It was hard to leave Rick and Ritas place . They were the kindest and most down to earth folks who have hosted me so far . Rita is always ready to laugh and chat , and Rick is as straightforward as they come . Their place was homely , comfortable and a perfect stop for through hikers .
But im learning that some of the balance on the pathway is sometimes just keeping on it . Too many days off breeds a sense of lethargy and indifference , and makes it hard to get started again . Just the one extra Zday had me thinking about all sorts of excuses to have another .
So here we are , me and Gus , on the highway , hitching and walking to Warner Springs camp ground to start again on the PCT . We get a lift the last mile to the trailhead with Mary Poppins’ mum . She is helping out in some logistics , picking up a few hikers and taking them to town . She drops us at the trail head and we find Camel back, Wildfire , Mary Poppins and Wing it hanging out at the picnic table and looking forward to a run into Lake Isabella and some shopping and eating . Its great to see Wing it . We celebrate the Liverpool result and skip through our hiker tales . Wing it says he will be back on the path tommorow , so we agree to catch up at Kennedy Meadows . We both want to have a look at the conditions ourselves before making a call on wether to attempt a crossing or not . The hiker rumour mill is just that , a rumour mill , and it feels right to talk to the hikers up there before believing to much of the talk . Quite a few have opted to skip the High Sierras already . The word is that nobody is getting through the snow up past Kennedy Meadows .
I talk to Wildfire about her plans , her ankle is pretty much healed now and she is knocking out 25mile days pretty regularly , so she wants to keep flowing . She has decided to rent a car and head up to Oregon and continue at a lower elevation which means less interuption from snow. She then plans to return and finish with the Sierras later in the season , when the snows are melted . I tell her that I am keen to go up to Oregon too in a car and would happily chip in , but I do have to hike to Kennedy Meadows to pick up equipment ive posted up there . We swap numbers , just in case things flow that way .
Im back on trail now , and im finding it hard work to get a rythm . I take it easy and click a few pictures . Im blown away yet again by new and majestic horizons . The distances so great that my eyes cant take the scope of it in and i have to struggle a while to get my focus .
Gus and I share a lunch spot and rest a while . We are both comfortable with the quiet and with the long loneliness the track often offers , it makes the company of Gus so much more rich . To take so much as unspoken . We eat in amongst trees and the only sound is the call of birds .
Im putting in a solid afternoon shift on the treadmill. I have found sometimes im just doing the miles . The newness and novelty has worn off now and left a rawness and reality . Their is a practicle aspect to each day that has emerged in amongst the wonder of these adventures.Put simply its that I know i have to keep walking . Yes , i know i could just get on a bus and go home ! Thats not what i mean though . I know ,if i want to complete my personal pathway , I have to find the nitty gritty to keep on keeping on .
Thats such a good lesson for my life , so many times ive wanted to chuck in a towel , for whatever reason . My only motivation to keep me on the path has sometimes been , that I had no options . I struggled to stay working in dead end jobs , struggled to keep paying bills and taxes , struggled to keep sociable when i felt like being alone . The pathway is like that , i struggle sometimes to keep on it .
Am i fixed only at a final destination ? Am i focusing enough on the here and now of the journey ? What is the balance i need between the two ? I know its within me , yet im reminded a dozen times a day that its also outside of me . Everytime im woken from my daydreaming on the path . I am visited by sudden beauty , beauty that is the purpose of the moment.Beauty like the call of the Owl down in the trees while im writing this . Its imediacy is its medicene .
These spontaneous moments are the very fabric of motivation . If I can be really with the moment , then it is in the moments that nature calls my name . In turn im energised by this call , as its suddenness and imediacy fills me with awe , and with enthusiasm .
I think it was John Lennon who said “life is something you do inbetween dreams” . Id offer that “life is a way of waking up inside a dream ” , and i feel its really through the nature pathway that this becomes clear and simple. I mean realy clear and realy simple .
I keep walking into the afternoon . The rain starts . Its the first time ive been rained on in five weeks . It smells great , but feels like i should set up my tent and stay dry . Romantic travel adventure aside , getting wet on the pathway is still just getting wet on the pathway .
Gus laughs as I ‘huff and puff’ and struggle putting up my tent . I laugh at myself . Its good to have company . Keeps me grounded , and when your walking on a pathway there is no other place for the feet to be .