Idylwild to mile 188
Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH) is a common thru-hiker philosophy. It simply means do what is right for your hike, without judging the decisions others make for theirs. It is a great philosophy for solo hikers, but makes painfully obvious the challenges of hiking as a group. This is especially true if the skill levels and goals are significantly different.
After a nero and a full zero, Bri is not able to hike more than about one mile per hour. Clearly she has done more in the past, but right now while we are needing to ramp up the miles, she is struggling. It is frustrating to everyone, especially Bri. The more days it takes between resupplies, the more food and water we have to carry. The extra weight makes everything more difficult.
Brian sends me to wait at the next water, which is 1.7 miles ahead. This gives them time to rest and discuss strategies. When they finally catch up to me, they tell me they have made a decision. If we keep pushing for the miles it takes to get to Canada, Bri will quit. Brian clearly does not want that. They have decided then to go slow, enjoy their time on the trail together and not focus on completing. If they get stronger and get to the end great, but it is no longer a priority.
Our goals are now incompatible. Although I respect their decision, I am determined to get to Canada. After a hug and a hard goodbye, I press on northward. As daylight fades, I find a place to camp. For the first time on the trail, I am completely alone.