mile 587.3 – 608.9
21.6 miles
Just like in real life, it’s hard to not compare myself to others on trail. Someone will pass me and I’ll begin to wonder why I’m so slow. Am I doing something wrong? Why is it so difficult to just be okay with going at my own pace- on trail and back home? 

It was a lovely, lonesome day. In the morning, I occupied a burnt forest full of blackened, twisted trees and wildflowers. All afternoon, grassy pine forest shaded me from the sun. I meandered along, thinking and dreaming, but mostly thinking. Thinking too much. 

It’s been a lonely two days. Where did everyone go? I see a handful of people each day, but they are all new people and no one is very chatty. I’ve seen so many couples this leg, and it makes me miss Hunter and wonder why we’re not here together. Most of my friends are in front of me, a few behind. I’m in between. 

I’m okay with walking alone. I’m fine setting up camp alone. I’m an only child of a single parent. I’m good at entertaining myself. It’s when I start to wonder why I’m alone that the problems begin. Is it me? Is something wrong with me? How exhausting. I’m so fucking sick of being so fucking insecure.

I’m having a good time. I am. Even though I’ve been lonesome the past couple of days, I’ve felt pretty content. I enjoy the quiet. I enjoy the mental and physical freedom of walking alone. Sometimes when I’m hiking with others, I wish for alone time to just be quiet. 

I spent so many years actively struggling with depression that sometimes when I feel pensive I worry that I am becoming depressed again. I had to remind myself today that I’m fine and that its okay to feel neutral or a little down sometimes. It’s not the end of the world.

I’m not sure I came to any conclusions about any of the bothers and worries on my mind today. I guess there’s always tomorrow. And the next day. This I know for sure, though: the solution to my insecurities won’t come from outside of myself; I have to change from within. I have to believe that my friends are my friends because they like me. I have to believe in my intrinsic worth. 

I’m going to do my best to be hiking by 4:00 tomorrow. It’s so hard to get up when it’s dark, but I know if I can do it, my day will be so much easier. I have a 42 mile waterless stretch starting now. I’m only going to carry six liters because I cannot fathom carrying more weight than that. So, part of my strategy is to hike when it’s cool out to cut down on water intake. Fingers crossed. 

My feet feel like raw hamburger and I tweaked my knee this evening, so wish me luck with all that, too. Only about 4.5 more days to Kennedy Meadows, where I will take at least two full days off, maybe three. 

Today I saw Puck, whom I’ve met at least twice before. He didn’t remember me, which was probably the worst thing for my state of mind at the time, and I’m afraid that I kind of called him out on it. I really didn’t mean to, but now I think he’s a little scared of me, and I feel bad about that. Ugh.  

Today’s hike was powered by the spinning wheels of my brain.