The more challenges the trail throws at you, the more you discover the extraordinary generosity, kindness and openness of human beings. I hesitate to use the word strangers, because the people who I’ve encountered throughout this experience, whether I’ve met them face to face or through comments on the blog, feel part of this experience and as close to me as many of my fellow hikers on the trail.
Once again I was overwhelmed by the comments I received on my last post. It uncovered such wisdom and understanding in so many people following this journey, that I almost felt guilty for the incredible mental boost and inner peace it provided me with. Thank you for sharing that with me.
Since the day I crossed the 2000 mile mark, forgave myself for the wrongs I’ve committed, and made a commitment to strive to be a better person, the trail has felt more comfortable. My relationship with UB couldn’t be stronger, and my body harnesses that same strength. I still feel a little pain from the nerve in my thigh, I have a knot in my shoulder and a slight muscle tweak in my neck, but considering what I’ve put my body through, these are minor ailments I can overcome.
The trail through northern Oregon has been breathtaking! The scenery through the Three Sisters Wilderness, Mt Washington and Mt Jefferson, has been such a contrast to the section from Ashland to Crater Lake which was the toughest for me mentally along the entire trail. The stunning views have helped maintain my mood, but having someone to share them with has made the real difference.
Our experiences recently have varied from minor hiccups, such as me making warm oats for breakfast with my dirty sponge in the bowl, to much more serious health issues which saw UB not being able to retain any food or fluids for the last few days and suffering from gastritis and dehydration. As men often do (sorry guys but it’s true), he tried to disguise his suffering until his constant vomiting and lack of energy was too much to continue. Unfortunately we were 20 miles away from civilisation both north and south with no phone signal. Once again I was in a situation where I didn’t know what to do (and obviously SPOT wasn’t an option!)
My one lifeline I knew I could call was trail angel Where’s Chris. Once we were able to get phone signal about half a mile up the trail I called her immediately and explained our situation. In seconds she had maps out, looking for alternate exits off the trail that her and her partner Charles could collect us from. Within minutes Chris had a plan, Charles was fuelling up the 4×4, and UB and I only had 5 miles versus 20 miles to get to a trailhead. It took us 3 hours to get there, and the entire way we were in total shock that people who we’d never even met before would drop everything in a second and drive 3 hours one way to rescue us from the trail.
The incredible generosity of Chris and Charles to travel such a distance, invite us into their home, shuttle us around and drive us back to the trail once UB is back on his feet is overwhelming. Even if I devote the rest of my life to providing for others I can barely repay the kindness we’ve received throughout this journey. Chris and Charles, you guys are unbelievable.