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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 3, 2011
Date: Tue, Aug 9th, 2011
Entry Visits: 2,960
Journal Visits: 60,968
Guestbook Views: 7,376
Guestbook Entrys: 136
Day 99 - To Be Continued
This has to be the hardest journal entry I'll have to write. I have probably not been quite as forthcoming in previous entries about how ill I felt last week. It was a really a scary time feeling so helpless out in the middle of the wild on my own and only having the reassurance of the SPOT as a last ditch rescue. I had been feeling very fatigued for some time and this was clearly a wake up call that I was running on empty and needed to slow down. Up until a couple of weeks back, the pain and suffering were tolerable because of the wonderful experience of the wild and rugged terrain with the gorgeous views every day. But the pain/reward ratio started to change and now I was not enjoying this feeling of total fatigue every day and all day. The only way I knew to recover was to rest up and slow down the pace.
I also looked at the 1000 miles to go. At my current pace that would take close to two months. I checked on a southbound hiker, Gadget, who is about my age and did the PCT in about the same time and he is currently in Yellowstone and likely we'd cross paths around Brooks Lake. That means he took two months to do Montana and the Yellowstone part of Wyoming. Two months from now is mid-October and the likelihood of me getting through before the snow starts again is pretty remote and slowing down now was only going to stretch this out even further. On top of that I wanted to be home by late September as it's our 40th wedding anniversary and it wouldn't be fair on Ann not to be there. That deadline was now virtually impossible.
So with all of these considerations, I made the difficult decision to suspend the hike here in Pinedale. It was not easy to accept this reality and I was pretty upset emotionally that this was the only prudent path to take. I'll mull over the winter if I want to come back and finish it next year.
So the next challenge was how to get back to LA. That turned out to be quite easy as the Great Outdoors store has shuttles that go to Jackson Hole airport from where I got a flight via Salt Lake City to LAX. So tomorrow morning I head off back home. I hope this isn't too much of a disappointment to all of you who have been reading the journal and have sent me such nice encouraging messages. This trail has been significantly more difficult than anything I've done before and of course this year has been one of the toughest on record for snow. But I also learned a lot and for the most part had an enjoyable time.
Till the next hike .........
Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Part Deux
The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more: www.continentaldividetrail.org
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