Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Days 73 - 76: Trying To Get Back In The Groove

Well, I can honestly say this has been the hardest few days so far.  Emotionally we both just felt exhausted. Homesick. Depleted. And a little defeated.

It stemmed from a lot of things... our tent zipper totally broke and we were being kept awake by mosquitoes all night. We ended up spending more money on a new tent than we were planning on and that triggered money stress.  I've had an eye twitch for 4 days, had a migraine yesterday and Yankee Son was having stomach issues.  We were also a day away from crossing highway I-80, which goes directly to Oakland and San Francisco: my brother, our friends, our former home. It was just too close and tempting.  It was like everything piled up at once. Out here the days feel very long so three days of feeling sad feel like an eternity. 

At the root of it, we both just felt majorly homesick. Homesick for any sense of home at all.  We've been on the road, moving from place to place since August 31 when we moved out of our apartment, and it just caught up to us.  Spending such a cozy weekend with some of our nearest and dearest friends reminded us how much we miss seeing our nearest and dearest regularly. Missing a best friend's wedding made me tired of missing out on things. Trying to catch up with family when you only have 2 days of cell service just gets tiring and never feels sufficient.

We hiked out of Echo Lake Sunday afternoon and have been working hard ever since to find our groove again.  The days were long but walking seemed to help us both clear our minds.  Getting to camp in the afternoon we were glad we had each other to share these rough days with.  Last night it seemed to overflow a little bit and we woke up this morning hoping for a solution, an energy boost, a pick-me-up. The hike this morning felt good. We made good time, the scenery was beautiful and we kept meeting day hikers that were SO pumped on what we were doing. 'Canada!!' they'd exclaim and then pepper us with enthusiastic questions.  Providing them answers made me feel proud. It gave me some perspective. And then, as we rolled into the parking lot at Donner Pass, the best (literal) pick-me-up: Just Retired and his wife Joyce (who we've been calling Joyce Retired) in their rent car, on their vacation, waiting to take us to lunch.  It was wonderful to share their company and a good meal.  Over lunch as we told them about our tough few days we mentioned that we had a new tent coming to Sierra City and that we just wanted to get there. That we needed this little section to be over. When he offered to give us a lift to Sierra City, we took it.  At first we were unsure how we'd feel about skipping a 40 mile section.  Would it discount our thru hike? Would it make it incomplete? Then we realized that it's OUR hike... we need to do what we need to do. If skipping this 40 miles means that we keep our sanity, get out of this funk and finish the remaining 1,500 miles, then it is well worth it. 

When we arrived in Sierra City this afternoon, our hearts and spirits lifted.  We caught a bunch of our hiker friends and in talking to them realized that we weren't the only one struggling through this section. Most hikers we've talked to tonight have felt this way at some point or another.  The trail is awesome and amazing, but it's tough too. Emotionally, mentally and of course physically. 

The funk is lifting. We will head back on trial tomorrow with our new tent, clean laundry, full bellies, good company and a big boost of morale.  This wave of homesickness was tough and totally understandable, but we're ready to find the groove again.  

Well, thanks for listening reading, friends. We've got an awesome amount of support out there, and it means a helluva lot. 

And now some photos:

Another 100 down!

Lake Tahoe

PCT trail maker with chair lifts in the background

We had a great stay at the Red Moose Inn. Thanks Bill and Margaret!

The awesome Red Moose Inn

Waiting for breakfast and coffee

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  1. We miss your guys as much as you miss us! Can't wait to see you in November! Love you both!

  2. Hang in there guys! What you are doing is amazing to all of us back home. We love you!

  3. Yall are doing AMAZING! so glad your spirits are up! we love yall! xoxo

  4. Well it is good to know you are human. I was beginning to wonder if a "rare spider" bit you and you two acquired some kind of super heroes powers...always up, charged, full steam ahead...I still can't believe you have done over 1100 miles! You guys are incredible, and I love reading your entertaining, expressive blogs. Keep those spirits up; you know you have a whole team of friends & family cheering you on with each mile!

  5. I've been with yall every mile on the trail, and just figured out how to comment. The whole farm's behind you! We've certainly got our own climb happening here and it's always SO inspiring to hear your words from the trail. Keep hiking and pushing us all to go further!

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  7. Keep it up Mags and Trav! You're just missing a whole bunch of fog here in San Francisco so it's a good time to be wandering. I miss you a ton but am also continually inspired by your journey.

  8. We love you so much and miss you too!!! Can't wait to see you in a few months!! So proud!!!


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