Hello, It’s Me

Day 40 – Hughes Gap to Stan Murray Shelter 10.1 miles

Back to the scene of the crime. When I last left Hughes Gap, I was in a head space.  It was snowing and cold. Nomad had gotten off the trail and the prospect of me staying at the Clyde Smith Shelter for 8 hours by myself until dark was just too much to bear. So home I went. And 27 days later,  here I am again. That will be for another blog.

As my partner and I pulled up to the gap, there was a tent and hikers. TRAIL MAGIC! What a glorious way to reboot my hike. I indulged in a couple of breakfast tacos before hitting the trail. 

Heading north up the slope, I marveled at how different the sights and sounds have become. When I left, there was 2 inches of snow on the ground and temps that barely reached 40. Now the forest has turned magical – lush and green with wildflowers aplenty. The birds filled the sky with song. The sun beamed down and I was sweating, even. It was good to be back, even though my feet and knees had other opinions. And the trail let me know she’s still The Boss by tripping me a few times along the way. 

During my stint home, I learned how to download music to my phone. Hopefully this will combat the loneliness I felt and get me out of any negativity that creeps into my head. It came in handy when the path became a jumble of ankle breaker rocks. Took my mind off of that. 

I hit the shelter around 2ish. I was debating whether to set my tent up or stay inside. The weather forecast was calling for rain and thunderstorms (actually for the next 4 days. Welcome back!). It already drizzled off and on. But now I’m squarely in the bubble and the thought of norovirus is now on my mind. Ultimately I decided to set my tent up. 

My first day back on the trail was a success.  My tent site was level! I went to bed very early and dozed off to the sound of gentle rain. 

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Comments 6

  • DEB : May 4th

    I am thrilled you are back! Can’t wait to tag along with you.

    • Andrea Stilwell : May 4th

      Thank you. It’s good to get back onto the trail. Thanks for reading my blog.

  • Richard DeCommer : May 5th

    Congratulations on getting back on the trail from another USPS retiree who has pushed thru 800 miles of the trail. When the mountains are high and the trail never seems to stop going up just turn on some jams and keep putting one foot in front of the other!
    AKA: Stick

    • Andrea Stilwell : May 6th

      Exactly! Today’s hike into Boots Off was a butt buster. But that will be for another blog.

  • jen l : May 5th

    Welcome back!! I missed your blogs. Enjoy all of the spring beauty out there. Jealous!

    • Andrea Stilwell : May 6th

      The scenery certainly has changed. I’m enjoying all the greenery and bird song.


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