Today is my four month anniversary and it would've been the beginning of my fifth month on trail.
I am up early bc of my hiking body clock. Amye comes over in the morning and takes a look at ankle and wraps an ace bandage around it. I think we all already knew I will need to get an X-ray. Lori takes me to the Asante hospital ER. Everyone there is so friendly and knows about the trail. I get taken care of right away. This was the very first time I've ever been wheeled around in a hospital bed and the first time ever getting an X-ray that wasn't of my teeth. I accidentally left all my id and insurance cards at home but Doug was able to get all the info to Lori for me. The nurse comes back with my X-ray and tells me I have an avulsion fracture. A small chip in my bone that has been pulled apart by a tendon. So yes, it is a small break. The nurse tries to call an orthopedist to see if there is a brace I can use to hike on but it is not possible. Basically, it is my time to come home.
I just don't think it would be wise to try to hike on a semi healed ankle and further risk the fracture. In fact, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it. I've taken care of my body since I began. I never over pushed myself on big miles where I incurred pains and always listened to my body. It is all so hard to take in right now and it saddens me that I've made it this far and still haven't seen the best of Oregon and Washington. I was the last person to think this would happen so early on, but this is life and God already had this written for me. I am so grateful of everything that has happened in these past four months: pushing through my hard days, being super emotional, hiking Northern California solo at my lowest point, challenging my body to the limits, eating the worst processed food ever, facing my biggest fears, meeting some of most amazing people that will be friends for life and having an experience I will never forget. This was by far the most insane thing I have ever done. I still can't even fathom I even went through with it. I never once wanted to quit and told myself the only thing that would take me off trail is an injury. I truly believe I would've been able to finish. I just know it. I am grateful it happened the way it did, and it's just another reminder that life is never going to go the way you've planned it.
After the ER, Lori took me to Dutch Bros to get a smoothie. Then we stop by Bria's house to visit. I got to meet their dog Sophie. So sweet. We broke the news to Doug back at home and I took the rest of the afternoon breaking the news to friends and family. It was a lot harder than I had imagined. Very emotional to say the words "I have to come home." Gb called me from the highest point in or/wa and I cried on the phone with him. Even though I know I'm not a failure, I feel like I've failed. It's just so hard to take in and everything changed so suddenly. It was a long and crazy day.