Tuesday July 12, 2022

After our road trip was cut short by flooding rains  we returned home feeling a little bit dejected. While Hammer would not agree with this sentiment – he thought it was alright – he was open to the idea of us doing something else. 

We accepted an invitation for a three day hike with friends over the Queens Birthday long weekend in June.  I wasn’t sure if my body would cope but I guess I needed to find out.   It’s been a tumultuous 18 months since I broke my knee. Two surgeries and a few false starts, in returning to pre-injury activities, has affected my confidence.  Being physically active has always been so important for my mental health.

I haven’t carried a backpack since we returned from the Continental Divide Trail in September 2019.  So I was nervous about how my body would cope. Hammer thought it would be fine, I wish I had his confidence.

We hiked through the rugged Budawang Mountains in Morton National Park,  south of Sydney.  Significant areas of the Park were destroyed during the 2019/2020 fires. We walked muddy trails, scaled rocky escarpments and being winter it was cold and windy.  The landscape was spectacular, distant ocean views, rugged impenetratable forest, canyons and huge sandstone cliffs with overhangs perfect for camping,  So beautiful to camp under the stars and fall asleep to the sound of silence feeling thoroughly exhausted. 

It felt so nice to be back, learning to trust my body to get me to places that make me feel alive.

On our drive home Hammer and I cooked up a plan that would get us out of wintery and wet Sydney. To return and hike a trail that holds very special memories for both of us. A trail we’ve both hiked but not  together. 

The deluge returns to Sydney and more rain is predicted through the rest of winter

The plan is to return to the Pacific Crest Trail and hike the Goat Rocks Wilderness in  Washingtons Cascade  Mountains.  And three weeks later here we are about to leave. We are privileged to have the time and the means to be able to do this. Let’s see if our bodies remember how.

We’ve extended the hike somewhat. The plan is to start from Mt Hood, near Timberline Lodge in Oregon and finish at Stehikin, a distance of 500 miles or 750 kilometres. We’ve allowed plenty of time and have options to bale out if needed. We are hoping that the winter snow has melted and the splendour of the landscape and the lure of the Stehikin Bakery will help us to rise above any setbacks along the way.