Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail – Day 82

Day- 82
Date- 7-5-16
Location- Side of trail
Elevation-  8,842 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 21.2 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1070.2 miles
Weather/Temp-  clear 60s 70s
Injuries- none
Pain level- low
Spirits/Morale- frustrated
Days without shower- 3
Hunger/craving- pizza


Today was almost one of my worst days…almost.  I couldn’t sleep due to the cramps last night, so I slept in, and didn’t get hiking until after 8; one of my latest starts. 


Katana was tender footed,  but still eager to move.  She hopped a little before getting warmed up and finding her stride.
Despite her eagerness, the terrain just completely fell apart.  Nothing but broken granite,  shale, and lava rock, for mile, after mile, after mile.

Not even ten miles into the day,  Katana couldn’t walk anymore without hopping or limping.  She would still go if I let her, but I don’t have the heart to; I picked her up. 


After a few miles of carrying her up and down climbs, I became so incredibly frustrated and angry, that it caught Schweppes off guard. So angry,  that I felt destructive and violent. The broken rock, and sharp,  pea-gravel like trail was never ending.  I was absolutely fuming on the inside.  I felt this way for hours. 

I had dealt with this type of terrain with Katana on and off for 700 miles in the desert. We suffered through it together,  me carrying her whenever she needed it.  All the while,  my greatest source of strength and resolution coming from the belief that we would leave this terrain behind in the desert; it wouldn’t last forever.  Of course this was nothing more than an assumption, an assumption that I told myself over and over again  to get through the next hundred miles with her,  and next hundred,  and the next hundred…


Now,  almost 1,100 miles in,  I’m faced with the worst broken up rocky trail that I’ve seen so far; right where I lied to myself that it would never be. All of a sudden, the reality that the entire trail may look like this, is really beginning to set in.

I nearly destroyed my spirit thinking about having to carry/put Katana through 1,500 more miles of broken rock. I felt defeated, and nearly had a breakdown. I couldn’t fathom doing this over, and over with her,  for that many more miles. I’d just gotten her back,  and on the third day,  I was already contemplating having to send her home again,  if anything, to save her from anymore unnecessary discomfort. 

I can’t stand the idea of defeat. The very idea makes me sick and angry.  I don’t mind losing battles, but the total loss of a war/endeavor is almost too much for me to handle, and that’s what was plaguing my mind all day. The prospect of failing this thru hike with my dog.  Proving the “nay sayers” right,  and myself wrong. 

It was when I was at the point of ludicrous, irrational frustration/anger that I finally brought myself back down to earth. I was dwelling in the future once again,  that time and place that didn’t exist yet.  I was manifesting a future reality that I honestly had no actual clue about. Once having made this realization, I brought myself back to the present; still not a happy place at the current moment,  but infinitely better than the future I was imagining/creating.

After snapping back to the present, I was able to finish off the day on a positive note,  and crawl into bed in the right frame of mind. Katana was still hopping this evening,  but I’m ready to carry her all day tomorrow if I have to.

I’m going to continue to take this day by day, but if the days continue to have the same rocky pattern, then I’m going to have to make some tough decisions. I’m stubborn and wreckless at times, but I’m rarely careless with the well being of those around me. I won’t let Katana suffer for my own ambitions that she can’t comprehend.  She has no idea what we’re doing,  in her eyes,  this is simply her life…

Aiming over 20 miles for Lake Tahoe tomorrow…


Go to Day 83.

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