The closest town is only 0.2 miles off the trail. After getting up at sunrise and taking off, I wave goodbye to Robert’s tent wherein he remains fast asleep.

In town, I stop into Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice latte. I’m going to be far away from civilization for over 100 miles starting today, so let’s start out correctly with the proper amount of basic hipsterdom.

Just to know, I ask the barista if there’s a convenient way to get to Phoenix or Vegas from here.

"The Arizona shuttle picks up from across the street, and can get you to Flagstaff or Phoenix"

Huh.

100 miles of walking on a messed up ankle, or letting it rest.

I decide to fly home. Temporarily. I can be back in SLC by 9 tonight, and if all goes well, be back on Saturday.

I hate this.

I would hate causing permanent damage to my ankle even more, though.

Ok. I’m going home today.

I can wash my sleeping quilt, which, isn’t quite fresh anymore. I’m not sure why. Even before yesterday’s shower, I was fine, but the quilt was not.

I can lighten my load a little and come back in a couple days.

It’s too bad, this is a great day to hike.

-

The shuttle has 10 people in it.

The guy next to me has awful headphones. You can hear all of his awful music outside his headphones.

Everyone can. No one chooses to say anything. We all just wait patiently.

I look out the window and see the landscape we’re passing. I should be walking out there. Seeing all there is to see.

It’s ok, I’ll be back in 3 days.

One hopes.

Only 680 miles to go.