I didn't skip a mile from the Canadian border down to Mazama Village below Crater Lake. I even added some 50 miles of trail in-between. Backpacking that far felt great, even in the hard times.
Fires are a blazing in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Alternates and road walks didn't seem feasible. Dad and Chris drove me down to Highway 5 by Dunsmuir (correction: not soda springs) where I got back on trail. I jumped over 300 miles. 300 miles is HUGE. How can I call myself a thru-hiker anymore? Even if I hike down to Mexico and jump back up to finish this skipped section, there is nothing thru about it. I must remember, it's not all about me... What about the people who are effected by the fires? My little hike is so small compared to someone's house going up in flames.
I'm proud of myself for what I've accomplished, but there's a sense of shame on my shoulders. I'm writing this post to admit to others that I didn't hike the same trail as some of you. As with everything, I'm learning, admitting to self can be equally as difficult. I imagine that it's hard to understand this feeling without being on the trail for a few months. As mom always said, "you are exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you need to be doing."
My new mantra shifted to: peace, smile, compassion, RELEASE.
Remember, Bloody Mary, it's about the journey. You're only doing this hike for yourself.