Day 64

PCT Mile Marker 1820 – 1820

Miles Hiked 0

I got up in the middle of the night and ate a bunch of peanut butter and ibuprofen.

It was cold and I was awake, so I got up and put my rain fly on my tent too.

Then I was really super wide awake and irritated about it. Today was a Zero. No miles to hike. I could’ve slept in. But I was wide awake at 4:30 am.

So I took a Benadryl.

That did the trick.

I woke up at 9:30 in the morning with no idea what was happening or where I was. Drool flaked off my cheek. My hair a giant nest at the nape of my neck.

Ready for the mice to move in.

But I’d slept in, so I felt all proud of myself. I told Turtle last night that I was going to sleep all the way until I woke up.

I guess I meant it.

After I sorted myself out and went out to breakfast at the restaurant, I found Turtle sitting at the picnic tables outside the store. I joined him for a few hours while I waited for my Mom, my nephew, and my nephew’s other Grandma. They were making a special visit to Crater Lake to see me for my birthday.

I love birthdays. Particularly mine. I love when people are all happy and want to party just because I’m alive.

The sun waggled around in the sky, making it hard to stay in one spot for long. You’d think you were all set in the shade and then BAM!, you’re in the sun again.

A gaggle of hikers followed the shade around the tables and trees outside the store for hours. Until everyone was standing in the shady bare dirt staring at the sunny picnic tables with one brave hiker still out there. Then we dragged a picnic table under the tree and crammed ourselves into the tiny space between the tree and the store.

Hiker in the sun: “I don’t know. The sun is kind of nice.”

Hiker from Ireland: “If sun was a good thing, God would’ve given it to the Irish.” He moved deeper into the shade of the pine tree.

We watched the helicopters fly around with their buckets of water. Working away.

One hiker said she has been hiking fifty miles a day. She carries very little, and it sounded like that didn’t include a tent. She said she wears her mosquito head net when she goes to sleep. Sometimes her head net falls onto her cheek in the night, and she wakes up in the morning with a thousand mosquito bites on that one cheek.

I packed up my campsite and left a note for my Mom that I’d gone to the restaurant. All the hikers knew I was waiting for my Mom.

I went over and ate lunch, then left a note there for my Mom that said I was at the store. I figured I’d cover all my bases.

Back at the store, hikers greeted me with, “Is Mom here yet?”

And then she was there. And my little nephew. And his other grandma. And we were all hugging and happy and loving.

They whisked me away to a hotel room in Klamath Falls, and we went out for a lovely steak dinner.

And as I was falling asleep, all tucked into a real bed, I got to say, “Goodnight Mom. I love you.”

And I actually got to hear her voice in the dark, “Goodnight sweetie. I love you too.”

Categories: Life


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