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I came to the village feeling completely defeated by the trail. Tears in my eyes, voice shaking. I took my pack off & let out a sigh, aware of the fact I still had another 11 miles to go. An elderly man approached me & said, “Are you a thru hiker? Let me buy you an ice cream & whatever else you want.” He saw the look on my face, a mixture of disbelief & gratitude, & all he said after was “I understand. ❤️” (He even treated the other hikers that were there.) My tummy felt so happy to have a full meal along with dessert & I felt an immense amount of gratefulness that it was just given to me. ☺️ Next, a lot of thru hikers showed up & one guy walked up shouting “what the FUCK was that climb. That was the goddamn Appalachian Trail. ‘Do the PCT they said. Take the side trail, it will be FUN they said. Oregon will be flat they said. Bull SHEET. I’m about to hitch to Canada.” 😂 I experienced such a deep belly laugh! I saw how much I love comedy because some people just know how to take triggers & turn them into a complete joke. I felt commonality & the pessimism about the trail vanished in an instant. Lastly, before I got up to leave I shyly asked an elderly couple if they could give me a ride a few miles up the road & the old man smiled sweetly, but the old woman appeared to coldly tell me, “no, that would not be alright.” She quickly turned her shoulder away from me. A young woman seemed to overhear & approached me asking if I needed a ride somewhere & I said yes! She smiled gently & told me to come with her & that she’d take me. It’s interesting how all day I experienced an intense play of opposites. From feeling defeated, to feeling gifted. We always get what we need, but never in the way we expect. ❤️ #pct2019