Silver Lining

Day 30Mileage: 14.7

Total distance: 878.8
I woke up to the sounds of argument in the tent next to me to roll over and watch the couple scratch their way out of their tent and pack things in a blaze to start on the trail. The lady smiled at me and said, “have a wonderful day” as she left. 

For the first time I woke up with dew on my bag and was soaked all the way to my head. I was planning on a thirty mile day so I ate my cold oatmeal and got started. 

The trail led me slowly over Seldon pass and eventually I made my way to the top when I realized I had left my sunglasses back at camp where I pooped. Shit. I can’t hike over these next two passes without sunglasses or sun blindness will seriously win the day. Even on the descent I felt like it was coming on. 

  • Aspen forest

I rescheduled my day and planned on going into VVR to grab a pair before going up Silver Pass. I had 10 miles to do and no idea when the boat went across the lake so I moved as fast as I could down to the trailhead for the ferry. Two days in a row now I’ve been stressed for time and mileage and I absolutely hate the way it makes me feel. 

I got to the pick up spot for the boat and watched it float away as I jumped and screamed to catch the ride. It kept on going. I sat down on the warm rocks beneath me and let my head drop in my hands and sat for a long time before I lifted my head. All I needed was a pair of sunglasses and now it could be hours before I see the boat again. And it was. 

  • Drinking and working: perfect. 

I sat for three hours waiting for the next boat and felt and overwhelming sense of defeat and loss and felt closer than I have felt yet about quitting the trail. I was tired of pushing myself and knowing I have a lot left and not feeling like it was worth the effort or like I was getting anywhere. Sometimes I can be my own enemy in expecting too much of myself or pushing myself further than I need to be and today that system broke down. As I sat I thought about why I’m hiking and what I’m getting out of an experience like this and thought back to that lesson I’ve been taught before: it is always worth the effort and at some point you will see the fruit from the labor and I did. 

The boat showed up around 3:30 and five hikers and myself climbed in. We rode a twenty minute boat ride to the other side of a massive lake with mountains surrounding and showed up at the resort. A sign on the front said, “work for beer and food: see jim or Jordan”. I walked inside and was put straight to work. I cleaned dishes for three hours and drank beer the entire time and was given a huge delicious meal at the end with pasta and beef and sautéed vegetables. I also was given a free shower and breakfast in the morning and anything I wanted to resupply. Just when I had reached my end in frustration the trail led me to a place where I was given all that I needed to feel refreshed and reenergized for the next few days before my next break. 

I’m sleeping in front of the building with thirty other hikers and currently sitting around a fire drinking free beers and laughing at trail stories. I’m behind by half a day now, but I feel a deep peace that I will make up that time and even if I don’t I am happy and alive and free and that is why I am hiking the PCT. 

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