OCT Day 9
As anticipated, the rain starts in the wee hours of the morning. I only have a few miles to walk today into Lincoln City, where I plan to wait out the next 4 days of storms. I can’t check into my motel until 3, so I laze about my tent as long as I can. Sadly I can’t fall back to sleep, and there’s not much to do, so I decide to get going anyway. I circle back around Devil’s Lake in the pouring rain. When I rejoin highway 101, the oncoming traffic is terrifying. I’m walking as far over as I can, legs being ripped to pieces by blackberry vines. I’m not in a good mood. I consciously decide to raise my head (despite the rain) and smile. This helps to a certain degree, and I guess there’s a lesson there.
When I enter town proper, there are a few diners I think I might be able to chill in for a bit. This part of Oregon allows dine in now. All of them look super crowded, and I’m not willing to hang out inside with all those people, so I keep moving. I eventually spot a place called Snack Attack with some wooden beach chairs out front under an awning. It appears mostly dry, which is good enough for me. I order some clam strips and a mocha. The mocha is awful, but to be fair, it’s the barista’s first day. I sit and enjoy my clam strips while looking at the sea, which as this moment is indecipherable from the sky. Everything is a wet, grey mass. I occasionally get sprayed when the wind changes, but stay mostly dry. I pass at least 2 hours here.
When I get moving again, the sky really opens up and starts dumping. My hands and phone are so wet that I can’t really look at directions. I finally get to the motel around 1PM looking like a drowning victim. My room is ready though, and they graciously let me check in. After a shower and a short nap, I start writing my blog. I’m midway through finishing when I decide that I’m done with this hike. I try to shake the idea, but I can’t. I’m really not enjoying myself, and I’m spending a lot of money to not enjoy myself. The weather has been foul, all the hiker/biker camps are closed, most of the actual trails are impassable due to downed trees, and I’m sick of walking on highway 101. I don’t want or need this hike now. It’s just not what I thought it was going to be. I feel like a piece of crap, and a little bit like a failure. I question my ability as a backpacker, and what giving up here means to me. I know these feelings will pass, because they just aren’t true. Sometimes my stubbornness and tenacity are a gift, but sometimes you just have to let go of the rope so it doesn’t burn your hands.
Thank you all for reading and cheering m along this time. I hope you enjoyed the 150 miles I did get to hike. I’m sorry that I didn’t go through with the whole thing this go around. It seems it was time for me to learn a different lesson than I set out to. Oregon, you’re beautiful, but we need a break. Until my next adventure, everyone stay safe and healthy. Do things that make you happy, and don’t be afraid to change your mind about something if you realize you were wrong.
“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well, you may find, you get what you need.” -The Rolling Stones
PS – My amazing sister drove all the way to Oregon to rescue me. We had our traditional pizza and margaritas. This time we upped our game with face stickers, masks, and she even brought me a gift basket to make my crybaby ass feel better. I’m a lucky guy. Thank you Amy!!!