I woke around 5 and stared at the ceiling for a long time. We had talked about going to Hawaii if we decided not to continue on the trail but our money would wear thin quickly on a trip like that.
Then what? I go back to work?
But does that mean I would continue on the hike only because I don't want to go back to work?
Fuck that too.
If I continue to hike and hate it, isn't that just like going back to work anyway but without pay?
What do I ACTUALLY want to happen here?
My sponsor was in China hiking The Great Wall when I text her last night. Actually, I had come into cell range near Kearsarge and had a text from her saying she had been 'cryking' through her trip but was persevering anyway. Coincidence? Probably not.
Her stance was that I give it a week or two before I decide to quit. We went back and forth and I decided to do that week of purgatory off the trail. Josh and I had tried to come up with a way we could force ourselves back on the trail. One way was to get on in Mammoth and go south. Why south? Because Josh taught me that when you can't sleep at night it helps to flip the other way on the bed, so your head is at the foot. Somehow it tricks your brain and you fall asleep. Would the same thing work for us on the trail? We decided the logistics were off and if we did that and we'd have to carry more food.
Josh woke and we lay there talking about what to do. We decided to rent a car for a week and get out of town. I felt like if we went on a road trip and kind of stalked the trail it would inspire us again like it did when we were planning the thru hike in the first place.
After a family style breakfast at the hotel with other hikers we caught the bus back to Bishop. On the trip we talked to other hikers about our feelings on quitting and got lots of good feedback. One couple was taking four days off in Bishop to regroup and they gave us lots of positive insight. We got off the bus feeling better about our "vacation from our vacation". It took a while to organize the rental car but we got it all squared away and headed north out of Bishop around 1pm.
We stopped at the local K-Mart and bought cheap flip flops, deodorant and COTTON SHIRTS! I decided I wanted to be a regular human again for this week, no hiker clothes. We headed north on 395 all the way to Reno where we stopped and had a steak dinner at Outback. It was surreal being there. We would always stop at Outback after our weekend backpacking trips and being there now made the hike feel like it was a day hike, like we were on the way home.
After dinner we headed back out on the road and decided we were going to go to Oregon. Why not? We stalked the trail driving next to Hat Creek Rim and into the town of Burney where we got a hotel room and called it a night.
With every mile we drove away from Kearsarge Pass I could feel the stress level reduce and clear thinking take it's place. It seems there is a lot swirling in that little brain of mine. Stuff that is holding me back from achieving my goals.
Until tomorrow, goodnight.