Where Is My Mind?: Sorting Through Doubts

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On the morning of June 19th, Carl left the trail heading to Spokane via Battle Ground with heated car seats. On the other hand, I chased the tide toward Tenmile Creek in an absolute downpour. Sometimes I question myself.

Mental War Returns

The internal struggles I managed to put off over the weekend quickly returned. I reached Tenmile Creek well before the tide and still found myself stressed. The beach narrowed, the sand became gravel, and the ORVs returned. No part of me was having fun. My parents are taking advantage of an upcoming zero to say hi before beginning their coastal vacation. I debate scrapping it altogether. My intended camp at Horsefall Beach comes with a welcome surprise of a water spigot. Maybe things are looking up!

Having arrived earlier than I felt comfortable setting up my tent, I settled in for a snack. It is this kind of additional downtime that gets to me. My mind starts to tell me to push farther and not waste daylight. I struggle to be content with the big miles and goals accomplished. I only see the miles I’m not covering at that moment. 

What Am I Doing Out Here?

I found a level-ish spot close to my start for tomorrow and water. There is zero shade in the dunes. The security of my tent and bed became necessary. Mother Nature had other plans.

I put my hand into my tent to set up my bed. Ouch! What the hell was that?! It is as if I pressed full force onto a bed of sewing needles! My hands and knees come up bloody. There were dry thorny seed heads around, but I didn’t see the plant they came from. Turns out my tent was on a whole damn field. In my exhaustion, I failed to notice the seemingly innocent ground cover. Now realizing that it would have popped my sleeping pad in an instant! No level spot was free of it. Questioning everything, I haphazardly packed up and moved a mile into a national forest campground. I made it just before the rain arrived for the night.

Riding A White Line

In the morning, nothing is brighter except the sky. 16 miles of pavement that began by crossing Coos Bay on a bridge barely designed for pedestrians. I spent the entire walk living out Final Destination. The towns of North Bend and Coos Bay were the first times I was on edge about my surroundings. I am relieved to not have followed through with my thought of pushing forward last night.

I stumbled into Sunset Bay State Park. There is a beautiful day-use beach area and a not-so-beautiful hiker-biker site. Closing out two mental days from hell by sleeping at the intersection of campground loops behind a fish cleaning station was far from ideal. Even earplugs did little to help. I kept my zero and rewrote the final week, slightly upping mileage. Still trying to not finish too far ahead of schedule and beat my ride home. I won’t be in this mental funk forever. A couple big-mile days should shake me out of it, I hope.


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