It’s been almost two weeks since I and the others flipped up to Northern California, to avoid the snow and creeks in The Sierra.
That was the right decision for safety, I’m aware of that. But to be honest, it was not the right decision for pride.
Ever since I skipped almost four hundred miles, the hike has not been the same. There has been a sadness, some sort of weight in me, at every mile marker, in every town. Because I wasn’t supposed to be here yet. It’s like a book that was meant to be in chronological order, but isn’t.
I set out to hike from Mexico to Canada. And I’m still doing the PCT. Right now I’m in Old Station, CA. But I haven’t actually hiked here from Mexico. So, in a way, I’m no longer hiking the hike I wanted to.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s still beautiful (NorCal is my favorite section so far). But there is something less romantic about skipping a section. Even if you come back to do it later.
I passed the official halfway marker for the PCT a few days ago. But I haven’t even gotten halfway yet. And when I reach Oregon, I won’t be able to say that I hiked through the entire state of California.
I will still hike the entire trail. And the way to do it shouldn’t matter much. I will see the same amazing things, meet the same wonderful people. I’m just doing it a bit differently now. Hopefully it will end up being just as magical.