Day 102: Small Steps

I have been having something of a crisis of faith out here. For the last few hundred miles my feet have been begging for mercy and my mind as been longing for meaning. I’ve felt lost. I’ve lacked purpose. I have been mainly in pain.

Today began slowly — a leisurely late wake up, an easy, meandering packing of all the things, a lengthy breakfast. It was an antithesis of the cracking of the whip morning I had planned.

When Boomerang suggested I only walk 12 miles and camp together in the Burney Falls State Park, I agreed somewhat guiltily. And then I was so happy! Camp food and a tent and Boomerang and fishing and stunning falls — what more is needed?

I slathered on some sunscreen and hit the road at high noon. Right away I found some incredible trail magic (an oasis of tent and food and trail graffitied picnic table) and went along munching on Red Vines. 

 I have lost too much weight now, and my goal is to eat 24/7. This also can be quite fun, I have to admit. If the food is good it can be a hobby. When the food is bad, it is more like torture. Today was a good food day — I munched a carrot and apple and $1 Cliff Bars from the grocery.

My feet burned with hot, searing pain. I tried new insoles, and they are not a good fit. I felt like yelling at my stupid feet, because they are the only ones holding us all back, but then I remembered how far they have taken me, and tried to temper my angst.

I bumbled my way through burning hot “forest” (somehow never casting a shadow my way) and ended up at the park. There was a beautiful store, and I settled in to wait for Boomerang.

I keep thinking about my purpose out here — and rolling around the idea of quitting in my head. I am embarrassed to even entertain the thought, but the idea of “fun” echoes in my brain. That was my goal, all those months ago.

Should my goal change, now that fun is often on the back burner? Or must I change up my hike? Or just my shoes? 

 When Boomerang arrived we went fishing. I sat on the shore and read while B caught all sorts of rocks. When the line broke on one we went to set up camp. We made a real meal of chicken and rice and yogurt and scallions, and were pleased as punch.

I even had fun.