Day 8 + 9 - Laid Up

Mileage: 2.5


I'm up and out. I don't like this park with all it's perfectly clean RV and car campers. I don't feel welcome. 

I had called Garibaldi Marina the day before to inquire about a ride across Tillamook Bay. It only required a tip for the driver! I needed to be there around 9:30. 

I hit the railroad tracks, pretending my ankle and foot doesn't hurt like hell. I just need to warm up, I think. The sky was moody and clouds swirled over the mountains. It was misting lightly, rain and storms were in the forecast.

I'm 2.5 miles in and there's no warm up... It's hurting.  I'm standing in the middle of a tiny coastal town and I know I'm not catching that boat, or going anywhere for that matter. I finally admit that I need ice and elevation and rest. There's a hotel literally right next to me, The Garibaldi House. I google my options. Econo Lodge is just $10 less than Garibaldi House and is on the outskirts of town. I weigh my options. Garibaldi House boasts a full free breakfast and has won an award even.

I might own a business, but let me tell you it does not make me rich. My budget is tight. I planned on two hotels stays TOPS in tiny non-tourist towns in the cheapest places possible. Now I didn't have much of a choice. 

I find an adorable local bakery to sit in. I get an apple fritter and unlimited coffee for less than $2.


I sit in the corner and pull some tarot cards. Yep, you need to be passive and rest. You need to heal. It's time to be wise, not foolish.


I call Garibaldi House and ask about check in. It's at 11. I've actually never gotten a hotel by myself before. Is that weird? I wonder if I need my credit card, all I have is my debit. I'm nervous. 

I walk the 100 feet to the lobby from the bakery. The girl behind the desk is so very nice and understanding. She runs my card and it's fine and told me the moment my room was clean she would call me so that I could check in early.  

I waited at the bakery for about an hour and a half. A lot old folks came in, it seemed to be their spot. They all had a copy of the Willamette Week, a crass Portland weekly newspaper. They were making commentary about the annual Naked Bike Ride. It was more that they were shocked than them saying anything rude. Portland is a strange anomaly in whole of Oregon. But Oregon is still pretty weird too. 


The hotel calls. I beeline to their doors. She gives me my key and gives me a heavy duty ziplock for icing my foot. She tells me I can help myself to the leftovers of breakfast, they just started breaking it down.

Three types of eggs, potatoes, sausage, fruit, boiled eggs, Belgian waffle batter machine and irons hot and ready, homemade salsas and guacamole, bagels, donuts, bacon, juice, yogurt, cereal, tortillas...  

I load up to assemble breakfast burritos and food for the rest of the day (saving me from depleting my trail food and the cost of eating out).  

This was a good idea, oh yes.

The room and hotel isn't fancy, the whole place is just cozy and home like. I relax.

My foot was pretty swollen by the time I sat down. I popped three ibuprofen, stacked some pillows and applied the ice off and on. 

I took a hard three hour nap, the swelling in my foot significantly reduced.  

I take a shower and it feels wonderful. I wash my clothes in the sink and pop them in the dryer. They have cheese and crackers in the lobby and some really good coffee. There's a popcorn machine too.  

I watch a little TV. It's insane to me. I turn it to the weather channel, and even that is sensationalist. What happened to Discovery and National Geographic? They're reality channels now. It's all about people being thrown into nature, battling nature, fighting her, trying to conquer... Let's throw a pair of naked humans in the jungle and see what happens. Let's see how much gold we can collect. The biggest fish we can catch. More more more.

The shootings and death of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling are everywhere. I watch, I read about what happened. I cry, I'm so very angry. I take to social media to understand how I can be better to the Black and POC communities.

People are protesting in Portland and I wish I was there. But I'm wounded and on an adventure and I can't do shit but post links and voice my support of #blacklivesmatter  - which feels insignificant to me compared to what others are doing.

I feel useless and unable to do anything. I'm mad at myself, feeling shameful, foolish and selfish. 

I turn off the TV and don't turn it back on during my stay.

I call Daniel. He's supportive and tells me I'll be fine. I'm very thankful he's there and that he cares. That he's a genuinely good person and how lucky I am to have him in my life. And that for the first time in a long time, he has made me feel comfortable saying 'I love you' without fear, or insecurities attached to it. 

I'm stressing about whether or not I'll be able to actually do this thing. Thruhike the whole coast. If this is happening, how will I ever even do the PCT?  Who do I think I am?

I spiral into a despair and eventually, sleep.

I wake at 4am to wind and rain coming through the open window. It's storming outside. I feel very thankful to be inside right now. I wonder how Katelin and John are doing out there and if they're warm and dry. 

I go back to sleep and wake at 7. I raid the breakfast buffet and squirrel away food in my  room.

Moment of truth, I go for a walk around the block to check my foot. Nope. Not good.

Back in my room I google the pain and of course, this is the worst thing I can possibly do. I'm convinced I have a stress fracture. 

I call my brother, an infantryman in the Army. He tells me his experience with a stress fracture. We agree we can't know unless I got an X-ray or MRI, which is out of the question being I have no insurance. We catch up a little and talk about dad. He's a struggling alcoholic. 

He tells me he's been doing great. This makes me super happy. After my dads mother, my grandmother died, I've been really worried about him.  We say our I love yous and hang up.

I get a text a few hours later from my dad. I call him. I discover he's going to AA and has a sponsor even! I am so proud of him. My mom is involved with Al-Aon, a support group for those involved with alcoholics.  

My dad asks about my pain, he's a former Army Ranger and has endured some of the toughest physical challenges around. He tells me to hang in there and accept the things I can't change with grace and serenity. And that if I can't continue this hike, so be it. Don't be foolish, be wise and know when you need to stop. 

I grit my teeth and book another night in the hotel. My bank account hating me. One more night, then I'm heading out. I call the Garibaldi Marina to check if I can get a ferry. High winds and rain tomorrow, it's a no. 

So I decide: I'll leave in the morning and walk to Tillamook via the railroad and if it's bad, I'll catch a bus home. Deal. 

Mentally I prepare myself for quitting. I'm going home tomorrow I tell myself, it's going to take you weeks to heal. You've got a stress fracture. I set my ego aside and submit to my  human fragility.

I pack up all my gear and get ready to go in the morning. Even though this hotel stay depleted me monetarily speaking, I'm glad I did it. I crawl into the comfy bed and sleep deeply.


 My bum ankle had me laid up in a hotel for two days, this unexpected expense put a dent in my budget. Interested in supporting me, buying me a coffee or a burger? You can donate here!