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Thursday, June 14, 2018

PCT - Day 55: 6/12/2018 - Found Kate, Leaving VVR Alone

Trail miles: .6 from 873.9 - 874.5
Miles walked: 9.1 (includes 7.2 bonus miles on the Bear Ridge Trail to VVR)

My day started with pissing off Ziploc yet again, because I had deviated from a plan we discussed the previous evening. I changed my mind and decided rather than leaving camp at 6:30 am and meeting up with Kate at VVR  that, instead, I wanted to wait for Kate since we now knew for sure she was behind us. I hiked a half mile to the junction of the Bear Ridge Trail and plopped myself nearly in the trail as to not be missed.

Kate arrived only 15 minutes after I sat down. I greeted her and my greeting was met with anger and hostility. I understand her anger of being separated on the trail. I had also been angry about it the previous day when I thought she was in front of us. She asked me to explain what happened, but after I got one sentence out, she hiked off quickly refusing to even listen to my side of the story.

I had told her that initially after Ziploc had come up from behind me, we assumed Kate was still in front of us because neither of us had seen her. We waited ten minutes at the junction of the alternate crossing for Evolution Creek and when she didn’t show up, we assumed she was ahead of us. It was at this point of the conversation that Kate just stormed off. What she didn’t get to hear all the things Ziploc and I did to try to figure out where Kate was.

Bear Ridge Trail
But, I never even got an opportunity to tell her any of that. I just got the brunt of her anger, and in the process I also pissed off Ziploc for changing my plan this morning to wait for Kate. It was at this point, while hiking down Bear Ridge Trail by myself and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes that I decided that I just need to hike by myself going forward.

Upon my arrival at VVR around 10:00am, I immediately at an ice cream bar, drank a Firestone Easy Jack IPA, and chugged a Mountain Dew while doing laundry. My $7 shower was also worth every penny. I had missed breakfast, which was a shame since I rolled into VVR with one handful of almonds and that’s it for food.

Resupply backpack, body and sole

I setup my tent and just laid there enjoying a reprieve from the incessant mosquito assault. At 12:00pm, I walked back up to the store to order my first of two lunches and get my resupply package.

I expected to have WiFi at VVR to make a call or two and pay my daughter’s tuition bill which usually rolls in the middle of June. VVR has no WiFi though.

Multiple times today I considered quitting the trail completely. I’m not even sure why, but honestly it’s probably just psychological. I’m just sort of a wreck mentally right now. Plus, my body has numerous problems; sprained right ankle, hurting left knee, and pain in my right elbow (the same one I broke in February). That and a few times in the past two weeks I have been pissing blood.

That being said, I felt slightly better after being at VVR for a bit. In eight hours I drank five IPAs, a Mountain Dew, and a Pepsi. In that same period of time, I ate a bacon cheeseburger w/ fries, a side of chicken fingers, another side of fries, an ice cream bar, a half a bag of Cheetos, 12 double stuff Oreo cookies, and a plate of beef tacos with black beans & Spanish rice served with pineapple salsa.

After hiking away from me earlier this morning, Kate came by my tent as I was doing tent repairs. She wanted to say goodbye since she was leaving on the afternoon ferry. I politely wished her well and we shared a brief emotionless hug. She left and I suspect it’s the last I’ll see of her due to what is probably permanent damage to our friendship.

Ziploc also tried chatting with me a couple times, but I just sort of ignored her, mostly because I was still pissed about the exchange we had this morning regarding changing plans. That and after I caught hostility from both Kate and Ziploc, I arrived at VVR to find them chatting away like old friends. Some things I’ll never understand.

VVR (Vermilion Valley Resort)
Anyway, I’d already decided that I am continuing onward tomorrow by myself. I went and hid in my tent at 6:30pm and avoided everyone. I’m leaving VVR on the first ferry in the morning. I find the constant drama, coordination, and bull shit that comes from hiking with others to be a mental drain. For a while at least, I’ll stick to hiking and camping by myself assuming there are camp spots away from other hikers. I will get by with my music, star gazing, naps in the sun, and talking to my only real friend, myself.

It’s fitting that as I finish writing this, my music, which is on shuffle, started playing the song “Don’t make me go” from the punk rock band Off With Your Heads. For those of you too lazy to listen to a three minute song, the lyrics go like this:

Please don’t make me go home
I can’t handle the sight of that place again
Please don’t make me go home
I’m wanted there even less than I’m wanted here

If I have to go home and say I’m sorry for things I’m not sorry for
I’d rather keep on destroying myself for my own needs, than opening up that door

Please don’t make me go

Please don’t make me go home
They blame everything on me even though it’s not my fault
Please don’t make me go home
I can’t handle seeing that place again

I know they think I’m fucked up
I know exactly where everybody stands
Please don’t make me go home
And face everything that made me who I am

Please don’t make me go
Please don’t make me go
I’m not going home
I’m not going home
Please don’t make me go

I used to listen to this song and think it was appropriate for how I never want to go back to where I grew up in Massachusetts. Now it has a second and wildly different meaning.

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