Today’s Miles: 0
Total Miles: 258.3
Zero Days in Bend, Oregon
I had, quite possibly, the very best sleep of my ENTIRE life last night. A bed, pillow, and fan for white noise; it doesn’t get much better than that. I was sore, definitely feeling the 21 miles I hiked yesterday, and I was thankful rest was on the agenda for the day.
Taking a big trail break, I spent 5 nights and 4 days in Bend. This was mostly to give Carl an opportunity to catch up on his work and life. Hadlie drove Hux to Bend so he could spend the days with me.
I originally planned on spending two zero days at Elk Lake, but since I had a few more low mileage days on the itinerary in the next couple sections of the trail, I simply planned to merge those days, affording me extra zero days in Bend.
It still seemed silly to have a 9 mile hiking day. My sweet spot was 17 miles. It was a good distance to hike most of the day at a pleasant pace. I could take breaks, take my time, and not feel crazy sore the next day.
It was a little weird to be back in the world. We went to the Columbia Outlet, and walking through a store felt strange, especially during the pandemic. With my weight loss, I had to be careful about buying anything at my current size, but I did find some new shorts to replace the ones I lost on the trail.
It was great to see Hadlie, albeit briefly, and to spend several days with Hux. I was able to catch up on my computer needs, going through all my emails, paying bills, and catching up on life’s responsibilities. We even spent a day at Tumalo State Park.
I washed all my gear; clothes, backpack, water bottles and water filter. I also spent time organizing my resupply stash.
Carl and I tried to plan for him to join me on the next little leg – Elk Lake to Lava lake campground. I was SO excited, since this section was supposed to be a major highlight of the trail, but it just didn’t pan out. I would need to hike it alone.
I really struggled with the news. I was looking forward to the company, and I wanted to share this epic section with someone. I was so disappointed, I even considered quitting. My emotions were high, and I was tired. Carl talked with me on the phone.
“Heather, we will all be proud of you no matter what. You already hiked a really long distance, but I know you will be disappointed if you decide to stop now, and I don’t want you to be mopey for the decision. I know you can do it. You have just been off the trail for too many days, once you get back out there, you will be fine, and loving it again.”
Of course he was right. Taking a break is good to rejuvenate, but you can’t take too long of a break. For me, I just lost my trail rhythm and routine. It can be kinda hard to get back out there.
So, we planned for Hux to stay with my parents for two days and one night while I hiked to Lava Lake Campground. This was his very first solo overnight at grandma and grandpa’s house. We were all earning our bravery badge in the summer of 2020!
The new plan was to all meet up at the campground. Carl could take Hux home, and I would get to see everyone one more time before my next really BIG leg.
Did you miss the beginning of my Oregon PCT journey? Begin with Day 1: Here