Escaping my Comfort Zone

Cutting My Losses

(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.
I was able to hike another 100 miles of the trail, spend time in the woods with my husband, and meet up with people I hadn’t seen since the desert portion. My return coincided with the PCTA Trail Days event in Cascade Locks, where many hikers decided to skip large areas in order to attend.

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.
 
Look at all these weirdos.

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.

Northern Oregon and Washington are SO PRETTY

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!

Anyone have any Seattle recommendations for a nature and comics nerd like me? That’s bus accessible please, losers like me don’t know how to drive.

To Continue Press Start

It’s time.

 

It’s time to finish what I’ve started.

Time to put my money where my mouth is

And time to put one foot in front of the other and make my way to Canada.

Two weeks ago I was under the impression my backpacking was over for the year, that the extent of my future hike were limited to day hikes in city parks. I set my gear aside, gave away my leftover food, and dedicated my time to my art to fill the hole that had been punched into my chest. When I felt like I was suffocating I buried myself in video games. When I felt restless, I distracted myself with movies. When I felt useless, I cleaned house. My rough plan for the near future was to be productive enough so I wouldn’t feel like I was wasting my time.

But here I am, 14 days later, on a shuttle to Mt. Hood with Evan, after scrambling to arrange resupply stops in Washington in just 24 hours. It’s time to continue this adventure. I will touch that monument on the border whether my body likes it or not. I can do this. I WILL do this.

And when I’m done, I’m going to Rose City Comic Con to get hella inspired by other cartoonists and creators, and start working on the Big Project. This has been one hell of a ride and I look forward to putting it down on paper.

My desire to create a comic about this experience is not so much so I can tell others it, but so that later down the line I can prove to myself that this did indeed happen. Looking back it feels like I crafted it all in a daydream and tricked my brain into thinking they’re memories. I want to hold onto these memories tightly and remember them fondly, because they deserve it.

This is a life changing experience, so I must ensure that it’s documented in a personal manner, and there’s no better way to do that than with a comic.

Here I go, returning to the Pacific Crest Trail, because starships were meant to fly, hands up and touch the sky; can’t stop cause we’re so high…

 

Let’s do this one last time.

 

(Credit to Nikki Minaj; Starships)

 

Coming to a Close + Where I’m Going From Here

(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.)

Seeing as most of you readers are actual human beings (I hope?), living the lives of actual human beings (I’m not so sure about that one), you have all faced failure at some point in your life (or are you a statistical anomaly?). Failed math test, failed date, or failed to meet someone’s expectations of you. Call it disappointment, defeat, or losing. Whatever. It sucks. What sucks more is when you planned your thing for a long time, anticipated grand results, only to be shut down halfway through.

I started planning this thru hike over a year ago. Those who know me personally probably remember me babbling non-stop about the trail, backpacking, and the wilderness in general. I knew it was going to be hard, and I thought I prepared myself well enough for the challenges I would face, but they were unlike anything I had experienced in my life, and they shook me to the core.

From heat exhaustion to elevation sickness, to the common cold threatening to fry my brain like an egg. All of my problems thus far were internal and could be fixed with TLC and some R&R. By the time I escaped the desert and ventured into the wilds of Northern California, I thought I was invincible. Everything that tried to kill me was back in the desert, and there was no way I’d have to deal with them again up here in the cool shade of giant sequoia trees, and lower elevation climbs.

But it turns out I’m not invincible. I have a fragile fleshy shell, and it needs delicate care to keep it in tip top condition. I truly am envious of people (like my husband) who *are* nearly invincible. It took him 700 miles to feel any real pain from hiking. It must be nice.

Sometime around Seiad Valley, my shoes started rubbing the backs of my ankles. I did what I always do and slapped some tape over the hot-spot to prevent blisters from forming, and kept hiking. No big deal. But it was a big deal. My hot, sweaty feet caused a reaction to the latex, and then specifically the adhesive on the tape. By the time we reached Ashland, in Oregon, the backs of my heels were covered in small, leaking blisters. I still hadn’t made the connection and assumed the tape didn’t work and my shoes rubbed me a blister anyway.

