1062 to 1074
Miles hiked: 12
I spent the whole day really enjoying slowing down and being on the PCT. It was such a refreshing shift from the day before- yay! Rather than focusing on miles, it felt wonderful to think of time as something to be savored. I relaxed into the new rhythm of the day.
|Pausing to watch the shadows.|
|Going for yet another swim.|
|So exciting to find Grass of Parnassus!!! This one I knew from seeing it in North Carolina.|
|Stopping for another view and contemplating the stark beauty.|
I am still adjusting to hiking without thru hikers around. When I crested the passes, I still expected to see my old hiking friends sitting around waiting for me. One time I saw an arrow in the dirt and my heart skipped because I thought maybe it was MeToo’s sign that he was up ahead but it wasn’t right, and anyway he is up at the OR/WA border already. I thought about everyone in my trail family spread out hundreds of miles north of me, maybe even at the Canada border soon. Where had they camped when they’d passed by here? I noticed I missed hiking with them, but I wasn’t lonely.
Still, I tried to engage everyone I met on the trail beyond just finding out about water sources up ahead. A moment of connection was had with a woman who’d broken her foot years ago and knew about what it took to heal. Yet conversations felt different compared to when I was hiking among thru hikers and I trusted that I could make a new life-long friend in a short time. It made me realize that was the one of the most important and wonderful thing I’d gotten out of my PCT experience up until I got the stress fracture- those friends I made out there. <Aww I love you my trail friends and family! Hugs to you whereever you are!>
In the afternoon when I began to run out of miles, I started looking for a place to set up camp. The PCT skirted around a set of lakes and then dropped below them, but from far away I could see perfectly spaced trees for my hammock above the largest lake. So I went off-trail to find those trees and it turned out to be an incredible spot.
|View from the PCT of the lakes I explored.|
|Off to play in the rocks and water in my trail runners.|
Then I headed up a boulder field above the lake. Soon I was scrambling on all fours up the rocks. Probably not an approved part of the stress fracture recovery plan, but it was so much fun I couldn't resist.
|View of the lake after climbing up the boulders on the side of the valley opposite the PCT.|
I’d been fixated on finding out the cause of the stress fracture. I hate feeling like I can’t prevent it from happening again. I’ve spent hours going through my pre-PCT training spreadsheets trying to determine where I’d gone wrong. I hope I can move on at some point because the mentally beating myself up for not training harder or being able to prevent this from happening hasn’t been healthy.
|Shadows creeping slowly across the valley below.|