Tuesday, October 20, 2015

July 23-26 Day 88-91 Perfect Moments and Lazy Days

I'm in a funk. Not knowing what I want to do. To stay on trail, or to try to get to Warren? Did I really want to leave, or was it a reaction to not feeling connected to this experience the way I thought I would?

When we all woke up by the side of the road, we had a lovely sunrise in the crisp air over the flat stretch that surrounded us. There were some low mountains in the nearby distance that drew dark clouds to them and more double rainbows. It was one of my favorite mornings, watching the guys slowly wake up from the fogged up windows of Whistle's car. There was a muted quality to their conversations as I watched from our little metal and glass shelter. One of the guys would look at the other and say something. The other would laugh, silently from my perspective, but it was clearly a deep appreciative belly laugh with the most wonderful look of relaxed happiness in his eyes. This pure, relaxed joy feels so right, like the way it always should be. I knew I would never forget that morning and all it represented. That laugh made my eyes tear up. I didn't want it to end. I never wanted to see those faces, so care-free now, look hurt or anxious. It was only a moment, but the kind of moment that seems to go on indefinitely, repeating in a loop in your memory.
(A photo from the last stretch)

The guys had another couple of miles to do before getting to the highway. I had decided the night before to drive into town with Whistle. When it comes to road walking, I'm not exceptionally uptight about connecting my footsteps when it's only a couple of miles. Some people frown and lecture about the purity of the thru-hike, but I hike my hike the way I believe in, and getting to the restaurant for breakfast ASAP is what I believed in that morning. So Whistle and I enjoyed a leisurely meal and were soon joined by the others. We all got a room at the motel and took care of our town chores, which included a drive to a nearby town for resupply and groceries.
(That's a lot of food!)

We ended up Zeroing in Lima due to some severe thunderstorms that rolled in, all of us not feeling motivated to keep hiking. I know, you're probably getting tired of hearing that, but it's just the way it was. We were getting tired, in general. We got 2 rooms again, with Grim, Whistle, and me in the smaller one, and Guy, Wonderer, Mehap, and Apache in the larger room with the kitchenette. The gas station had DVDs for rent and the rooms had DVD players, which, if you've ever been deprived of flashy movie entertainment for this long, is such a treat and very exciting. We were a tad too excited and rented 3 movies along with way too much food from the grocery store in the nearby town. But, we managed to finish all the food, as hikers do, and left one movie unwatched.

It was a great snuggle day. Just lay around, let the muscles and joints rest as the rain fell outside. It was necessary. One of those sweet zeros that don't feel like an over indulgence so much as a rehabilitating respite. Not much else happened aside from interesting conversations with the motel owners who were looking to sell the spot and get out of Lima.

And so, with a lack of excuses to stay longer, we headed out the next day, taking the Mack's Inn cutoff, a shortcut that takes us through a resort town where we could get food and resupply. Apache and Mehap may have been the only one who planned for this resupply, carrying just enough food to get that far. The rest of us carried way too much food.

And then the best trail magic happened!

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