(This blog entry is from my Patreon blog, where you can see my PCT blog entries before anywhere else, as well as support me financially on this grand adventure. Along with early blog posts, Patreon backers also receive access to trail comics, drawings, and videos.)
Things were a little wild for the last two weeks, and in case you missed it, I got back on the PCT, if even for a brief period of time.
Here I saw old friends like fellow hikers Asiago, After Burners, and Giggs, meet the friends Evan had made in my absence: Totes, Optimistic Turtle, and Brown, and be reunited with the trail family I left behind in Medford: Boxes & Dory.
I broke my own personal hiking record twice in this stretch; my previous being 23.5 miles in a day. I did a 25-mile day and a 28.5-mile day, then I did three 20-mile days, which were far more than my previous average. Towards the end of my stretch–although my muscles and joints ached–I had begun to feel very strong. I had reached a level of fitness where I could quickly hike up a steep hill for miles while wearing a heavy pack and not stop once for a break. Two evenings in a row I pulled 4 mph to get to camp by 6.
And yet, the powers that be decided it wasn’t my time to be there. Within a few days of being out there the rash that put me off trail in Medford reared its ugly head again. I’ve realized now that it has nothing to do with latex, adhesive, or anything like that. It’s a heat rash, it has to be. My feet get so stupidly hot when I hike I could probably cook eggs on them, and the backs of my ankles receive a lot of abuse when I walk. So it’s only logical that those pores would become blocked and create a blistered rash. I was very careful while tending them this time around and I avoided infection, but Evan and I made the decision when we reached Trout Lake that I should stop while I’m ahead and save the trail for another year.
It was, apparently, also Evan’s time to stop hiking as well. His reasons are his own, but it came to the point that he wasn’t enjoying himself anymore and even reaching Canada wasn’t worth it at this point.
Oh, and our bank account also demanded us to stop. So there’s that.
And there it is. The actual end to our hike has happened. We’re currently situated in the Seattle-area in the care of a friend, trying to figure out our next steps. I hope to start pulling in commissions, find a seasonal job, and maybe move to Portland this winter if an opportunity pans out for me.
I did manage to get some drawings done in that 100 miles, so patrons can expect those shortly!
Otherwise, expect comics, drawings, and my general presence in the future!