Day 77 (Monday, July 4): Buck’s Summit (mi 1265.4) to mi 1267.81 (x 2), 4.82 miles. (total up/down: +985/-0, +0/-985ft)
Today was the day I’d finally get back on trail after so many zeros. Oh and Happy Independence Day! It was bitter sweet to leave. After spending so much time with the family, I felt like an honorary member. I’d sure never forget them our be able to thank them enough. I still didn’t feel 100%, but would try to push through.
I got to the summit around 10a and started off slow. I was still really in no hurry as I had ar at least a day and a half to make 18 miles. My hip was still iffy and my shin splints returned. While stopped at a creek, a couple passed by with their two older pups who were just day hiking. They asked where I was headed/what I was doing. I don’t mind being honest now. I said I’m not quite sure. I’m hiking the PCT, trying to get to Canada at some point in the next couple years. At this point, I’m just trying to get to Belden, which my hip injury is making difficult. They suggested I turn back. 18 miles sounded like a big number to them. That stuck in my head, and I considered turning back right there. I told my self I had to keep trying and push a little harder. The trail continued to very gradually climb, but nonethelesss proved a challenge for me. Both physically and mentally. I wanted to turn back so bad now. I was fighting my body and two voices in my head, to push on or “give up”.
I got to a point where I had some cell service. I called my dad to tell him where I was at and my desire to stop, and the fight in my head about continuing. I also called my boyfriend for any advice. I woke him up – and he’s not very good at speaking when he’s tired. I didn’t leave my mom out either, but she didn’t answer her phone-no surprise. I told my dad I was probably going to turn around, but still not completely sure. I tried some more. Then I stopped again. I made another phone call and made my decision. I was going to head back to Buck’ Summit.
Now the decision was where do I go from here? Hitch to Quincy? Hitch to Belden? Hitch to the local campground? Call my adopted family and shamefully ask for them to take me back?
I went with the last option…So I thought. The phone call did not want to go through. I tried over and over, holding my phone in different positions and waking in circles. The call did not want to connect. Very strange I thought, since my other phone calls went through just fine. Was this a sign that I should not confess my downfall and ask for another night’s stay?….Maybe… But I wanted to continue to challenge myself (this time in a different way) by doing uncomfortable things. I don’t want to hide it. I want to own it. Be truthful (no lying by omission).
I am very quiet, often withdrawn (keep to myself), and don’t like to share too much personal info. That was going to change in this instance. I have to be uncomfortable
now. The phone call finally went through. Her first words when I said it was me were: “I don’t want to hear from you Demi. Is it really that bad?” Again I was painfully honest with myself and her. The hips were causing problems, but it was also my mentality. They kindly took me in again.
My challenge wasn’t meant to be the trail today. My challenge was to be uncomfortable with myself and the situation.
Sometimes the biggest challenge is ending one and starting another. I don’t know what lies ahead, but it is all apart of the bigger journey.
Today I also made a big distinction. I did not fail my quest. I learned so much about myself, appreciated so many things I never had before, seen amazing things, met amazing people, and overcame so many challenges. That’s it: It is not Failure. It is being adaptable. Knowing yourself and your limits. Having good judgement. There are so many ways to push yourself. The challenge is not over. I will continue.
Day 77, Part 2:
Arriving back to the house, I wanted to avoid people. I felt so terrible about my decision to end my trek and to face these people again, after they already took me in for so long. I didn’t hide in the Hiker Hut, I walked over to the table and joined the social club. Not to long later, they invited me to go out on their boat again for a swim. A nice activity to get my mind of the first part of the day – and I could definitely use a lake dip. It’s been a while.
The water was refreshing, and so was my decision. That night I also got too finally enjoy the giant marshmallow S’mores. The plan for the next day would be for my dad to pick me up here in Buck’s Lake then drive to Lassen for a few days of exploring. So it continues…