Last night, frequent, transient shooting pains in my right ankle kept me awake. Every few minutes, the pain would jolt me, accompanied by a loud “Ow!” Was my body attempting to tell me something about the health of my ankle? I started hiking the 4 easy miles to Silverthorne at 5:30. The last 1.5 miles ran along paved roads to the Silverthorne exit on Interstate 70. The first order of business was a second breakfast, which I ate at the Sunshine Cafe a few blocks east of I-70. A huge omelet and coffee filled me up. As I ate, I reflected on last night’s ankle pain and what I wanted to do. I’ve been leaning toward leaving the trail. That would give my ankles and feet a chance to recover. More importantly, I would rather spend the next three months working on my book and building my speaking business than hiking. Plus I want to help Betsy with house and yard work. Thus, I decided to end my CDT hike for 2018. A sense of relief swept over me. I walked to the shuttle bus station to get a bus to Frisco where I could catch a Greyhound to Denver. As I walked, I met Matt and Claire who were also ending their hike. In Frisco, the Greyhound bus failed to appear so I called Betsy for a ride to Boulder. At home, I began the process of returning to the ‘real world’. I went to the gym to clean up and to weigh myself. To my surprise, I lost 12 pounds on my hike, from 169 to 157 pounds. My ribs showed prominently rather like a malnourished cow in a drought-stricken land (see photo). It’s time me to start regaining the lost weight.