Strange Magic

The last few weeks have been a bit of a challenge for me. I would have said just psychologically, but then I did some math and realized, its probably more physical than I realize. Probably just been pushing it too much. The landscape has been gorgeous, but steep and overgrown. The bugs are doing what they do, this time of year. The heat it rather intense. Meanwhile, me and the guys have been pushing 27 mile days and it’s been wearing on me more than I knew.


Storm Lake Pass

Until I called Mamma. That’s when it all came crashing down in the usual 5-year-old way. Sorry Mamma, but thanks for being so supportive and encouraging. I was threatening that I don’t even know why I do this and that I feel irresponsible for leaving Max (the cat) behind and needing so much help from my friends and family to keep this journey continuing. I said that I feel a shift in myself, that adventure is not as important as I once thought it was. Which is true. Family matters more. Love matters more. So how can I keep doing this, when I know it doesn’t really matter.

Then, really great things started happening. I told the guys I needed a day off in West Yellowstone. We hitched in for the 4th of July, drank beer, met great people, saw fireworks. Then we arranged a slack pack the next day, which takes a lot of the pressure off and reminds me of the love without the pain. I had some incredible chance meetings in West Yellowstone that reminded me of the passion behind this. Saw that sparkle in another trail runners’ eyes that reminds me how lucky I am to get to do this. Made some great connections. I let myself be still, and focus on what’s underneath it all.


Banjo blending in at West Yellowstone

The Wyoming border

The Wyoming border

Then I carried on with Banjo and Stabby for the next day and a half. We crossed the Wyoming border and had a little celebration there. We enjoyed the luxuries of Old Faithful, (ice cream, beer, etc.) and then they carried on while I awaited my guaranteed package of new shoes at the post office. One might speculate that much of my crappy attitude has come from walking over 1400 miles in the same pair of Keens. Alas, the package did not come, despite the guarantee.  The guys had already left, not knowing I am stuck here in Old Faithful for the next days post. They are probably worried, but I know I’ll catch them in Dubois. It would seem like a stressful situation, but honestly, it’s quite the gift!

The magic I received here is unbelievable! I was allowed to stay in employee housing here at the lodge. I never dreamed there would be a way to drop in to one of the most popular attractions in America and get  a room for 5 bucks! I was given meal tickets by other employees, met some great adventurers and talked trails a bit, and then was treated to dinner by the nicest couple, Lori and Geno, from California. I really enjoyed talking with them. We had wine by the piano after dinner and played guess that tune. Which was great! I met the pianist, and talked theater a bit with her. She invited me to sing. We ended up doing three Joni Mitchell tunes and it was lovely to be with the music for a while. I miss it! I had the greatest sleep of my trail so far, and am feeling charged and inspired. Feeling like all of these delays are teaching me some important things. Let it go. Trust. Be grateful. The rest will come.

Thank you for the love friends, family, and strangers. I’m so aware of it.

A ridge camp

A ridge camp


5 thoughts on “Strange Magic

  1. I am so glad you found the love and meaning behind your hikes again. Your friends and family support you and you shouldn’t feel irresponsible for doing something you love. Keep on hikin’ Kiddo. We are behind you 100%
    Love n miss yah!


  2. Shayla – I have so much enjoyed reading your stories of your newest conquest. And I am praying for you to good days and safe trails! Jesus loves you and so do I! Take Care!! GOD Bless!! Joe Niklaus

    Joe Niklaus

    Trinity Lutheran Church

    Brainerd, MN


    My e-mail address will be changing to Please update your address books. THANKS!!


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