Monday, February 21, 2011

Reentry and the "Lost" Photos

Morph took this photo of me eating breakfast
the morning we hiked out to Walker Pass.
The first few days after a thru-hike is over, there's a "reentry" period. My first full day home, I walked around our neighborhood a bit. You'd think I'd be tired of walking, and I was, but I still wanted to look around and see the area, but I made it a short walk! I walked past an elementary school where kids were playing, and it seemed like a different world. I'd walk past them all the time before I started my hike and never really thought much of it, but then I walk past it just then and realized I hadn't seen that sight for five months. Some of them were playing tetherball, which I remembered playing in elementary school, and wondered if any of those kids would turn out to be thru-hikers in another 20 years.

I didn't linger, though. I figured someone might call the cops if I watched the kids for too long. I still had my gruffy beard and looked pretty homeless. Definitely a "shady" character. I don't think it would help if I explained that I had been hiking for the last five months, from Mexico to Canada. They might think I was insane too!

About a week after getting home, I dropped by the Baskin Robbins and had an ice cream in honor of the truck driver that picked me up. I've been back a couple of times since too, but admittedly, for my own guilty pleasures. ;o)

I flew down to California a couple of weeks after finishing the trail and finally shaved off that horrible beard.

As I write this now, nearly five months after having finished the trail, I've gained back pretty much all of the weight I lost on the hike. I also spent some time trying to find trail friends online, and they sent me some photos of myself that I didn't have while originally writing these blogs. Some of the photos I thought would be fun to share. Many of them I knew about and wished I had when I was writing the blog posts. Others I didn't even know about. Facebook is a great little tool for finding photos by other hikers when they start tagging me on them! =)

I took this photo of Charmin celebrating reaching the summit of
Baden Powell. I was using her camera, though, and didn't get a copy
of the photo until after our hikes were done. Even though I was there,
it still doesn't seem possible that she can jump that high!

Charmin snapped this photo of my mom buzzing my head in Wrightwood.

Charmin took this photo of me maneuvering under this tree. In this
particular case, I just used my arms to "walk" me through, which
felt as ridiculous as it looks, but it worked! =)

I don't think I have any photos of me actually cooking with my stove. =)
Charmin took this photo that first day we started hiking together. I usually don't cook lunch,
but I took a long lunch break this day and had the time (and plenty of water!)

I'm explaining to Running Wolf where we are, after he followed
the detour for seven miles and didn't realize it! I didn't know about this photo's existance. =)

Bigfoot took this photo while I was soaking naked in the hot springs
along the trail. Yes, another naked photo of me! Fortunately, still PG stuff.... ;o)

Fidget took this photo of me taking a break at the top of Pinchot Pass.

I took my share of photos where Fidget was postholing badly. She did the same to me, though! =)
You can see the hut at the top of Muir Pass in the background. ALMOST THERE!!!!

I did say that I hated snow, right? This is why!

Fidget took this photo of me taking a break. I had thrown my fleece jacket over
my head so the sun didn't blind me. =)

One of the less treacherous creek crossings....

Fidget took this photo when we went off trail to essentially skip two
dangerous river crossings. It was a bit of a rock scramble to get up the hillside!

Fidget took this photo. I have one just like it, but it amused me to see that
she took a photo of it weeks after Amanda had written it. Being on the
vertical surface like that, it hadn't washed away in the rain like the
notes Amanda wrote on the ground. I'm sure it'll wear off over time, though!


Anonymous said...

Seeing those snow photos, I have a whole new appreciation for what you went through. Truly only for the brave and the bold.

Goofy girl - can we get some confetti in here please??

Bravo, Ryan, Bravo!

Kaaren said...

So, did Charmin and what's-his-name complete the trail? Together?

Okie Dog said...

Ditto on the snow photos...I was thinking: you can't even see where you've been, what does it do, naturally fill in the gaps after you leave a spot? Weird, looks as if you just dropped down from Heaven, or something...
Great pictures, once again...OD

veganf said...

Yeah, what ever happened to Charmin??
And I can't remember if Bigfoot was male or female, but great pic in the hot springs!
I thought of your blog often this winter when postholing to my thighs while letterboxing.

sarcasmo said...

Ah, now I too have more appreciation for the whole "hate postholing in snow". How do you keep from getting hypothermia or frostbite in conditions like that? It doesn't look like it was torturously cold but wet clothes and shoes are not trail friendly.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Hasty and Charmin were just two days behind Ryan.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

These photos are all terrific. Your blissfully, goofy face in the hot springs cracked me up. Looks like that photo could belong in a Playgirl mag. hah!

Wow! I just love that photo of Charmin!! That should be on the cover of a hiking or outdoor magazine! Such energy! And she sure is a cutie!
So how is Charmin doing? What is she up to? She obviously sent you those photos. Did you make up and are friends again?
I really missed her during the last part of your hike.

And your Mama is a real beauty! Must be so great to have a hairdresser Mom. :)

So what are your plans next?
Another thru-hike? A paddling thru-trip?

May I suggest the CDT? You'd start in my home state of New Mexico and I'm sure we could rustle up some trail magic along the way.
The CDT is the most challenging of all the thru-hikes, but after you've tucked the AT, FT, and the PCT under your belt, you are no doubt ready for it.

Do it, Do it!

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers

Just Peachy said...

looking for more of the naked photos! LOL