Only cool kids ride the back of the bus

This bus analogy was shared to me this evening by Cookie Monster after I expressed concern for being at the back of the pack. I haven’t seen him since the kick off, and back then he was 100 miles behind me. I was happy with the 10+ miles I put in today to ease back into the trail, until Cookie Monster and four other thru hikers passed by my tent. Sure I stopped early and found an awesome spot near water to camp, but it didn’t help morale one bit. There can’t be that many through hikers behind me can there? I’ve been told there’s still a few, more than I probably expect, but I’m starting to experience some back of the pack anxiety as my biggest dislike is being or feeling rush. It doesn’t sit well with me.

It also didn’t help that Cookie Monster expressed how unbelievably fantastic his trip has been so far. What trail has he been walking? I’ve been told never to believe a thru hiker that says everything is peachy all the time, but he was definitely cruising faster and further than me today so I guess I let it get to me. Today almost felt like Day 1 for me. I’ve walked 85 miles in the last 2 weeks. That’s an average of 6 miles a day. No wonder my back, legs and feet were all complaining with a seemingly heavy pack and 10 miles of uphill. I’ve had lots of great food and rest over the last few days, but my muscles feel weak, and I’m definitely not at the same level of fitness as I was before I came off trail. I don’t think it will take long to get it back, but with Washington and bad weather on the horizon I can’t help but feel a little nervous.

Chris drove me all the way back to the trail this morning while UB went back to Urgent Care for a second visit. It was sad hitting the trail solo after having such an amazing time back together again. I thought 1000 solo miles was enough… but I guess the trail isn’t finished with me yet.

I passed a couple of south bound section hikers who asked if I was going passed Russell Creek. I had no idea it was only a few miles up the trail, so when they told me you should try to cross it before 10am I asked if there was camping nearby. When I got there an hour later I realised there was no way I was going to wait until the morning and was surprised at just how high the creek actually was.

The trail climbed for the next 5 miles, and I was lucky to catch a glimpse of Mt Jefferson when the sky cleared for no more than 20 minutes. When I reached the end of the climb at close to 7000 feet, the clouds and wind rolled in and the temperature dropped considerably. This was one reason I set up camp early. The other was simply because I’d had enough for today. I hope I can push out some big miles tomorrow and feel like I’m getting back on track.

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16 thoughts on “Only cool kids ride the back of the bus

  1. I’m so sorry about UB and needing to hike alone again 😦 …I’ve been reading his blog and he seems to be in a good place now that he has been able to share his feelings with you. I’m so happy that the two of you were able to get together again. I know he’s excited to see you finish as we all are! 🙂 Pretty soon you will be in WA!! Just one more state! You are on an amazing journey. Your awesome!! Thanks again for sharing your story with us.

  2. You are not alone, doesn’t that sort of sound as though I am an alien speaking to earth from the mother ship? Anyway, you have many people who are with you in spirit and probably would hop on the trail to join you if they could. Me, definitely, if I were closer. I am your blister sister, no matter how I try they come, and I really felt your pain in southern Cal. Really. I see a trail buddy in you near future to shoot the breeze with. So sorry that UB is under the weather. You are a bright light on the PCT trail and the digital one.

  3. As I head out to attempt my first solo I will think about you and your experiences often. I hope our timing matches when I complete my section eta next Thursday. Text me when you have signal next Weds or Thurs and let me know where you are and I’ll do the same. Until then, chin up and HIKE girl!!!!!!!

  4. Don’t fret Muk Muk, you’ll get back into the swing of hiking very quickly and then will be pounding out the miles. I always enjoy the videos, your voices and facial expressions are always so fun to watch. We are all hoping that UB is doing better and can rejoin you if not for the trail then at least for short sections.

    Keep Hiking!

    • Thanks Wolfman for always being there! Can’t wait to catch up in Washington. I still repeat your wise words in my head everyday when I feel lethargic and want to stop. I will keep hiking! Muk

  5. Got your post on Sat the 6th so I hope ur back in the trail groove. Great videos esp the river cross. Reminds me of my recent Mt Hood trek. I’m now in the Arizona heat sink. Your conversation turned my melancholy mood into a happy one, and I enjoyed your trail tails. As I contemplate the PCT next year, guess it’s somewhat normal to swing from anxiety & doubt to unrestrained exuberance. Your ability to deal with the challenges makes mine look tiny in comparison. Continued good luck to you.

  6. Hi darling, yes not easy to go solo whilst you thought to do the last leg together, chin up and get back into the grove. My gosh, such a ginormous Sin dog, food for a giant. Outstanding photos, and I loved the river crossing video, you should have had gumboots, bare feet another option. Didn’t know that you have become a Cookie Monster, but then again, a cookie every mile, you do need that many. I wish you strength and keep healthy, love you darling, Mutti xxoo

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