As the rain falls at Timberline

As I watch the rain falling outside my dorm room window, I can’t help but feel the world understands what a tough day it’s been.

Where’s Chris kindly brought UB to Timberline this morning so we could see one another, say our goodbyes (for now), and for UB to pick up his last resupply box for the trail.

I think because of the drama that has surrounded UB’s hike, a lot of people have forgotten that he’s like every other thru hiker that came to the PCT with certain goals and expectations. UB isn’t an ordinary human being, so it should be expected that he set himself an extraordinary goal and had infinite expectations. People may shake their head and say what he set out to do was too ambitious, I say the guy’s got balls. Anyone that can freely dream that big will one day succeed in life in the most incredible way. I know his day is soon to come!

Anyone who says the PCT is a walk in the park obviously hasn’t hiked the trail in full. Anyone that says the trail shouldn’t be that dramatic obviously hasn’t dared to step outside their comfort zone far enough. Anyone who makes assumptions from things they hear or snippets they read should think before making their thoughts public. Anyone who thinks they know UB should think again.

I wasn’t able to comprehend what the end of UB’s hike really meant until he asked if I would carry his two blue birds to Canada with me. At this point we both burst into tears with the realisation that his dream was coming to an end (at least for now). It takes a brave person to be able to swallow this realisation, walk away with a smile and truly wish the best for their partner who must continue on with the journey. Heartbreaking is the only word that gets close to expressing how this feels.

I’m so proud of everything UB has achieved during his hike. I’ve seen him grow and transform into the person I know he wished he could be before the trail. The total number of miles he walked throughout this journey is insignificant to the experiences he will take from it. I’m excited to be a part of his world, with a front seat to watch him transform the lives of others with the lessons he has been blessed to receive from the Pacific Crest Trail.

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35 thoughts on “As the rain falls at Timberline

  1. You are so right on with UB, for some it is about the trail, but for most, and I think you and UB see it this way, it is all about the journey. For most this is a very personal journey with personal goals and dreams. I see the trail as a way for a lucky few to help realize those dreams. Finishing the trail in one year, or ever, may not be what you need, understanding and driving for your goals and dreams is much more important.

    Have a blast in Washington, and let UB know we will still be thinking abut him, and wishing he is doing well. Hope to see you someplace in Washington and spread a little magic. Really it is just a small fraction of the magic you two and others have given me this year and pushed me to go for my hiking goals too.

    Keep Hiking Muk Muk, Canada is calling you! πŸ˜€

  2. HI Rozanne,

    I know UB had his struggles with the PCT, as you did and as we all do with our choices in life. He accomplished so much I can’t see where there is a problem. I’m sorry that he didn’t achieve his goal as planned, but really, how ofter does that happen in life. He is definitely a risk taker and someone who is trying to find his way in life. What more could someone do. There are so many variables and things that we can’t control. Coming from a much older age group, I think his experiences will serve him well in his future endeavors and I congratulate him on his efforts. I enjoyed traveling with him vicariously as I do with you. I can only watch with awe your experiences and thank you both for letting me in on the trip, which has been a wonderful journey. I’m looking forward to the rest of the miles. Enjoy them.

    Donna

  3. You can do this, Muk Muk. I cried along with you on this video. I cried when I watched UB’s video on his blog, too. But as Wolfman said, really, it is about the journey, and what a journey it has been!!

  4. Well put Muk. It made me think of this….

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” TR

  5. Silly to think others condemn people for doing what they want in life….he has inspired so many and killed himself to catch up to someone he loves. THAT is a truth/love very few will ever understand . He completed something far grander than the Canadian border πŸ™‚ Best wishes to you both!

  6. That’s so sad some people were condemning him?! A person they don’t even know? Some people unfortunately are just this way, we all know this type.

    Muk Muk, I’m glad your standing up to the bullies out there, again this just points to how strong you are.

  7. If you want someone to hike with for a bit in Washington or even bring you some fresh fruit, cookies, pie…you name it…let me know! I live in Seattle and would be thrilled to hike with you — rain or shine.

