Day 159: Walking Home

Date: September 20, 2017
Miles: 985.5 – 1005.9

“She keeps walking. She stares straight ahead. She goes, always goes, always goes.” ~ Alida Nugent

Whenever I meet another hiker on trail, they invariably ask me where I’m from. When I say that I’m from Washington state, the response is almost always, ‘oh, you’re walking home!’  And for conversational ease I smile and say, yep I sure am!  But up until yesterday, I hadn’t felt that way, at least not in a physical sense. I was walking to the end of the trail, toward resolution of unanswered questions, to see spectacular landscapes, or sometimes just to the next place I could get a shower and a regular meal.  Every day is different. In a figurative sense I guess I am walking home, where home is a sense of belonging and acceptance of every part of my life – the failures and successes, the regrets and triumphs, my fears and loves.  Today all of those things were circling in my mind as I walked.

The terrain changed from stark granite to what looked like the high desert of central Oregon as I passed from Yosemite to the Hoover Wilderness in the Toiyabe National Forest.

View of Stella Lake north of Dorothy Lake Pass.

The sky turned gray and the wind really picked up. JD checked the weather forecast on his InReach and found out that we were heading for a rain/snow shower by 6 pm and a low nighttime temperature, with wind chill factor, of 17 degrees. We hiked until 4 pm and made camp below tree line in Kennedy Canyon. Another hiker, Seinfeld, joined us for dinner and then we all cloistered in our tents as the rain started. It was cold, but I got bundled up in all of my clothes and hunkered down in my quilt, cozy and glad for the extra few hours of rest.

License plate marker stuck to a tree in Jack Main Canyon.

Dorothy Lake.
North end of Dorothy Lake.