Well today is a day I will never forget. I snooze for twenty minutes since I camped alone. A bunch of hikers pass me in the dark and one was GB. I was glad to see him so soon since we didn't camp together last night. I told him to go ahead without me.
I hike out in the dark and cross a giant blowdown and stepped on a thin layer of wood. It broke beneath my left foot and I fell three feet into the hole between the two blowdowns. I cried in pain and was stuck, pinned down by my pack. It was dark and I was completely alone. I finally regained my composure and pulled myself out. I started walking and the pain in my ankle became more excruciating. After about ten minutes, I stopped on a ridge and sobbed uncontrollably. I had no idea what to do. I cried out to God asking for guidance and to take away my pain. My ankle was hurting so bad and I could barely walk. I had nobody to help me, it was just myself and my headlamp in dark. I felt so helpless. I considered calling 911 to come save me. I popped some ibuprofen and decided to hike on to try to find GB.
For the next five miles, I was a complete mess. I cried the whole way thinking of all the different scenarios that would happen. I had thought to myself, "It's all over now, I don't want to go home, I've come so far, I can't go now." I didn't think I could do this next 20 mile dry stretch. What if I can't find gb since I'm so slow? I was so scared to be so helpless by myself. This fast hiker passes me while I am bawling my eyes out and I ask him to tell the boy in yellow pants that I had hurt my ankle pretty bad and am now going slow. He was so kind even though I think he didn't know what to do with this random girl crying on the trail. I finally make it up the long hill and find GB waiting for me. By now, my ankle has swollen greatly. My amazing hiking partner then tapes up my ankle and tells me he will help me carry my water through the dry stretch. He stays with me the entire time and waits for me at junctions. He carries out 2L of my water totaling his carry to 6L making his pack weight insanely heavy. I soak my foot in what was our last cold stream until the dry stretch.
At lunch, we discover my ankle is starting to bruise heavily and is still very swollen. Every time I stop and start back up again, the pain is very bad. I didn't think I could make it the whole way to crater lake. I then push on making it close to 20 miles into camp. We stop just about nine miles shy of the road to the park. We were both so tired and the mosquitos were coming out. This is probably going to be our last night camping together. I have this feeling I won't be seeing GB at all again for the rest of this trip. It's just so hard catching up to people and I will be a good amount of days behind now. I am scared and sad to be on my own again and probably in a wave that is super behind. It's going to be tough to get back again with no one I know. I always sit in my tent when we do dinner and GB comes over and cooks outside by my tent letting all the mosquitoes eat him. We reminisced on some of our favorite memories and I read him an excerpt from my blog from the desert days when I last read to him, making everything full circle. I am really bummed to be splitting up again. It's like losing a friend and having to start fresh again out there. It took us so long to finally meet back up again after the sierras and we've only done like 300 miles with each other since then. We won't get to reach the Washington border together.
This was by far the hardest and most painful stretch I have ever done. So many emotions came all at me once I felt the pain. I have no idea what is to come but I know that I cannot walk on this ankle right now. And who knows for how long. As upset and disappointed as I am, I know that this is out of my control and God has a plan for all of this to happen. I might not know exactly what he is teaching me in this but I will. Maybe he wants to persevere and desperately cling onto him in to walk these next two states. I came to terms to accept that I will probably be a few days behind and might not make it to the end but will walk until I cannot. But mostly, I am saddened that I will have to split with GB once again. Good partners don't come around often and I will now have to go back to solo hiking and hitching. This life is such an adventure and I have no idea what I'm in store for.