In South Lake Tahoe I met a man with the trail name Palomino who told me that the PCT never leaves you and never leaves you alone. He's absolutely right, so far. It has been 3 months since I returned. It has been longer since I returned than I was out there.
The trail never leaves me. I think often of some of the places I walked. Days that come back to me most often include the day I hiked 28 miles to Cajon Pass, the day I hiked from the Liebre mountains into Hikertown and some of the Northern California forest the last few days before I left the trail. I think about the trail all the time. Visualize it. Talk about it.
The trail never leaves me alone. I long to be back. I carry the inner peace I gained out there still within me. I cannot get into a groove of hyperactivity and multi-tasking like before. I may begin to worry about things but the worry does not last. The peacefulness of the trail always comes back. It changed me. Made me kind of dreamy and happy. Nothing really matters because I know I can take care of myself on the trail.
The trail calls to me still. I suppose I should not be surprised. It called me for 33 years. Why should it stop now? What does it want from me? What am I supposed to do about its nagging? Go back? How often? When?
I fear my life has been ruined. I cannot live here but I can't live on the trail either. I'm in a dream state where I cannot wake up. How long until my rude re-awakening?