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Day 9: A Matter of Perspective

Posted by on May 12, 2015

May 9, 2015
Warner Springs Resource Center (109.5) to Campsite on trail just past Lost Valley Spring (120.0)
10.5 PCT miles today, .5 non-PCT miles today
121.5 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 2,207 ft, – 614 ft

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We ended up taking a full 24 hour break at Warner Springs, which to a beginning thru-hiker, feels like an eternity. But really everything out here is just a matter of perspective. Taking an afternoon and morning off after 8 straight days of hiking would normally sound not only wise, but necessary. It’s just that right now, with about 2,600 more miles to go, and every day bringing us closer to autumn, and hikers hiking past every hour or so, every moment off our feet feels a bit like a moment wasted.

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Today has brought us a few different reminders that perspective is everything. Our original plan was to leave the resource center, and my mom, by 11am so we could get in a solid 12 miles this afternoon. When 11 came and went, and we were still organizing, rationing food, and charging devices, we realized we would have to adjust our plan a bit. We finally left at 1pm, and by the time we made camp at 5:30pm we found ourselves stating dejectedly that it was a shame we had “only” hiked 10 miles and not more. We were questioning whether we should grab our packs and get in a few more miles before the sun set, and then we both stopped, realized how crazy it was that we were treating 10 miles as if it were nothing, and decided to give ourselves a break and settle in for a peaceful evening. I remember clearly that just a week ago, a 3 mile run was a good chunk of exercise that I would be lucky to fit into my day. In our “normal lives”, a 10 mile hike is a respectable day outside and would certainly leave me sore for the week. Now we’re out here pumping out 10 miles in an afternoon and feeling lazy for not going further. It’s all about perspective!

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Again, this became exceptionally clear this evening when Don and I finally had the chance to catch up on our friend’s blog about her son’s recent diagnosis of leukemia. Out here, our minds are so wrapped up in sore feet, mileage, water sources, and dinner choices, that it is easy to forget that back in the “real world”, many are facing some of the most challenging days of their lives. My friend is an incredibly gifted writer, not to mention an all-around wonderful person, and we feel grateful that while we write our story from Mexico to Canada, she is eloquently sharing her story via her blog, Her story is an important reminder for us that as big as our daily struggles might feel at the time, in the big picture we are so lucky to have the freedom and health necessary to take this journey. We are trying to keep this hike and our current lives in perspective, and tonight what that ultimately leads to is gratitude.

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P.S. If after checking out her blog, you feel encouraged or moved by Susan’s story, please consider contributing to their GoFundMe page: Thank You!

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