I made it to the border of Oregon on the evening of August 1st! I had so much energy all day and easily hiked the 28.4 miles (except for the last mile) to the border. And I was happy that I kept up with Bandleader and Sky Eyes, so I would have someone to take my picture at this meaningful place!
All day, we couldn’t see any views because of all of the forest fires around us, and we smelled and breathed in the smoke. The air had turned cool the night before (after 2 weeks of very hot and surprisingly humid weather!). By the time we reached the border, it was cold and misty (just what you might picture Oregon to look like!).
I found a cozy place to camp right next to a dirt road less than half a mile after the border, washed some of the dirt off me, put on warmer layers, and cooked my dinner. (I’m a little worried about how cold I will be in Washington because I am often still cold now in all my layers!).
I’m still having a lot of stomach/intestinal problems, but my spirit is strong and I can still hike, so that is all that matters to me.
The next morning, the air cleared and I cried thinking about this trip being over. I feel like I am leaving my soul out here. This is where I am the most happy and the most strong. I slept on a bridge the other night. Since mile 300-something, I have set up my tent only twice. I almost always sleep (and hike alone), but if I am in the vicinity of others, I am always amused when I am the only one who hasn’t set up a tent. I’ve become a cowgirl camper!
I endured a lot of hardship in California- giardia, repercussions of some awful antibiotics (10 weeks now!), two resupply boxes that did not get to me (very stressful!), personal heartbreak, storms, etc, but I accept it all. This journey has been a lot about letting go (letting go of being in control, letting go of attachment), and also about opening up.
One of the best things about this hike is what other people are reflecting back to me about who I am. Although I have been alone a lot, at certain times, people drop in to my life, seemingly to remind me of my own self- worth (the thing I have always struggled the most with). People like Fun Size and Bandleader and Muk Muk and Dust Bunny. They don’t know much about me- only what they see in this very moment, and I can’t believe the compliments they have given me. And many people from home have sent me care packages (several of whom also don’t know me very well), which is extraordinarily meaningful to me.
I think I am starting to like myself out here and I wish I could just keep hiking this trail…
But winter is coming and I have to hike fast to be able to finish and avoid the bad weather.
It’s a catch 22. So all I can do is stay in the present as much as possible and be grateful for the opportunity to be out here. And then pick a place out here to live and begin a different, better life.