June 9, 2016
We woke up groggy around 8 am. We were so tired last night that we didn’t even shower before going to bed.
Normally that would be fine but we hadn’t showered (well, other than Laurie who had an accidental river shower) in 6 days.
This decision was hard. There didn’t, and still doesn’t, seem to be a “right” choice.
Do we stay and face our fears? Do we suck it up and be miserable so we can keep walking a “pure” thru hike? Are we just being wimps?
So many thoughts went through our heads. We discussed, pondered and forgave ourselves. We made a decision to be safe. Yes, we probably would have been fine had we continued on but it may not have been fun.
Our conversations kept circling back to why we are here. We wanted to explore the mountains of the west and enjoy one another’s company. Much of that enjoyment comes from feeling confident and comfortable – neither of which we felt after crossing Bear Creek.
We both knew that this thru hike would be hard, but Laurie never expected to be scared. She grew up backpacking and normally feels at ease in the woods.
This rattled her.
We both knew a lot could change but we had secretly hoped for a straight forward thru hike. This year, the nature gave us obstacles.
Just as in life, one has to constantly make changes and adapt to what nature provides.
Laurie felt like a wimp. She felt embarrassed for getting scared. But she also felt uncomfortable pushing past her limits. She is learning to embrace her emotions and listen to her gut – even if it makes her feel foolish in front of others.
Andy, who originally was excited about a pure thru hike, is focused on getting back on the trail together – wherever that may be.
It is hard to walk away. It seems the longer you stay away the harder it is to get back on trail.
We want to keep hiking. After conversations with rangers, other hikers, scouring Facebook and other social media pages and looking at maps we have decided to jump back on in Belden. It is lower in elevation so ideally less snow and thus fewer sketchy water crossings.
We will be ahead of the pack so conveniences like the water report and footprints will not be updated or be present. The challenges continue but these we are prepared for.
We will continue to go one town at a time and alter our plans as needed.
We intend to circle back to the Sierras to complete our hike. But again, step by step we will see how this adventure unfolds.
Thanks for all of your support. We have received a lot of messages and it means a lot to us.
We will update again when back on trail. As for now we are enjoing time with family both in LA and Oakland and resting our tired bodies.
Tonight we are grateful for technology and helpful intel.