Day 99 – Crestline

Zero Miles

After a relaxing morning with the Martin’s in Manhattan Beach, we drive to Crestline. It feels very odd to be back on Highway 18 in San Bernardino. I remember being so excited to be 1/10th of the way done with the PCT. It seems like such a long time ago. Now I am well over 1/2 done, yet here I am, right back at the 1/10th mark.

We check into the hotel, enjoy a meal at the local cafe and visit with relatives who have arrived for the wedding. Almost everyone who sees me has the same reaction: “Well you’ve lost weight, but I thought you would be thinner.” I am not sure how to take it. I have been working desperately to consume enough calories to keep up my weight, but the disappointment in my more than a skeleton appearance is puzzling.

My image of what would happen to my body on the trail was way off base. I was sure my legs would beef up with muscle disproportionate to my atrophied arms, leaving me very T-rex like. Where’s the beef? I thought my legs were circus balloons, with each day’s labor puffing in a little more air. It turns out my muscles build up according to the demand put on them and walking with a pack clearly takes less demand than I thought. Since the calorie deprived fat is going away and the muscle is not arriving, my legs now look like they belong on a stork, albeit a short one.

I have to remind myself this side trip to Crestline is not about me. Tomorrow my niece is getting married and that is why I am here. Perhaps I can redirect the focus onto her by pointing out that although thin, I thought she would be thinner.  Or maybe not.