Thursday morning dawned and my entire body ached as I slowly went through the motions of getting up and situated …I was in such a strange head space I couldn’t decide what needed to be done first, so I called Ingrid. She lives in Bend, and had given me a lift on 97 when I was making my way south to the Willamette Pass to begin this last section. During that ride she had offered her shower when I got back from the trail. The idea of a shower sounded delicious, and when she answered her phone she welcomed me over to take one.
For the rest of Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning, I stayed at Ingrid’s place. Her hospitality was so warm and inviting that I couldn’t say no. She has a beautiful dog, Panda, who I enjoyed walking and giving belly-rubs to, and for my last evening there another dog joined us, too – Gee. He was an old boy, a little gimp in the hind-quarters, but such a love. And their eyes…ahhh, they seem so smart to me.
Every day at Ingrid’s was a challenge to get the comfort of my body back. The feet, knees, legs and hips have been so sore that it’s been almost impossible to walk correctly. I massage my legs and feet every night in bed, and do stretches in the day, but still it seems to take a long time for the body to recover after so much walking with a heavy pack.
Finally, by Saturday morning, my body seemed to have recovered fairly well except for two or three toes in the middle of each foot still felt a little numb. Ingrid and I said fond farewells with promises to stay in touch and see each other again – I feel she is a sister in spirit – and I headed off to Cascade Locks to get staged for the next and last segment in Oregon this summer.
The drive north was overcast and ominous looking – low dark clouds across the entire expanse of sky made me wonder whether I might not get this last section finished. I am a fair weather hiker only – no snow, no day-after-day downpours, no freezing temperatures…no thanks!
Upon arriving at Hood Canal, I immediately set out to find an excellent steak house, and I ate a terrific tasting hunk of beef (grain-fed, no hormones) which I rarely do, a large baked potato and fresh garden vegetables with a savory glass of red wine. Then I hurt in my middle all night – ahhhh, the price of indulgence. But today I feel fantastic, and after checking the 10-day forecast it looks as though I can start hiking tomorrow! YAY!!! So I’m off to Cascade Locks to secure a safe place for the truck to park, and prepare for the next adventure… which starts tomorrow!