He’s Happy!

Mile 2476.     174 miles to the finish.    For a total of 2,650 miles.

The days without the knowledge of where Astro (Andy) is and how he’s doing have been daunting, filled with highs and lows, what ifs and how comes.  It wasn’t this way before . . . before he went to the hospital in Yakima and we learned he had a cancerous tumor pressing into his spinal column.   Before all this, we knew he was safe because he was in nature.

On Monday morning (Oct 8), I get a text from Wolverine, who’s  turned out to be Andy’s guardian angel and my main man trail contact, when I don’t hear from Andy.  He tells me the other hikers have started appearing off the trail in Skykomish, WA heading towards the Dinsmore’s (trail angel’s home) early in the morning, all reporting that they thought Astro was in front of them.

Wolverine — another ‘angel’ and my main man and Andy’s guardian.

The hours started to tick by  . . . and no Astro sightings, and no cell phone coverage.  Odd.  He was in front of them but was yet to appear.  By now everyone knows his story and is concerned about his well-being, so they rounded up a posse and turned the little town of Skykomish upside-down, inside-out, figured he may have stopped in somewhere for a quick bite.  Couldn’t find him anywhere.  He must still be on the trail.  But this late?   By now its 5:30 in the afternoon, the sun is going down and all his fellow hikers are sipping lemonade and eating sandwiches.  Everyone thought Astro was in front of them, but they hadn’t seen him for two days.

A mother’s worry.  It was going to get dark soon.  Could we call the Forest Ranger and see if he could send some rangers down the trail and look for him?  In a mother’s panic I call and get this response,  “Well, yeah sure, but he has to be missing for more than 2 days.”  And I say,  “Well, he has been missing for more than two days, no one’s seen him, and plus he could potentially be ill, he just back on the trail after being at the hospital for several days and psychologically he could have gone down a dark hole, I mean after all, he just received another cancer diagnosis”.  I’m pleading by now (I hate to admit.)  And all my concerns fall on deaf ears, “If he’s still missin in the mornin maam, we’ll go out after him.”

Another restless night without sleep?

I feel helpless, I can’t eat, I can’t work, I can’t meditate.  I can’t blog.  A dog walk is the only remedy.  An hour later, my phone rings and it’s Deon, the angel, a very special lady from the Seattle Pharmaceutical company who is determined to create some “trail magic” for Astro and his buds at this juncture in Skyhomish.

“Hello”, I say.
Long pause  . . . and then, “Hi Mom.”

“Uhhhh, ANDY, are you okay?, where have you been?, we’ve been wondering where you where, you were supposed to get into town hours ago.”

Andy, when he gets off the trail in Skykomish after hiking from Snowqualmie where I dropped him off last Thursday. He got back on the trail the day after his treatment. He’s with Deon on the right, our trail angel, who has been a godsend to me!

Andy, “I’m doing fine . . . but what are all these people doing here at the trail head looking at me?  When I walked out of the forest someone shouted, hey are you Astro? and when I nodded, this lady came up to me with her cell phone and said,  ‘Talk to your mom’.”  After a deep sigh, realizing he was okay, I said, “Well, we were just worried about you.”

He goes, “Mom, I’m alright, I just took a detour to the hot springs to soak myself and it felt real good and I figured I didn’t need to get in town till sundown, so here I am.”  There was a bunch of commotion in the back ground — people moving, talking all at once and I realized he must be standing in the middle of a bunch of hikers, trail angels, forest rangers and god knows who else.  I better get this kid off the phone so he take off his pack, go relax, enjoy a hot meal.  We said our “I love you’s” with the promise to talk later, which we did.

The group gathered around the table for some trail magic, a wonderful meal provided by our trail angel Deon.

He got back on the trail today (Wednesday, Oct.9) and will be hiking into Stehekin (98 miles).  This next section of the journey is long and very remote.  The weather is predicted to change and get rainy, it will be the first time Andy has seen rain (he did hike through snow in Mt. Laguna) on this entire journey.   This is incredibly amazing when hiking thru on the PCT.  There must be a protective energy surrounding him.

He’s Happy!

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14 Responses to He’s Happy!

  1. Dambara says:

    YAY, all-RIGHT! Keep goin’ Andy; hang in there, Mom!

  2. Leslie says:

    He looks happy and I know you are…or at least you can sleep tonight! Thinking of you all! XO

  3. cathy says:

    Go, Andy, go!! Hang in there, Mom!

  4. Debbie says:

    Always makes me think of the Little Engine That Could… Keep going Astro, Godspeed! My thoughts and prayers are with you daily!

  5. Sandra Cumbest says:

    Betsy – thank you for sharing your love. It’s good to receive it all

  6. Dorothy says:

    Yeah, go Andy go!!! Sending good thoughts your way!!!! 🙂 🙂

  7. Sending love and best wishes from Wyoming for Astro to finish this amazing journey.
    From a fellow thru-hiker PCT 05/06,

  8. Charles says:

    Darn Kids!
    Always staying out late, hanging with their friends, never where their supposed to be… making their parents worry! =]

    We’re cheering you on from Portland, stay strong and keep up the good work! That goes for you too Astro! ;-]

  9. demuzeekmon says:

    So glad that you have heard from Astro. You are both doing great, keep the faith!

  10. Great Job Astro!! My son, Robin Hood finished just ahead of you and wishes he could join you on the trail as he really misses it out there. Take it all in as the others would love to still be on the trail. One day at a time, one step at at time.

  11. Carol says:

    My heart was in my mouth the whole time I read this. I admire Andy’s quest and identify with parental angst.

  12. Dena says:

    Cheering for you Andy! What an amazing experience! You must be a very proud Mom!

  13. martha says:

    Hi. Im Mattha, Wolverine’s good friend and resupply person.. I have been hearing about andy for months! What a brave, strong uoinh man you have there. If Wolvetine is takinh care of Andy, he is in very hood hands.
    If u take a look at wolvetines blig, you ll see a lot of postd snout Andy. Wolvetinepct.blogspot.com.
    Andy is in my prayers anf thoughts!
    Martha

  14. Lagunakahuna says:

    I’ve always regretted that I never undertook an incredible physical challenge like this when I was younger. I am thankful for your updates and just awestruck with Andy/Astro’s resolve. I cannot wait to see him!

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