Noelle here:

We’ve been in town for a few days now, which maybe isn’t so bad as it seems to be storming up in the mountains.

We’re now the owners of a 1994 Dodge Ram Camper Van. It’s a good van, we got it inspected. It’s big enough for a bathroom and sleeping and cooking but small enough to park in a regular parking space.

I don’t actually know how I’m feeling right now. Relieved to have most of the business steps completed. Relieved like a weight has been lifted. I also feel nervous, like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, as I’ve just added a layer of complexity to our hiking adventure.

My shoulder and lower back are still hugely unhappy, so logically I realize this is a wise move. I can still meet up with Steve to day-hike. I can even take the van up past him, then get a ride back to the trail and hike with him for a few days. There’s a man out here doing that now. He Uber’s back to the trail head then hikes to his camper. I recognize that it opens some possibilities for a different kind of adventure. But I’ve realistically removed my bid for a continuous thru-hike and that comes with an enormous feeling of failure.

So many emotions swirling around. I’m thankful that we found a good van within our limited amount of time and budget. I’m grateful that we have the means to have options. I’m sad that it changes our adventure. I feel some depression, along with some joy. I’m just one big mixed up mess!

My strongest feeling is blessed. I feel blessed to have a friend, partner and husband in Steve. He puts up with a lot and he usually keeps smiling.