Resting up in Medford, OR.

Evan and I got a motel room for our wedding anniversary coming up, and I planned to wear sandals for the next few days to let my feet heal. I also did what I always did with painful blisters: I drained them. And I forgot to clean my tools beforehand.

What started as a simple allergic reaction burst into a raging infected rash that resulted in two trips to an urgent care facility, two types of antibiotics, heavy duty antibacterial cream reserved for burn victims, four boxes of gauze pads, and my feet being wrapped up like I had broken both ankles. Oh, and did I mention it was all super itchy? Although I was now allowed to use the motor carts at grocery stores (vroom vroom!), it also resulted in a decision. I probably have a long healing period in front of me before I can even put on socks and shoes. My antibiotics make me sensitive to the sun (read: rashes), and we only have so much money and so much time.

I’ve decided to get off the trail and stop my PCT thru hike.

But I’m not quitting. I am not a quitter. I hiked over 800 miles, something most people barely dream of. I know people whose goals are to hike *one* mile. What I’ve done is extraordinary, and what I experienced I will never forget. I may not have finished the PCT, or even half of it, but holy cow man. Eight. Hundred. Miles. That’s more than Texas is long. I walked across Texas, y’all. TEXAS IS A HUGE STATE.

I am reminding myself daily that I did not ‘fail’ my thru hike. I did not lose, and god forbid I did not disappoint anyone. I am putting my health before my ego and taking a break. The trail will still be there; the mountains aren’t going anywhere.

On the flip side, I’ll still be able to hike vicariously through my friends still on trial, and through Evan. Yes, my husband has decided to keep hiking. He deserves to make it to Canada. He worked so hard for this, and I don’t want to be the one who holds him back. This was all his idea anyway. I’ll be supporting and cheering him on from the sidelines, while also dealing with his resupply as he hikes through the most remote parts of the PCT.

======

So, I wrote that post shortly after deciding to get off the trail, and it feels like a lot has changed in the two weeks since.

I’m settling in well in a friend’s place near Seattle, soaking in as much affection as I can from my cats. My feet are healing nicely and as a side effect of my not walking 20-ish miles a day I have a layer of callous several millimeters thick peeling off my heels. Honestly I’ve become kind of a couch potato during my break. But I’m not complaining! I’ve been working on art and planning my next steps. Do I stay here for the next month or so while Evan continues to hike? Do I get a job?

Or do I get back out there as soon as I can and take advantage of this amazing opportunity I’ve afforded myself?

If you guessed the latter, you are correct.

As much as I missed having a ‘home’, my cats, my computer, and the ability to draw whatever I want whenever I want… I miss the trail so much. I miss my husband, my friends, and the clear sense of purpose every day provided me. You never know what you have until you’ve lost it… and I didn’t appreciate the freedom and clarity backpacking gave. Stepping back from the trail and observing it from afar I’ve had a moment to consider everything I loved about it.

Believe it or not, it’s actually difficult for me to write romantically about things I’m currently experiencing. This is probably why for the most part I’ve only written about my pain and frustrations on the trail. I haven’t had a lot of time or mental space to have romantic thoughts about the trail; pain tends to take that luxury away from you.

I wrote that just three weeks into my thru hike, when things were taking a downward turn for me. I was sick with who knows what, and I was honestly questioning why I was doing the PCT. Why was I making myself suffer so much? What kind of perspective could this adventure possibly supply me?

Honestly, it took me until I was three weeks off trail to realize the lessons I’ve learned so far.

I’ve learned to be more empathic; seeing and understanding situations from the perspective of those around me.

I’ve learned to limit how much I complain about things that the entire team is suffering from; just shut up.

But I’ve also learned that if I am suffering, it’s okay to sit down and take a break; but be reasonable and don’t be lazy.

I’ve learned that even the strongest people have their problems; which can take your understanding of a person to a whole new level.

I’ve learned that while I often yearn for a solitary life, I don’t know how to function without my husband; my partner-in-crime, my cheerleader, my best friend.

