I am told and what my rational mind reminds my restless heart of on a daily basis.
As for my injury, the cause of my need to get off trail in the first place, I have recently tested my hiking abilities in Yosemite and realized that I can hike, but not with a heavy pack on, not with my back still healing. I have still not healed up and might not be 100% for another couple of months. I have a deep bone bruise in my tailbone, and possibly some temporary nerve damage, as well as some inflammation in the left lumbosacral joint, and that takes a while to heal. I am going to take care of that for these next months while I plan my next grand adventure! I will be resuming my PCT thru-hike in 2018, as I have something else amazing planned for 2017 (I will announce that later!). My restlessness will eat at me and drive me insane, and my heart longs to be back out there, but as reckless and impulsive as I sometimes am, I also know how to choose what is best for me, and at the moment, it is not carrying 35lbs of survival gear on my back.
So, as difficult as this is, I am saying goodbye to the Pacific Crest Trail for now. I have hiked from the California/Mexico border to Yosemite National Park this year, and last year, I hiked from Tahoe to Burney Falls. With these two totaled together, and about 160 miles subtracted for a few sections I skipped this year, I have hiked about 1,220 miles of the PCT. When I first got off trail, I felt like I had failed, but revisiting Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite last week caused me to feel like I’d come back to face my failure and come to terms with it. I am pretty happy with having hiked close to half of the PCT and have taken so much from the experience. I am grateful to nature and for how good it was to me and what’s it taught me, I am grateful to everyone I met along the way, and I am grateful to God. I have discovered that I absolutely love long-distance hiking, although I already knew that since last year and that is why I came back this year. I promise you, I will gain back my strength and health and try again soon.
Thanks for following along and caring and worrying for me from afar. I feel so loved. I am happy. No post-trail depression here. I wholeheartedly believe that everything will turn out okay. The PCT is waiting for me to come back to it so it can bestow more of its magic on me again, later, when I’m ready to experience it again, when I need it the most. I believe that there is a time for everything, and right now is just not the time. I’ll be back out there when it is. The PCT has taught me so much, and maybe right now it’s teaching me patience. I welcome the lesson.
(I will soon post journal entries of my last couple of days on trail. It was too difficult to do so earlier.)