6 weeks

Lone Pine again. I’m in Lone Pine just as I was in 2008 and struggling with what to do next. I spent the day yesterday contemplating so many things. My cousin Chris is in Oregon with a brain tumor and limited time remaining and I can’t be there, my daughter graduated a year early yesterday and I couldn’t be there either, my father is in Oregon tending to his father, this section of trail has had new snow fall with predicted temps of 22F for the low and 37F for the high during the day. It’s seems the universe has conspired against me as most of the hiker bubble I’m in are 20 something’s who like to drink and party. There’s an isolation feeling that overwhelms me as well as this not fitting in because I don’t drink or smoke “medical marijuana”. Then there’s the logistical challenges regarding the trail. Just the other night while on trail I slept maybe a total of 4 hours and not all at once. It’s frikken cold man!

After missing out on Madyson’s graduation (by the way if you are reading this honey, I’m so very proud of you for accomplishing the near impossible!) and not really being able to be the father I really wanted to be, you know whistling as loud as possible and embarrassing my youngest daughter in front of hundreds of parents and students, I have decided I will need to make it up to her. BIG TIME! When I planned this hike over the last two years I had originally planned to be there in Oregon during her graduation in 2016 but she went and did an amazing thing. I will forgive myself and hope she will forgive me.

My cousin is an entirely deferent emotion. I’m terribly sad about what’s happening to him. I’m sad about not being able to be there for him as well. I know he knows I love him but not being able to be there to show him is tough. I can pray for him and his family and I have hope that when I get to Oregon I will see him again. I know he is a strong man and courageous. He loves his family more than anything else and always has. Deep down I wish I was more like him in many ways. Thank you Chris for being you.

The trail. This haunting sense of ‘will I ever finish’ won’t go away. I can quit anytime just as many already have. Just talked with a woman today who is getting off the trail. Yesterday another two left the trail bound for LA to spend the remaining cash and time sitting on the beach in the LA area. There are so many other things out there tempting me to quit, to leave and go enjoy some other part of life. How ever, I woke up this morning dedicated to returning from Lone Pine back to the trail and continue my hike. This is one of those things I simply must do. I need to discover what it is out there waiting for me. I’m not sure or confident about who I will be at the end of this or if I will have regrets, I just simply must carry on and keep going. Another hiker told me I remind them of a shark, always moving in order to stay alive. Glad that’s not my trail name. ๐Ÿ™‚

So tomorrow morning I head out. I will go to Independence and pick up my resupply and then head to Kearsarge Pass bypassing the predicted storm on Whitney. I may come back to hike the 40+ mile section that I’ve already hiked in 2008, I may not. I will leave behind the parties, the opportunities to leave the trail from Lone Pine, and I will at the very least step forward beyond the last haunting memory of my hike in 2008.

This may be hard for others to understand but this is a huge wall for me in so many ways. I wanted to get here and smash this wall, instead I’ve come to it tired on all levels and decided to climb over it. It’s not the glamourous heroic moment I wanted, it’s more like a sloppy uncoordinated mess of a thing. Ah hell, life can’t always be pretty.

To all of you showing me support, I’m so grateful beyond words. The little text messages, the long emails, comments and facebook post, Instagram likes, they all mean something to me. I’m sorry I can’t always respond but do know that I read them all, sometimes more than once! Internet isn’t always available and sometimes when it is it’s just in a passing moment in towns while I wait for a ride or walk past a wifi hotspot. So thank you so very much. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


About Canyon

Just a little about life
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9 Responses to 6 weeks

  1. Jason Skurpski says:

    I love you buddy. I don’t know what else to say. Oh yea…we had our baby boy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Zacarius Elijah born May 31. 7lbs 4oz.
    I’m praying for you and I miss you


  2. bigsurkate says:

    Challenges face all of us daily … Sometimes seemingly insurmountable, other times a mere inconvenience. You know who you are and what you are made of … You are just provingit to yourself! Love you more than you know.


  3. laurie says:

    Sending you positive energy and faith to get through the ‘wall’….


  4. y. rose says:

    please don’t give up the hike . . . those “walls” are there to push through . . . they’re taking you to a deeper level, often to the ground of your being . . . but isn’t that what this is all about? to find that ground, that spirit of your authentic self, and fly! some journeys can only be traveled alone, so perhaps that’s what the universe is telling you to let go of the party crowd. but know you’re never alone . . . you’re in the hearts of all of us who are traveling with you in “virtual reality”! lots of love, yvonne (the one who brings everything but the kitchen sink on retreat!)


  5. Crystal Cannon says:

    Whether you smash the wall or climb over it, you’re still overcoming it. So proud of you, B! Love you!


  6. terraelise says:

    Craziness… it was 97 degrees in SoCal, hard to believe it is poor weather at Whitney. Keep it up; you know drinking doesn’t make a person interesting, and you certainly are: make your own way. Cyber-hug!!


  7. Susan Morgan from Oregon says:

    You’ve got this!! Push through knowing that each one of those loved ones that you are concerned about understands and is wanting to see you do this. Looking forward to seeing you and providing a quiet retreat when you’re passing through!


  8. June Dusty Morales says:

    I am living vicariously through you
    And your adventure. Embrace it,
    Enjoy the quiet, while it can be lonely
    These are the moments that revelation
    And clarity come. Take the anguish you
    Are feeling for those things you are missing
    And store it to be used later as energy to fulfill
    The commitments you have just made.
    But for now my friend live in this adventure
    because soon enough it will be behind you but
    It will always be a source of strength and a force
    You can draw from when you need unction to
    Press on. Above all else, press into him and
    Seek to know the deep things and mysteries
    We tend to miss in the day to day.
    Much love from
    Oregon and don’t judge my grammar๐Ÿ˜‰


  9. Ivan Gaal says:

    Hi Brendon.
    650 miles!!! Can’t imagine doing it myself. It’s beyond my imagination.
    I can remember my wall during the marathon. My legs felt like jelly, I had to slow down, I started losing my confidence, I felt like I wouldn’t be able to manage another 10km, and then I remembered what was already written in so many guides regarding overcoming this “dark night”-keep moving, don’t give up, just keep moving, no matter what.


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