Some of the matters I've been considering have to do with my puzzlement as to why I would get a staph infection in the first place. I mean really? Staph? The only logical conclusion is that I was so stressed out, getting ready for the hike, then beginning to hike, that my immune system was compromised and I was unable to fight the beast on my own. Having had this most recent experience gives me pause as to whether or not to get back on the horse any time soon. Two rounds of antibiotics in six weeks should tell me something, if I'm willing to listen.
Soooooo... maybe I'm not thru hiker material. I'm certainly not a type A person - never have been, never will be. On top of that it seems I get homesick after a month of two of absence and want to come home to be with my peeps. I mean, I love to go away on adventures, but I also love to come home to the comfort of sameness and the ordinary. Having a cup of coffee in the hot tub every morning... does it get any better than that?
Sure, seeing the wild places at a slow pace with the wind in my hair is an adventure in and of itself. Day in and day out, new vistas, smells, beautiful flowers and small critters, not to mention the interesting people I meet - all of that is wonderful and compelling, for a short time. Then the longing for home starts creeping in and the vistas turn smoggy, I start to smell and all I see are lizards. Nothing has changed but my mindset, but still the change occurs.
My friend who is on the AT this year says that thru hikers are tapped into our hunter and gatherer roots. For him it is natural to travel long distances with all his possessions on his back, and he feels grounded and alive when he's hiking this way. Me? I think I'm more tied into my agrarian DNA. I'm pretty rooted in place and I miss place after being gone for a while. And since being gone for 5-6 months is part of the thru hiking package it seems there is an inherent conflict here.
Maybe this is why I got sick. Wanting to do something so badly when that something is in direct opposition to my temperament might have caused me too much trouble and getting sick was the only way my body could get out of the job I was insisting it carry out. Or maybe I'm just too lazy to get up every morning and walk for 15-20 miles through difficult terrain and conditions. If so, this would make me a fair weather and kind conditions hiker.
Whatever the reasons for my most current dilemma I'm not going to go back onto the PCT until I've spent more time off trail. In that vein, and to celebrate being home (?), A and I are leaving tomorrow to take a driving trip up to the Pacific Northwest to see friends. I won't be backpacking during this time so the posts, if I do add here, will have to do with other things. I will add this one thing though - I'm thinking Washington would be really pretty in August. Just sayin...