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January 22 2024, Greenstone Hut to Carey’s Hut:
I absolutely loved today. I got to spend a lot of the day in silence. It was a very easy going trek with smooth elevation gain and loss. There was only one point where I had gotten lost in a cow pasture so I had to walk through it with all of them staring at me with their beady eyes. All was well, I was not attacked by the creatures as I used to think I would be.
I leapfrogged with Spencer throughout the day, meeting him at huts to take quick breaks and enjoy the views of the mountains and valleys. We continued down to Carey’s Hut for the night, connecting to a wide open dirt road that was scattered with purple blue rocks. I had the CDT to thank for my love of road walks.
Today I thought about the apparent struggle I seemed to have in relationships. I started to pick up on patterns I was putting out with the people around me, such as even the platonic relationship I had with my tramily. We had been great together and had grown super close. All of a sudden, that was some sort of ‘sign’ in my mind that it was time for me to go. There appeared to be fear in my mind of building something real or getting too deep. Ironic because it was want I wanted deep down.
I arrived to the hut and saw a display of hiker clothing drying out on a line. Someone’s socks were placed over the handles of their trekking poles and various shoes were splayed out on the grass which let me know the hut was full. I walked inside to find there were no more spots available, Spencer having had taken the last bunk, but I didn’t mind. I was very excited to lay on the dark wooden floor, especially since there was a forecast for heavy rain overnight.
As I got settled, a Netherland couple in their mid forties asked me about the trails in the U.S. that called to me and what it was like to hike them. As they brought up each state, I kept blurting, “Oh, I love that state!” then went on to talk about what I appreciated about it. She talked about a hike she did in Washington and claimed how beautiful it was to walk through an area full of pristine rainforests.
Spencer overheard and in complete shock asked, “In America? A rainforest?“
So cute, I thought.
I really enjoyed the relationship dynamic between the Netherland couple. I saw so much adventurous, childlike spirit in their space. They had met when they were young and seemed to be best friends. They spoke about all of the upcoming trails they had lined up throughout the world, having had given away their car and currently renting out their house until they officially sold it. They figured it would be fun to hitchhike across the world and hike trails that called to them.
“I find it really cool how you guys found each other and share the same love for adventure,” I said.
They both looked at each other in sync and smiled genuinely.
“Yes,” she said, “we always inspire each other.”
Then, she talked about how grateful she was to not have kids and how blessed she felt to have chosen herself and her passion for traveling. That made me feel better about my apparent life decision with that as well.
“I’m 45 and I used to be a social worker,” she said, “honestly, I just didn’t like to work anymore. I was at a point where I really wanted to enjoy life and feel like I was living it rather than just watching it go by.”
I was happy yet envious of their relationship. I was in awe of those who knew how to behave and make something stable for themselves along with each other. I wondered who would be with me.
Why couldn’t I have these tools of knowing how to be in a healthy romantic relationship and just do it correctly?
Why did it always seem like such a struggle?
Another thru-hiker NOBO girl from Wyoming showed up and joined me on the wood. She did some stretches on the floor and randomly brought up how there was a famous CYTC hiker named Quadzilla just behind her. My heart dropped for I knew it was someone special to me.
“Yeah, I know him very well,” I said.
She asked me to share stories of him and how we met. My heart was always full of joy to do so, yet also held an air of loss.
“Wow. You two could’ve been a power couple,” she said.
I’ve played that thought throughout my head one too many times. It was wishful thinking. I would ruin anything I would have had with him. I was better at being single and a top of the line fuck buddy than I was at keeping something like a relationship together. Still, the feeling of loss pondered my mind, but before I got too deep in thought, God whispered to me and let me know it couldn’t have been any other way. The situation was perfect as it was right now in order for me to be who I was today.