After a restful and indulgent week with family, we were a bit apprehensive to return to the trail. Had we lost our hard-earned hiker legs? Would we think to ourselves, “why are we doing this, again?” After a while away, you start thinking of the trail as something someone else is tackling. Still you, but a different you.
Mama and Papa E graciously ferried us back to Graeagle, CA, where we picked up the trail right where we’d left it. It was a beautiful blue morning, and we cruised for several hours, practically whistling. “Hey! This great!” Our esteem soared.
Until the clouds rolled in. It downpoured for more than four hours. Within an hour, our raingear was soaked through, and we were sure the interiors of our packs would be, too. The dry terrain struggled to absorb so much water so quickly, so the trail became a mix of dirt slurry and puddles. For the first while, we said, Zen-like, “this, too.” Soon after, we said, “get me out of here.” So much for our Buddha Natures.
We stopped early, awkwardly set up our new tent in the rain, and slept. A fine “welcome back.” One more thing: we officially passed the halfway point yesterday, at mile 1325. People are still telling us “the best is yet to come.” It’s hard to believe them, but it’s been true every step of the way so far.