Cascade Locks to mile 531. (25 today)
‘Dancing Strip the Willow down the night PCT’’.
Sweat steams down my face. I taste it’s saltiness. My hearts pounding so fast I need to stop every few seconds. Hand over hand I grab shrubs, trees, pulling myself up.
I’m mad with myself. I’d taken them wrong path a few miles back and should have gone back to correct myself. Instead I’ve hauled myself up this steep bank wasting much time and energy.
Now back on the PCT path I berate myself. My energy is low and it’s another 7 miles to camp.
Since missing the path I’ve been giving myself a hard time in my thoughts. When I become conscious I decide to drop the judgment.
I’m listening to Skippinish (Scottish folk music) as the evening sun sets the forest aglow.
In the magic of the gloaming anything can happen.
And so the PCT becomes a village hall in the Outer Hebrides. The trees are my silent witness as the dance begins:
I lean on my right walking pole, swaying at the hip. Now the left. As if I’m linking arms and spinning with invisible partners on either side. I’m dancing a ‘Strip the Willow’.
Energy surges through me as my body re members another time and place. Bringing that part of me to this place fills me with such joy and vitality. I arrive at camp exhausted but with a huge smile.