River to River Trail – Day 5

Giant City Lodge to Home
1 mile hiked

Woke up early this morning to pack up and get to the lodge 30 minutes before breakfast and use their wifi, since it isn’t available in the cabins.  Unfortunately, they don’t open until 8 when breakfast starts and now I’ll need to be super multitasking because we need to be on the trail by 9.  The lodge also didn’t have laundry machines, so our stuff is STILL wet.  I am trying to accept that they wil be wet for the duration of the hike.

The lodge did say they will let us leave a priority box with them so that we could ship stuff home.  Even bough Arbor calculated the calories we needed – none of us has been able to eat that much.  We culled all the food we weren’t uber interested in and will be sending it home along with my chair.  That should really help with keeping pack weight more manageable.

As soon as the lodge opened its doors, we set about doing the necessary personal and financial chores that required wifi and cell reception.  We called Alite, the chair company about my broken rod, but you only get voicemail no matter which department you call.  This is extremely disappointing.  We left a detailed message, but I’m probably going to be without a chair.  I really loved it too, it gave my back a rest like nothing but my hammock can.

We ate a wonderful breakfast, that Ubadion declared the best ever and we went back to finish packing and hit the trail.  Sadly, Ubadion was still not feeling all that well and had developed a number of physical complaints that were making the trip really difficult.  The burden of the pain upset the balance of things, and pushing in was no longer worth it.  He really struggled with the decision, as he had told everyone about his plans and had integrated it into his current sense of self.  He hated to quit, but just couldn’t make himself go on.

So we called our eldest to come and collect us.  The plan is for Arbor and I to drive back down for our scheduled zip line tour (yay!) and then the eldest will drop us off where we last left the trail.  I am sad to be losing the company of Ubadion – he was a bright spot in our days and an asset in every challenge we faced.  Still, it’s always good to recognize ones limits and face them head on – and I’m proud of him for being able to do that.

I’ve really struggled with many of those thoughts myself, and we think it’s wise to add a few days to the trip so we aren’t pushing so hard.  I know we are hiking at a snails pace compared to most R2R backpackers, but I think that because of our experience level, we’re working as hard as they do.  It makes sense to slow it down just enough that each day doesn’t feel like we’re punishing ourselves – and give ourselves the chance to really revel in all that the trail has to offer.

We did have the chance to weigh our packs in their current state with food and water.  My pack is 35 pounds and Arbor’s is 46.  Whew!  It’s still heavier than I’d like, so we’re going to reevaluate everything in the morning and see if we can bring those numbers down any.

I’m in my own bed tonight, the laundry is in the wash (and the dryer!) and we’re looking forward to the next adventure!

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