Ah, the best laid plans: 150 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, Santiam Pass, Oregon to the Columbia Gorge. All went exceptionally well for forty-six miles, and then my wife, Debbie, had a flat tire. Well, two flat tires, feet that rebelled and screamed for her to stop. Brisk slowed to steady, steady to dogged, dogged to hobbling. We limped off the trail at Olallie Lake and, thanks to wonderful friends, were able to get a ride home.
Which could be viewed as a defeat, but we are choosing not to frame it that way. Despite the pain, the sweat, the dust, and the hard work of lugging everything needed on our backs, we had a fantastic wilderness experience punctuated with beauty both minute and magnificent.
Now for Plan B, or in writer parlance — revision. It will, no doubt, involve more immersion in the natural world, and maybe even a return to the trail on Mt. Hood with packs on our backs. (Doctor recommendations come today.) Or just camping and day hikes, or mountain biking, and lots of soaking in the beauty of the glorious Cascades.
I hauled over a pound of paper on those first 46 miles, and scribbled daily on my novel, The Really Real Reality Show. Debbie and I also worked on a new picture book, Topsy Turvy. Wherever the revised plan takes us, writing will be in the mix.