I have gotten off-trail. There are multiple reasons I got off the trail, but first I want to point out an important thing I have decided. My family and I do not say I “quite” instead we say I left because when someone says I “quite” they infer that I couldn’t handle it and “gave up”. Which sometimes may be correct, but in my eyes, I see that I made it further than many other people younger, older, and my age. I accomplished much of the trail and I am proud of this. Therefor by saying I left, not that I “quite” or “gave up” I decided that thru-hiking was not something I was enjoying and by pushing myself to finish I would have been unhappy, which is not what I believe the point of the PCT is.
Now I will explain the reasons I left the trail. The trail is a place where every day you pack up your portable house and leave inand out of towns, and I found this challenging as I was unable to talk to my friends whenever I wanted to because I was in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi and no service. Another reason is because of my family’s and my pace. Even though we were planning to skip to Oregon and would have been able to go fewer miles, I was still in pain from hiking a 26 mile day. I could not recover and because of this, I have not been as happy while hiking. There were moments where I was happy, but overall the hike lost its spark. I was in pain, unhappy, and didn’t want to hike anymore. All of this combined was depressing , but helped me make my decision. One option was I could go to Washington, work on school which I missed, and enjoy myself and heal. The other option was I could keep pushing to finish 15 miles a day. I could have seen beautiful views in Oregon and Washington, but be in pain. I would not have talked to the people I missed and continue being unhappy.
Overall, I decided going to my Aunt’s house in Washington was the better option and continue working on school while healing my body. My parents remained on trail and were supportive of my decision but felt they would benefit from continuing.