And finally, I’ve learned it hurts no-one to open up and talk about the demons that plague you, but it leaves deep wounds to keep them caged.

So, it’s been decided that I am definitely getting back on the PCT! When Evan reaches Portland in two weeks, I’ll bus down there and we’ll continue our grand adventure from there.

I can’t wait.

My adventure didn’t end, I just took a break.

Drawings and Doodles from June and July! Part II

Hello readers!

It’s time for the monthly art dump for you all to enjoy. These are drawings I did on trail/in town in June and July. Sorry for the delay in sharing these, things have been rough! I’ve separated this into two parts since it’s so image heavy.

You can see these sooner on my Patreon while also supporting me on my hike. Think of it as my gift to you for being so loving and generous. If you pledge $4 or more, you get a high-quality PDF of all my trail sketches– scanned and cleaned up!

 

 

Drawings and Doodles from June and July! Part I

Hello readers!

It’s time for the monthly art dump for you all to enjoy. These are drawings I did on trail/in town in June and July. Sorry for the delay in sharing these, things have been rough! I’ve separated this into two parts since it’s so image heavy.

You can see these sooner on my Patreon while also supporting me on my hike. Think of it as my gift to you for being so loving and generous. If you pledge $4 or more, you get a high-quality PDF of all my trail sketches– scanned and cleaned up!

Persistence Creates Toughness

ESCAPE FROM MOJAVE

Last time we met our hero, they were recovering from heat exhaustion in Hiker Town, just outside of Mojave, CA. It was 106F, and it was a real struggle to get food down. The realization had been made that the only way to continue this trail was to get out of the desert.

And they did.

Those who have never done any long distance backpacking may look at thru hiking as a kind of vacation. That’s not too far from the truth, but a vacation is usually just a brief escape from the everyday. When thru hiking, your every day becomes the hike. You get up early, you shove food down your throat, and you hit the trail. You take regular breaks; but not too long, you have miles to make. You have a long lunch, maybe a nap, then you hike more. Finally, when you’re on the brink of exhaustion, you stumble into camp, eat dinner, make your bed, and go to bed to start it all again tomorrow. A ‘nearo’ in town is the closest you get to a weekend.

So, would you believe that you can take a vacation from thru hiking?

Driving all the way from the eastern shore of Texas, Boxes’ mother and sister met us in Hiker Town. They have a condo rented in Mammoth Lakes with room for six, and we’re all invited. I jumped at the chance to escape this hellish landscape. By this point our team had started discussing the possibility of skipping the still overwhelmingly snowy Sierra and continuing from a point farther north. This was our opportunity.

Within a day of getting out of the desert heat I was feeling better. My appetite had started to return and I stopped bouncing around the idea of quitting. Spending a week on a couch watching movies and sleeping in a real bed did wonders for my morale and outlook for the rest of this adventure. We did touristy things too; day hikes and visiting the summit of Mammoth Mountain. There were other hikers in town resupplying, I admired their strength and skill to make it that far into the Sierra Nevada. When I grow up I want to be a badass thru hiker.

Being tourists on Mt. Mammoth, 11,000+ feet!

But eventually all three of us became anxious to get back on the trail; towns are stressful places. We crafted a plan to continue our hike farther north: Boxes family would drop us off in South Lake Tahoe, where a trail angel waited to drive us another few hours north to the small town of Burney. From there we would hike north to Canada, then–weather permitting–we would return south to hike the Sierra in the fall.

 

IT’S ALL UPHILL FROM HERE

We had to wait over the weekend for our resupply package in Burney, so our generous trail angel hosts treated us to local sights: hot springs, lava tunnel caves, waterfalls, and swimming holes. In return we treated them to dinner at the end of the third day, and they dropped us off at the trailhead still tipsy from $5 margaritas. We camped just a quarter mile in, and our adventure resumed in the morning.

Northern California is a beautiful place. It’s so green, and full of mountains and ancient forests. That first morning out of Burney Falls State Park I found myself crying for joy to be in such a beautiful place after my desert nightmare. Shade is never hard to find, and water is in ample supply. For the first time since starting this hike, I found myself in great spirits. I also found myself HUNGRY. Actually hungry! I soon discovered that my food planning from the desert definitely did not translate well to up here, and I didn’t have enough food. By the second day I ate all of my daily rations by lunch, still hungry for more.

