Sorry everyone, I tried, but once I broke my thru-hike and skipped, I broke my hike. Not thru-hiking means I’m just backpacking, and I can do that anytime. Four months is a long time to be gone from home and if I’m not thru-hiking the PCT, I see no reason to keep torturing myself, I realized that what I really want is to go home.
Through the magic of friends and relatives in the right places, I was able to wake up at a beautiful lake in the wilderness, hike out six miles, and be home the same day. I called my cousin Bruce in Ashland and he was able to pick me up on the road to Etna, take me to Ashland to get all the stuff I had shipped there, and take me to the Medford airport where I could get a rental car to drive the four hours home. I got home around seven, about twelve hours after I broke camp.
Of course, it was achingly beautiful, tempting me not to go.
It was a kind of cool last day. Just as I was leaving camp at Paynes Lake I heard, “Glide! No way!” It was three of my friends from the desert! Lizzy and Shaggy were some of the first friends I made on the trail. We leapfrogged a lot in the desert, we ate at the Paradise Cafe, but I hadn’t seen them for months. They filled me in on where most of my other friends are, and comforted me about my leaving. They can spread the word that I didn’t die, I just went home. It was a good end.
While I waited for my cousin, my friends tried to hitch… for two hours. I was glad that when my ride showed up we had room to give them a ride to town also.
It’s strange to be home so quickly. There’s a lot to do here to get my life put back together, but that’s what I need to do now. It’s probably too much stuff to get done and go back to work on Monday, which is probably a good thing. I can use some time to digest what I just did and get back to regular life.