Noelle here:

Well, we did it! We started our journey back to the trail. While my sister, brother-in-law and I were at the hospital, busting Dad out, Steve was packing up the van. He met us and we all made a little parade down the hospital corridor and to the front door.

Dad is grumpy. He’s in pain. The hospital let him fall on Saturday and his back and ribs are so bruised. We’re thankful he didn’t get cut during the fall because he would have bled out before they even found him. (Heparin). They never even called to say it happened. So much added and unnecessary worry and stress. A nurse had turned off his bed alarm because he had been good at calling when he needed to get up. That worked right up until it didn’t. Parkinson’s is odd, one moment complete lucidity. The next moment you can see his eyes cloud over and he’s gone for a bit. So very frustrating. And financial negotiations for increased care. His nurse from Friday took care of him again yesterday after being off for the weekend. She was stunned at the difference in him.

Dad will get extra home care until he’s at least back up to where he was before the fall and the stents. All that adds to my guilt about our leaving. That’s on top of the pre-existing guilt over leaving Steve’s parents.

It’s real life. It’s where we’re at.

…back to the blog about hiking though…

From Steve’s parents, we flew to Seattle then Portland. It was such a beautiful day. We could see the whole Northern Cascade Mountain Range and we kept seeing trails and wondering if one was the PCT.

It takes about thirty-five minutes to fly from Seattle to Portland.

It took Steve four weeks to walk the state of Washington!

Mt St Helens looked neat, we got to see right into her crater.

As we drove from my Dad’s down to Medford/Ashland, it took us four hours. Steve hiked the state of Oregon in three weeks!

We saw a deer at a rest stop. Steve said it was a good omen. 😂

We spent the night and then continued our journey South. We’re in McCloud, CA as I type this. We already know there’s no cell service in Old Station so we stopped to finish up a couple more posts. We were last there on July 1, Steve said that feels like a lifetime ago. I kind of agree.

We saw Mt Shasta on the way. So beautiful!

Steve starts hiking in the morning. Once he does, I’ll drive forward and start hiking back towards him. I’m so excited and I feel so guilty about leaving our parents and then feeling excited.

Life is complicated. Tomorrow we return to day to day living for a little bit longer. I’m mostly good with that.