Mt. Shasta

But I’m eating! It’s so wonderful to actually want to eat, and to want more. This means I have the energy to hike faster and farther than ever. Much to my dismay, Bones started having trouble with his knee, and Boxes has ankle issues. This is such a strange predicament, to be the one who waits for the team to catch up, and wants to keep going when the others decide it’s time for camp. It’s as if Bones and I swapped roles. Time for some empathy, I suppose.

At the time of writing, I’m currently in Etna, CA. We hitched into town a few days earlier than scheduled so we could do a little something for Bones’ birthday. So far, most of our resupply packages have been lost or turned away, and the town has no cell phone service to call customer support. I’ll reiterate: towns are overwhelmingly stressful places, and I don’t want to be in them longer than I have to be. That is at least until we are done with the trail. My life is on the PCT right now, and everything else is a waste of time.

Though I do admit, it feels good to be typing on an actual keyboard for the first time in almost two months.

I just want to get back on the trail, and stay there.

Ain’t that the truth.

Actual Trudging

So, let’s talk about how much I hate the desert.

I grew up in Michigan, where the winters are characteristically cold and dry, with at least a few feet of snow. The upstairs of my childhood home had no heat, no insulation, and old drafty windows. Naturally that’s where my bedroom was, and sometimes I woke up seeing my breath, scratching ice off my windows to see outside. I wasn’t miserable though; I’m a cold loving creature.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy summers, especially dry heat! But I cannot handle the deserts of the American Southwest, especially in late June and on the PCT.

Yesterday it was 98F by 8am. I was trudging down the trail to Hiker Town with just a few liters of water left. Once again it had been hard to put food down for the last few days, I blame the heat and the swarms of black flies the day before. In order to eat anything I had to hide under my tent’s footprint! In 100+ heat! So, I was so hungry I felt sick, yay! I nibbled here and there to keep it at bay and otherwise filled my stomach with water. At least I wouldn’t be dehydrated too (although, since then, I’ve learned that the nausea associated with hunger could be linked to my current high-carb diet. A ‘Keto Flu’. I will be incorporating more fats into my diet from now on).

Hiding from the flies.

By 9am it was over 100F and shade was becoming less common on this stretch of trail. My sunbrella provided some relief, except when the heat reflected off the ground and turned it into a human convection oven. Every chance I got I would stop under a shady tree, throw down my pack, and sit on my butt until my head stopped swimming. At one point Trip passed my while I rested. When did I pass him? I thought I was at the rear of our crew. Welp. Now I really am. Crap. The longer I take to get out of here the hotter it’s going to be. I’m only 4 miles away! FOUR MILES IS NOTHING!

Get up, get going. Sweat a bunch, waver a little, sigh with relief in a brief gust of wind.

My favorite thing to do when there’s a breeze is to arch my back and create a passage between myself and my pack, so when I straighten up I’m gifted with a cold shock of chilled sweat on my spine.

10am, the trail joins a dirt road. Half a mile up is hiker town. I stare the road down; it’s very straight and very flat with no shade. Awesome. To my right is a field with what looks a lot like a dead heifer rotting in the grass. I know the feeling, man.

Honestly, the road walk wasn’t very long. I measure the passage of time with how many songs I can get through. I don’t think I even got through two songs, but it felt like an hour.

How do people live out here? It feels like the life is being sucked out of me with a hair dryer. Do people enjoy this?

Masochists.

I stumble to the highway and see Hiker Town across the way. There’s a big American flag and I see a row of ‘Wild West’ buildings behind the fence. Post Office… General Store… Doctors Office… I briefly consider how neat it would be if they were actual businesses to help us hikers out. It is in fact a sort of Hostel, and each building is a room one could rent.

There’s a grassy area in the center of the lot with what appears to be a gaggle of hikers.

I also see shade.

