We headed back through bend and had brunch with some of jennys motorcycle friends. They were super fun and showed us this amazing eggs Benny restaurant. Then we we were back to sisters to the grummers. Clyde missed all of the girls and they missed him! It was a busy morning for them but we all got going late afternoon to go to the lake. We couldn't stay too long bc we were picking up gb at Santiam pass! He texted me when he got to the trailhead and it was a short drive down hwy 20 to get him. I rolled up to the parking lot in Ellie and it was SO weird to be on the other side of things. He looked extremely dirty. And Jenny has been looking forward to finally meet him, so her wish came true.
From there, I drove us back to sisters but we stopped at sisters coffee first. Jenny needed to get some work done. She barely had any down time to work so I insisted she get some time away from everyone. Then I took GB back to the grummers for a shower and laundry. All the girls got to meet him and Araiya did mention he smelled haha. Matt lent some clothes to him while his clothes were in the wash. Chris and Alissa were also in sisters so we decided to meet up w them for dinner. We were getting really hungry while the grummers ate dinner so we each had a first dinner of quinoa salad haha. I picked up a game and undercover at sisters inn and we got Jenny on the way. We went to the brewery for dinner. I ordered a huge awesome citrus chicken salad. I'm so happy I want salad everywhere I go. It was such a nostalgic feeling talking about the trail with everyone. I can't believe they all know me so well and we've only just hiked together. I am truly sad to be leaving them. I adore these people so much.
After dinner, we met up with the grummers for homemade ice cream at Ali's. I got black licorice and mint chocolate chip. Yum! We got back to the house and hung out for a bit with all the girls and dogs. It was such a full house. I gave Jenny Araiya's bed and I took the couches with GB. It was a late night for everyone!
In the morning, we met back up w a game and undercover for breakfast at la magie. I dropped them back off at the hotel and said our official goodbyes. So sad!! Then we took GB into bend to help with his errands. We first took him to trader joes and then some other grocery next door. He had to make all of his Washington boxes so it was a lot to do. Jenny also made me take the enneagram test and found out I was 8: the challenger. And gb was 9: the peacemaker. How spot on. It's still so crazy to see how well we know each other already in a short amount of time. We grabbed some boxes from the po and went to the park next to deschutes river to sort his food. I'm glad we were able to help bc he had five boxes to sort out, label and ship. It was a LOT of work! Then we took him back to the po to drop him off for good. Once again, sad to part ways with the golden boy but this time it was different bc I knew I wasn't coming back.
It was a long drive back to Seattle. As soon as we crossed the Oregon/Washington border, my emotions hit me again. I was not ready to come home, not yet. I didn't want to. I kept thinking about how I couldn't finish the trail and all of my friends were soon making their way to timberline lodge and finally the bridge of Gods. It crushed me to know I couldn't be with them. I just sat in my sadness and couldn't do anything about it. Then Ellie starting bucking again at 3000 rpm and it distracted me. It got to the point where we couldn't drive over 60mph. It was a very long drive home and Jenny hates going slow. I had a headache and was so tired.
We pulled up to Nancy's a little after 930p and walk in. I give her and John a huge hug and see balloons in the shape of my name behind them. Then all of a sudden, a bunch of people come out behind them and I start ugly crying. They all planned a surprise welcome home party for me and waited for me sooo late on a work night. Even with their kids. :( I was so overwhelmed and grateful that they would do this for me. I felt so loved and cared for. I was not ready to come home but I know I have friends who will be here for me when I'm struggling with the transition back to real life.