    I’ve enjoyed following you (and UB) on your journey and would love to give back with some trail magic.

    Plus you’re about to reach the best place to hike in the country! (OK, I am
    biased.)

    • Hey thanks for the offer! I would never turn down cookies, but as I sit in this room full of food I think I’m going to be fully loaded through Washington. If the snow gets really bad and you have a team of huskies and a sled, I might actually take you up on it!

  8. Hi, So your at Timberline in the rain, I hear its a lovely place, I’ll be going there In Oct.
    with my sisters, we’re doing a 1/2 marathon in Wilsonville. We are shooting for doing one in all 50 states Oregon will be #7 we started walking after they both beat
    breast cancer, there are both still going strong . I’m sorry we’ll be a few weeks to
    late to say hi and treat you to dinner. I’m going to call the hotel and see if I can treat you to
    breakfast tomorrow Sept 7th, hope your still there, so check with the restaurant in the am,
    or another dinner tonight if your still hungry. Good luck with the weather, and keep up the good blog.
    Ann Of the Tahoe Trampers.

    • Hey Ann! I think about you ladies a lot as you brought me such joy when I met you all on trail! I love your half marathon challenge across the US! Are you keeping a blog? I would love to follow your adventure! I’ve been eating hiker snacks all night in my room but will be here for breakfast. That is honestly so sweet to shout me breakfast, I wish I could have bumped into you again at this beautiful place. Send my love to the other Trampers and success in Wilsonville! Muk x

      • Great, I gave them your name and they left note in the register for the am people at the dinning room, so just give
        them your name and enjoy a great big hearty breakfast on me. Hope you have
        a great day tomorrow and enjoy your last few days in Oregon.
        Happy Trails
        Ann

      • Wow Ann thank you so much for this generous treat!!! Hikers dream of the breakfast buffet here even after the trail. You’re an angel!! Thank you so very much!!! πŸ™‚

      • Ann I’m thinking back to the day I met you and the other wonderful women (and man) just outside of Belden way back down the PCT. I had had such a hard day that day, I’d been crying and just felt like crawling up in a ball in my sleeping bag and hiding away from the world. Then I came across your group. You guys filled me with so much energy that I couldn’t help but snap out of the mood I was in and excitedly share my stories. As I gobble down my first waffle I want to thank you so much for this gift today and the smiles you gave me back in California. Love to you all, Muk πŸ™‚

  9. β€œLife is a journey, not a destination.” -RWE How lucky you both were to share the journey together for a while on the PCT. You’re about to head into the best hiking state in the country (I admit I’m biased, I live in Washington)! And fall is an awesome time to hike here. If you want someone to hike with or bring you fresh fruit, cookies, a pie…you name it, let me know. I’m in Seattle, so not that far from the trail… I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs and I would love to give back and do a little trail magic for you. You’re almost to Canada!

  10. What an awesome post Muk. Chris is my best friend. I know you guys have had an amazing journey. He’s told me you have been an inspiration to him. He’s an amazing friend, always has the right words to say at the exact moment you need to hear them.

    I know his journey of the PCT hasn’t gone as planned but I know it’s broke him and changed him and Ultimately…that was his goal. Thanks for being there and supporting him along this journey!

    • Hey Drew, so awesome to hear from you. UB talks about you so fondly and I know that the conversation he had with you while we were in Independence really motivated and helped him by reconnecting with someone so close to his heart. I really look forward to meeting you one day and I hope you guys are able to reconnect once he’s back on home soil. Take care and thanks for being there for him during this journey! Muk πŸ™‚

  11. hang in there!! get in and get it done, your almost there!
    thanks so much for your blog, I have been following since you started the trail and have my wife hooked now also! we look forward to all your posts.
    you are about to see why many of us washingtonians think we live in the best state!
    scenery and weather! haha
    dont believe every thing they say about the rain!!

  12. The Teddy Roosevelt quote that Keith B posted is dead on. You got this, Muk Muk! Get it girl. And as always, thanks for sharing your journey πŸ™‚

  13. Great post, Rozanne, in honor of UB. I have not been reading his post, but I think I’ve learned a lot about him just through yours. The Trail has it plans for both of you. His has paused for now; yours continues for now. I guess you just need to get up, get out there, and find out why.

