Total distance: 1721.9
Camp tonight is in the saddle of an exposed ridge with a view of Shasta once again fading away in the dimming light. A wall of orange stands behind me and melts into red where it hits the shillouettes of ridges and peaks. I am alone in a small tent space and feeling the weight of solitude seeping back into my mentality as it was my first few days in the desert. I am prepared for this feeling and welcome it like an old friend without fear or anxiety, knowing that it has something to teach me while it lingers in my space. I’m missing those nights with Goat playing poker and drinking beer and having the luxury of couches and water and electricity and Internet, but such luxury can be a distraction from all the things I’ve learned and what else is to come if I allow myself to adapt to that world. So I sit in a small tent with the dwindling light to the west as my last taste of comfort, trusting myself to the world around me and all that is has to teach and show.
We didn’t leave Goats home until noon and had a few stops on the way before we were dropped off at the Lodge where he first picked me up. Before we left the house I stood in the driveway and reflected on the past week and all that I went trough in sitting and waiting for healing. I smiled at the memories with Napolean and Pig Tape and my nights at the farm. There couldn’t have been a better place to rest and feel comforted in the frustration of injury.
When we got to the Lodge I said my goodbye to Goat and walked inside to charge my things and talk with Molly for a few hours before heading out. I was nervous to hike to far and didn’t want to do more than 10 miles so I sat for a long time talking on the phone until it finally came time to see what I could do. I packed my last few things and clumsily picked up my bag, like it was the first time I ever have, and began down the road to meet up with the trail.
I am happy to report that I never felt my shin flare up in the entirety of the hike and even with a decent climb up and down there were no shooting pains or reminders of how messed up my shin was only a week ago.
When I got to camp I shed my pack and spent forever setting up my tent, again as if it were the first time I ever had set it up, and felt a little twinge in my shin. It only occurs when I point my toes down, so I’m just not going to do that. The swelling is gone and when I poke around the area there is almost no pain.
There is a constant gust rustling the leaves of the trees below my ridge and the sounds of the night are beginning to comfort my lonely mind. I am excited to fall in love with hiking again and find a new current to sit in that will carry me north to close out this incredible journey.