I stumble in. Someone welcomes me, and my crew begins clapping for me.

Hooray.

I didn’t die.

But I think I’d rather be dead.

I collapse into a chair under a tree as someone says ‘Someone else was sitting there… oh fuck it,’ and I gasp for breath. I’m dizzy. I want to throw up. The shade is nice but I am so hot. Time passes while I rest and sip my warm water. The crew goes to the cafe, and one of the hosts asks if I would like some watermelon. “I would love some watermelon,” I blurt out, sitting up straight. Soon enough I have a gigantic plate of melon on my lap and in my mouth. He was right, I feel better quickly, although a little uncomfortable from suddenly having something in my stomach. I feel well enough to take a cold shower and join the crew at the cafe.

The crew!

Heat exhaustion is not a fun thing to experience. I only realize this is what was happening later on; thanks Google. The question is, how do I prevent it in the future? I cooled myself as often as I could, and was drinking lots of water and electrolytes…

The answer is easy.

Get the fuck out of the desert.

And it just so happens that I am in the coming hours.

Build a Bridge and Get Over It

Here I am, in Palmdale. Yet again I’ve caught something and I’m down for the count. At least this time I knew what I came down with (a cold), and I know how to treat it (rest). But this cold did something no cold has ever done to me: clogged my ear and gave me vertigo. How the… how the heck can I hike with this?

Why the hell does this keep happening?

Is it me?

Am I doing this to myself?

Am I… a wuss?

Maybe. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m just trying to get attention, like the youngest child/only daughter I am. “Pity me! I’m miserable! Give me your love and attention!”

…didn’t I come out here to be miserable though? To test my mettle? To push my limits?

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered quitting at this point. Yeah there’d be a lot of consequences for that, and a lot of hard shit to process while I get back on my feet, but the weak part of me seems okay with that.

Anything is better than this misery, right?

Wrong.

A divorce is worse than this misery. Being alone is worse. Knowing that I dragged my ass out here for nothing is worse, and I forced Evan into this.  

The consequences of quitting are worse than the consequences of continuing.

I need to keep going and I need to be tougher on myself. Yes, it’s okay to be gentle and take it easy, but not when you’re trying to walk from Mexico to Canada. You just can’t. It won’t happen.

I’ve walked 400+ miles so far, but it took 6 weeks, and I can do so much better than that. I’m not pushing myself enough. I’m taking the easy way out each time. I’ll take a short day over a long day whenever I can because ‘I don’t know how I’ll feel’. Bullshit, Weasel, that’s the point. When you get there you’ll find out how you feel, and then you’ll deal with it. You’ll never do 20+ mile days if you never try to.

I need to stop hitting that snooze button and get the fuck out of my sleeping bag and tackle the day with gusto. Siestas are still good, but not super long ones. Then get the rest of the day out of the way. I need to eat my food that I take, whether I like it or not. Nothing has made me ACTUALLY vomit yet, so just eat it. Jfc.

Grow up, Weasel. Be the badass you’re meant to be.

Stop making excuses.

It’s always something isn’t it?

Day 21

Believe it or not, it’s actually difficult for me to write romantically about things I’m currently experiencing. This is probably why for the most part I’ve only written about my pain and frustrations on the trail. I haven’t had a lot of time or mental space to have romantic thoughts about the trail; pain tends to take that luxury away from you. Some parts of the day are like a vacation, sitting in the shade eating a snack, watching the colors of the hills shift as the day rolls on. Other parts are punishment, like marching across the desert under the whip of your slave master. Sometimes I make myself deals. If I can make it to X mile today, I get a really good dinner. If I don’t, I have to eat the food I’ve been leaving at the bottom of my back as if I don’t have it.

Yesterday we hiked 17 miles, from mile 201 to 218. Add in a few side trips and we probably did more like 18 miles. This seems to be our limit right now. But hey, I’ve hiked over 200 miles! I should be pretty proud, right?

Nope, that’s another luxury that pain strips from you. I feel nothing but misery. Around mile 12 yesterday, in the hot desert sun, I had an asthma attack. Not a huge one, I actually managed to get my breathing under control by the time I found my inhaler. But it really set me back for the rest of the day.

Ever since our series of zero days in Idyllwild I’ve been easily exhausted. Before I could hike uphill no problem, only stopping to catch my breath occasionally. Now I get winded just going a few feet uphill, even without my pack! Briefly I thought that maybe it was from my Nalgene and drinking hose, which I discovered to be growing mold (I’ve since discarded the tube and sent the Nalgene home), but now I think it’s simple a food issue.

Haven’t been eating much because I haven’t been hungry. But the truth is, I haven’t been eating because I don’t like my food. I can only force myself to eat so much before I literally gag on it. I was trying to eat a snickerdoodle last night on our way into Whitewater Preserve and it became gummy and glue-like on my mouth. I couldn’t swallow it. Chronic dry mouth aside, the sweets and the breads are not doing it for me. I had to stop myself from eating all my Chex-Mix in one day and when I came across some Trail Magic with baggies of Cheezits, I ended up swapping some of my cookies for extra bags. I want the salty and the savory stuff!! Just insert it into my veins!!!!

I managed to yogi some couscous (Moroccan flavor!), ramen, and Idahoans from another hiker that was carrying too much. Hopefully these get me through the next three days to Big Bear (by the way, turns out the bacon in Idahoans are vegetarian friendly. Score!)

The next town has a proper grocery store. I hope to find lots of food I can actually keep down and pack extra.

I guess you could say my hiker hunger has hit, but it’s very picky.

And that pickiness could be deadly.

Two days later, and I’m not in much better shape. My exhaustion has turned into nausea, which of course means I eat even less! Everything I eat tastes and feels disgusting, and my stomach fights it. I try filling my stomach with water, and it dislikes that even more. I haven’t thrown up yet, but man do I get close. I can’t even force myself to just get it over with!!

Britney thinks I may be experiencing some kind of dietary deficiency, not so much of a vitamin or mineral, but the shock of my system not getting something that I ate regularly in the front country. The only foods I could think of are fresh vegetables. I ate those close to every day. I seem to be craving cheese and tomato lately. I can easily inhale salty ramen as per the usual (although I don’t use the packets, msg gives me migraines as far as I can tell). So what’s the deal?

I’ve been concern that maybe I picked up norovirus, which is apparently rampant on this part of the trail… but I haven’t had all the symptoms of that. Altitude sickness? 

I think I’ve been running a fever as well, since I’m sweating myself out of my sleeping bag every night, but still freezing.

Over three days I only managed to hike 27 miles. We’ve been delayed and the extra time has eaten into our food stores. So now not only am I unable to eat, but Evan and Britney are running low on their own food. Not good. This was only supposed to be a 6 day hike from Idyllwild to Big Bear, and that was cutting it close.

Friends are good.

On day 5 of Idyllwild, still 20 miles out from town, we made the executive decision for me to jump off trail and into town while Evan and Britney hike the rest of the way.

Let’s be real. I’m slowing them down. They can go so much faster than I’m letting them.

So I managed to get a lift from a day hiker named Larry. Evan collected my food and we parted ways. While he’ll be with Britney, it’ll be his first time alone on the trail.

He’ll be alright.

Meanwhile, I’ll be resting in town, eating as much food as I can keep down, and figuring out what I CAN stomach on the trail.

Pizza kept down pretty good.

If only there were a cat rental service. Between you and me, I think I’m deficient of vitamin C.

Vitamin cat :’c

Update: After 4 days in town and a visit to the clinic, the docs think I’ve been dehydrated and/or dealing with something viral. If I’m not feeling better but Friday it’s recommended that I return for blood work. It’s Thursday night now, and I’m hoping that’s not the case. Hotels are expensive, town food is expensive, and I’m bored. I feel almost better again, but I think we’re going to stay here one more day just to be sure.

I checked my credit card statement the other day. I shouldn’t have.

On the bright side, Big Bear Lake is a nice town and tbh if we dropped our packs and got jobs here I don’t think I’d be upset.

But I’m joking, of course.

Canada awaits.