Well I’m definitely getting rest and stocking up on calories at this town stop! Despite the sunny afternoon yesterday, storms rolled in during the evening and we are totally socked in – I can barely see the ski lifts across the street. The humidity is 100%, with the dew point equalling the cool 57 degrees outside. I wasn’t feeling too enthused about hiking out, and quickly decided to stay another day when Journal and Contrail told me some locals had informed them the first 3 days out of here are the most scenic. The joy of flip-flopping is that I am no longer worried about “making miles” which still seems to infect many of the NOBOs regardless if they have a deadline to be finished. This is such gorgeous country to travel through- if I can wait 1 more day for the weather to clear I will. Eating, reading, and napping were once again my modus operandi today. Some more excellent food at the Aardvark and the Red Mountain made tummy and my taste buds very very happy!
The only bummer part of the day was that when I started to go through really plan my Oregon resupply stops going SOBO, I took a closer look at the locations of all of the wildfires currently affecting the trail in OR and NoCal. Yowza! I knew from trail friends in the affected areas that they’ve had to drive around closures, but I had no clear comprehension until now. Very sobering. While the situation could be quite different in 2-3 weeks my mind inevitably began thinking “what if it’s not??” I can’t imagine my asthmatic lungs would be happy at all being around smoke all the time, so that could be a “go home” decision point right there. Plus, do I potentially want to skip beautiful closed parts of the trail just to say I thru hiked this year? Rather than coming back in the future when the trail is open? Especially since I’ll be by myself and anticipating not many other hikers around (NOBOs will be in WA. SOBOs already started OR) getting around the closures might be a logistical nightmare as well. Lots to ponder….I can’t quite bring myself to believe my west coast hiking may be over in 2-3 weeks for the year, but if flipping has taught me nothing else it’s that I want to actively enjoy each section I’m hiking through.