PCT: Day 208: Slackpackimg

Day: 208

Direction: Southbound

Trail location: 1390

Cumulative miles hiked: 2109

Miles hiked today: 4.49

Elevation: 5566

High/low temp/Humidity : 77/53/15

Spinning on the turntable: Glen Campbell: Live at the Royal festival hall

Today was a easy slack pack kind of day, just about four miles total. Slack packing is where your pack hangs empty, or slack, because there’s not much in it.

In this case, I left pretty much everything in the truck and Noelle drove down the road to a trail intersection. We met at the trail junction and I’ll hit the trail tomorrow morning in earnest once again.

I recognize that I need to goose the daily miles up a tad, maybe shooting for 12-15 a day. We’ll see. So far my body is generally unhappy with me. I’m taping up both feet every day to protect my blister hot spots. I had hoped for a little luck in Quincy to deal with feet issues, but it wasn’t happening.

Mystery guest

I was capturing pictures of Fern Gully when Noelle came bopping around the trail. I didn’t realize I captured her on film until later!

When we hiked in 2019 I was able to really disconnect from everyday life, well, until I wasn’t able to at the very end.

This time out I’m much more connected to my parents. I received a call from my moms care facility yesterday and the nurse said my mom wanted to chat with me. Ok, let’s chat. The moment my mom picked up the phone and said “Hi Honey Bunch” I knew that she thought she was about to talk with my dad.
So she’s disappointed to hear my voice instead of my dads voice. Understandable! I wish the care facility would just be direct with me and say that she’s having a bad day and they’d like a little help. In summary she wanted out and was waiting for her ride home, wherever home was at that point in time. I think from our brief conversation that she was in her early 20’s and was looking for her own parents.

I straight up lied and said that I’d call her folks and that someone would pick her up tomorrow. Today is that tomorrow and I have no cell service. I wonder if she called again today looking for her place in time.


  1. Heidi Halverson

    That’s heart wrenching. How is your mom’s mood? Does she get frustrated & angry that the world isn’t what she thinks it is?

    Serendipity that you were listening to glen campbell. There’s a documentary about his struggle with alzheimer’s. He got really bad where he had no idea about anything, but then he could get out on stage and perform because the music somehow brought him to a place he was whole. Music was so ingrained in him it was like therapy. At first you think that his family is just trying to get him to perform to make money but you see how it makes him better. Really interesting.

    • mcgarveysan

      I think she’s aware that she’s separated from my dad, and that causes her distress. I don’t think she’s frustrated or angry that the world isn’t as she thinks it should be. In her mind, her reality, the world is as it should be. It’s hard to explain, but her reality, is just her reality. Trying to bring her to “my” reality has no purpose and confuses her. I try to stay flexible and meet her where she’s at; sometimes in her 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s. It can, and does, change in a heartbeat, so trying to nail down what place in time she’s at in right now can be a pointless exercise. I try to enjoy our moments together for what they are. I ask questions about her childhood and that’s usually fertile ground for our visits.

      I saw the documentary with Glen Cambell a year or two ago. It was painful to watch. I understand, maybe, how it could be helpful for him to perform.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *