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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mile 1780.6: Highway 140, The straw that broke the camel's back

Feeding us (really good food), letting us borrow their truck, and two nights of generous hospitality weren't enough for Robert and Lee. They wanted to meet us at Highway 140 to shower us with more kindness, namely non-trail food and wine.

Unfortunately, our schedule had us getting there early in the morning, a terrible time to meet for both them and us. So we pushed to get there at the end of a long day. Micro was stressed, getting there too late was just as bad as early in the morning, and she didn't want to make them wait. I tried to leave earlier than the others, but they passed me at 10 while I was searching for an outhouse and water by a campground. I rolled into lunch at 12:30 with 18 miles left to the highway, and heard Microburst telling Robert, "We'll get there between 7 and 8."

My mental math told me, "Whoa there, at 2.5 mph leaving at 1, you won't get there until after 8, plus you'll stop a few times for water, snacks, maps, etc." I truly did think she was calculating based on noon rather than one, so I said, "You might get there at 7, but I won't until after 8." She stewed on this for the rest of lunch, thinking I was accusing her of only thinking about how fast she hikes, not taking into consideration how slow I hike.

Once we were out of Sweet 16's hearing range, she burst into, "Just so you know, I'm thinking of you ALL THE TIME." And a fight ensued. Basically, we confirmed things that we already know: I hike slow. Micro doesn't like rolling into camp late. If we want to keep hiking with 16, it means long days of long miles. She doesn't have to wait, though she feels pbligated to and then resentful.

Of course, it didn't go down that drily. I cried, Micro accused me of being depressed and having mental problems. I remember yelling, "There's no point in waiting until dark for me if you're just going to leave me to hike by myself while you hike fast with [16] and feel sorry for yourselves!" She asked me for the umpteenth time why I'm not having fun, and if I'm not having fun, why don't I just get off the trail.

I hate that she puts these feelings in my mouth, just because I want to be done with this long-ass trail and get back to my regular life doesn't mean that I'm miserable every single moment I'm out here. I'm most miserable when Micro's waiting for me, actually. So we agreed that instead of worrying about each other, we'd worry about ourselves and do what needed to be done to take care of ourselves.

I got to 1/4 mile from Highway 140 at 8:35, where Turtle Don (a section hiker who does ten miles a day) was camped. He knew all about me from talking to Micro and 16, and proceeded to tell me all about myself and say how worried he had been waiting for me to come by. He was really nice, but I got really antsy with the cyclical conversation, and just wanted to get to the highway. I got to Micro and 16, eating a delicious picnic, at 8:50. There was super tasty (deliciously greasy and tender) rotisserie chicken, fresh fruit, ambrosia, and potato salad. I did my best to finish it off, then spent the next hour doing math and scheduling. My conclusion: in order to eat lunch at the same time as Micro and 16, and get to camp before dark, I'd have to leave "butt-fuck early."

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