Leaving the next morning we went to the shelter for water, we found an injured hiker instead. He was showing signs of a severe hogweed reaction. He skin was all red and blistered on his arms. With a long conversation with him and Hendo we found out that he as a Vietnam Vet and was not very trusting of the town ahead. They had run him around and not helped him out with his condition. His only option was to go to a hospital and that was in the next town. He did the have many options, he had to get to town. Doing the only thing I could think of I walked up to the retreat and asked the caretaker if they could help him out. Thankfully we were in luck and they obliged. He would get a ride to the hospital and Miss Janet would pick him up when he was done.
While we waited, Hendo and Hendo, Kim and myself chatted and prepared our stuff for the day. Kim still not feeling well, was getting nauseous from the bad tasting water in the area. Taking it slow we trekked out and back down the trail. We did more talking than anything for the rest of the day. Search and rescue has become very prevalent each day I’m on the trail. It seems that I might be getting pulled in that direction the farther along I go. Could this be what I am suppose to do when I finish? What about the other things that are blossoming?
We talked about what I will do when I finish the trail and the culmination of that was I didn’t know and that was OK. I had only one goal for the past year and a half and it was hard to think of anything else but that. The trail was more of an ocean with its changing tides rather than bay with a predictable distance. No matter what I planned for out here, in a heartbeat it could change. Planning for anything after this was almost impossible and we were alright with that. Half the adventure was in not knowing what would happen next.
In not knowing what would happen nest we talked about what to do when I reached the end. The only thing we could agree on was that when I got there I wanted to leave early so I could summit before the day hikers got there. The five mile knife edge climb would take me about 5 hours and I could be up on top by the early morning. We could do photos and Rolando funeral before too many people reached the top. In doing the knife edge I could save time and push past the other hikers too. What about Kim though, how could she meet me up there if I was the faster hiker? We thought on that as we reached the car and headed back to town, back to the hostel.