I arrived in Wrightwood rather beat up. It seems to be a common pattern on the last day of many successful nights in the mountains. To get to Wrightwood on the PCT you essentially have to go up 8000ft in elevation from basically 1000ft. It took most of the day to get to the camp located at the highest point. The camp was conveniently located at about 6 miles from the exit route. The next morning, I woke up at 4:30 AM, some car had managed to get up an unpaved road path and it made quite the ruckus. I had no water left and the potato mash from last nights dinner got me dehydrated. I had been to lazy before going to bed to get some water at the source. The source at the camp ground was down a cliff. It is one of the worst I’ve ever seen on trail so far. We’re talking about a small trickle into a pool filled with suspended dust and a bunch of flies. To top it off, the damn thing was located a few hundred yards downhill. It was a huge mess. I got lost going down to get water and ended up doing two extra round trips for a mere liter. It was good enough for the 7 miles awaiting me.
At mile 266 the PCT crosses paths with a highway that is 6 miles east of Big Bear city and Big Bear Lake. The first is a residential area while the latter is a decent commercial strip near a lake(duh). The city is filled with whittled bears. It is rather impressive. The hike to get here was pretty intense, but most of the problems came from our impatience. Most of us were running low on food. We all craved some fast food too. Me, and two other guys got hitched for a ride and we were dropped off at the PO. After that, we went and indulged ourselves with some McDonald’s. They’re were better choices, but I complied with the group and I was hungry. I need to be smarter about what I choose to eat, but it is rather challenging when you arrive starving in a city have a few hundred miles of hiking.
My first week on the PCT was brutal, but the amount of experience I have acquired from the land, the hikers and the citizens is immeasurable. A single day seems to amount to a month, that’s how content-filled every day is.
This is my third night on the Pacific Crest Trail(PCT). I am around mile 59 or close to that. I have the worst blisters I’ve ever had(around 10 blisters and a foot rash caused by heat). Every step is painful, but it’s no use worrying about that kind of stuff. Not that it shouldn’t be ignored. I just avoid labeling the situation, that would just make it worse since I have about 40 miles to do before I reach a resting place.
What is compassion? We probably have a general idea of what compassion entails, but there is a whole lot more to it than we think. I had stumbled upon a podcast by Sam Harris which went over the differences between empathy and compassion. For half an hour, a detailed explanation of the differences were brought up. That’s when it hit me; I don’t know what compassion is. What the hell is it? My vague idea was that it was something like giving your attention to someone without expecting anything in return. This idea isn’t wrong or right, but after a while I felt like I should investigate a little bit and flesh out the details. Whenever I feel ignorant, especially if I use a word I don’t understand that well, I feel like it’s similar to navigating through the world without being able to understand the signs.