    Hmmm. It’s really too bad Chris and Charles didn’t get you that puppy. That puppy would be giving you some pretty good giggles right now. πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Roz:

    Would help a lot of us (well, certainly myself) to have an occasional reminder *link* to UB’s blog so we can jump over and catch up there too.

    • No unfortunately I won’t be there, expecting to arrive in Cascade Locks either late Sunday or early Monday morning for the PO.

  15. Muk Muk,

    Sorry to hear UB is off the trail (till he gets back on trail another day) I’ll have to catch up on his blog. You’ve said that the “trail is about the journey,” as well, so is life. “If the mind can think it, the body can do it,” was in another post back around Crater Lake. Again, same with life. Both you and UB have encouraged and given to so many through your story, I wanted to share back with you. I’m a middle school counselor in the Aqua Dulce, California area serving 3 different schools (I’ve day-hiked about 150 miles of PCT in the last year). Weekly I present character education lessons to my students. With the beginning of the school year, I have used your story, a blog and a few videos as a launch to speak to my students about goals (academic and personal), accomplishments, personal grit, pain, challenge, triumph and accomplishment. My students and staff sit enraptured by your stories and videos (you could hear a pin drop as they focus!). So to return the encouragement, as I wrap up my PCT-lesson segment this week, as you hike, remember that your story will be told with select videos on the big screen for another 200 students and staff. HIKE ON and know that even from the trail so many miles away, your story will be encouraging our next generation as I hear talk of “Muk Muk” through our hallways. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

    • Judi you have just brought me to a gush of happy tears. I’m breathless and speechless after reading this. One of the biggest dreams UB and I share is motivating and inspiring young people to live out their true potential and believe in themselves. I am absolutely honoured that you have used my story to inspire the students at your school. What a dream come true! I would love to visit your school and speak face to face with your students after this journey is over. Both UB and I hope to share our stories for the precise purpose that you have shared mine. Please keep in touch and send me a message towards the end of the trip so we can work together to try and make this happen. Muk πŸ™‚

      • Done! It’s DONE! SOOOO DONE!!! I would LOVE to drag you….I mean present you BOTH…to all 3 schools as honored guests!!! How fantastic!!! I never would have dreamed! I’m excited to tell the next two assemblies that you would like to visit them. We’ll connect through the universe as I speak of you and show your videos, smiles, tears and facial expressions this Wednesday @ 7:50 AM and again Friday @ 12:30 PM. I hope knowing that puts a skip and a special kick into your hike! THANK YOU!!! Judi

  16. I think you and UB have been inspiring and fearless. There are be trolls out in the world who just fundamentally get life, the trail or they wouldn’t be trolls lobbing rocks from under their bridges. You’ve been an animal on the trail these last few days, Hike on girl! Try to care for your bod. Carry those birds and let them help lift you for and UB have lifted all of us with your journey. (BTW: I would love to use stronger language for the trolls but then this post would be PG-13 to R rated too much good stuff in the world today to go all Taranto.) πŸ™‚

  17. FYI: Your video on the Sep 7 “Countdown” post has a broken link, or something, “couldn’t be found” message. Couldn’t open any blogs or comment boxes either. Any suggestions?

  18. Hi darling, a lovely photo of UB sitting on the rock and overlooking the valley. Probably wandering what the future has in stall for him. His journey on the trail has come to an end for the moment but the journey of his life keeps going and only gets better. You said some beautiful and true words. The replies people write are just wonderful and supporting, which should give strength to both of you. So hard to say goodbye, but the trail is waiting and so are two blue birds who wish to go to Canada, have a save trip. I wish you strength, health and success. Love you darling, Mutti xxoo

  19. Beautifully said in words and video. Whether one finishes the trail or doesn’t, it’s still a HUGE accomplishment. It’s living life, doing the dream. Sometimes our dreams end down different paths but it can still be quite an experience. We wish you best of luck in finishing the trail. When you do, we will miss these posts.

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