I’m sitting here watching my last sunset of the desert.
I know that I still have to come back for San Jacinto and I can’t wait for that trip next year but those miles don’t take away from me being finished the desert this year and coming back after everything I went through attempting to PCT last year
I spread some of my grandma and grandpa’s ashes tonight and had a good cry.
Watching the trees in the sunlight, the sun hitting them in the most beautiful way.
It’s cold, but it’s worth walking the .4 mile to watch the sun go down.
Hearing the birds sing and chatter to each other.
Feeling the wind on my face, making my sunburn feel less hot.
Watching the colours of the mountains
Feeling the salt of my tears hit my lips
Feeling so proud of myself for my resilience in my determination
Feeling ready for whats to come
These last desert miles went by too quick
There are moments when I just wanted it to be over and now that it is, I just want to redo the whole thing
The beginnings of chaffing, shitting my pants, getting caught in thunder/lightning/hail/rain storms, having my first zero on trail that was not what I expected and honestly it was not fun. In the moment I look back at that, and I wish that I was right back there again scooping water out of my tent with my trowel.
I still can’t put everything into words. I want to say everything and nothing at once. I love the PCT. Every single moment, even the ones that sucked.
So from Walkers Pass to Highway 58 (Tehachapi) was 84.5 miles. However, I only did 67.8 miles if my math is correct because I was dealing with some hip pain and knee pain throughout this section. I made this decision because I didn't want to get off trail again to wait it out on the two days I felt pain because logistics to get off and back on would be too much.. and I didn't have enough food to not stay on schedule. I'm okay with that decision for me. People can get mad at me if they want, but I'm being transparent over what I didn't finish so that's all folks.
I didn’t write down every single day in detail like I usually do because I wanted to try to stay in the moment more. And let my mind rest when I get to camp instead of writing my blogs each night.
So it’s time for the highlights. The first night on trail I saw a beautiful sunset. I camped the first night with my new tent. I ate ravioli. I jumped for joy with the sun setting all around me.
The next day I had an extremely difficult day of hiking. Very exposed, very hot, and long miles (for me). So because of that, I got a ride from the trail Angel (Optimist Prime) the last mile to where he came down to trail Angel me and anyone else who came by. He made us quesadillas and brought me much needed orange juice and cheese strings. optimist hiked the PCT last year and was one of the only people who managed to do the whole thing before the fires came. That night I met people named Mando, Nicole, Pockets, Baby caveman, and more.
I camped with everyone around me, my 2nd night I believe camping with people around me. My feet and hips hurt a lot today (hence the 1 mile pick up)
That night we saw another beautiful sunset AND a crazy lighting show. We chatted until almost 9pm (hiker midnight)
The next day was a rough day for me as well. My hike definitely was hurting from yesterday pushing it too hard. So I got a hitch again and skipped around 7 miles because I knew that I needed to get to the planned campsite otherwise I’d run out of food. My hitch was on a motorcycle/dirt bike so that was freaking cool. Very fun experience. Then I was dropped off and hiked some miles. I saw a hiker I met at Hikertown again named Peach. It started to rain as I was sitting down so I quickly got back up and started hiking to my campsite of the night. However, the weather had other plans. See I left my raincoat at Abel’s because the weather didn’t call for any rain for this section. Lesson learned. It started to HAIL AND RAIN AND THUNDER LOUDLY on me. I was trying to hike as fast as I could. Eventually I used my Tyvek sheet to protect myself a bit from the rain, but it was coming down hard and mean. I set up camp earlier than planned. Basically a foot off of trail next to a bunch of large boulders. My tent was soaked, I was soaked, my gear was soaked. It took me a long time to get everything situated and my tent was flooded from the hail and rain while it took me the time to set it up. I used my soaked sunshirt to soak up the water and ring it out over 10 times to get the tent only slightly damp. Then I got out of my cold and wet clothes and put on my sleeping clothes. It was only 2:30 pm but I was done for the day. I went to send out my garmin message to see that my garmin had reset and nothing was working. It said I had to activate it by going to the website…. Welp. Then I started balling my eyes out. No service. No way to send my message out that I’m okay. And now the thunder was so loud that it felt like the boulders and trees next to me would fall on my tent. I could see flashes of lightning through my rain fly immediately after the thunder boomedz I broke down and cried for over an hour. I didn’t know what to do. I started to fiddle again with my garmin and it kept saying skip or activate… so I eventually did a Hail Mary (excuse the pun) and hit skip. And it started to connect. Then it let me send a freaking message (not a preset free one) but a message nonetheless. Thank god. I could finally stop crying. Then I was able to think straight. After 6pm the rain had stopped and it presented me with another pretty sunset. What a day. I ended the night eating raw ramen and watching my show to help me calm down after everything that happened before.
the next day I walked only like 5 miles to give myself a nice easy day after the events of yesterday. Which was great because I got to a wonderful campsite and met Awesome, Billy, and Big Green.
awesome and Billy stayed the night with me and we camped together and chatted a lot all day. (Since I got to camp at like 2pm) I slept with my rain fly off that night and saw the stars all night shimmering. It was gorgeous. I will sleep every night that I can with the fly off from now on.
The next day I met Gazelle. She is a southbound hiker so we decided to camp that night together! We hiked the day separately and kept passing each other as we took breaks at separate times. We chatted lots that night and slept without our rain fly’s on. (I convinced her to do it for the first time)
I also saw Wayfinder at the camp a few hundred feet away from my that night. And Daisy showed up later that night around 7:30 and we chatted as well!
Next morning Gazelle left about 30 mins before I did but I caught her as she was eating breakfast. I ate as I was hiking so I sat for a bit and then kept hiking on. She then caught up with me when I took my lunch break, then I hiked on and she eats. I got to camp that day about a half hour before her and she was going to hike on but we heard from other hikers ahead that there was a cougar not far ahead so she decided to stay with me. I met someone who I named tiny pack. At the camp/water source because his back was like a kids pack and weighed only 5.5 pounds before food and water. Crazy. I hope he keeps that name haha.
Next day was a solo day. Gazelle was going to get into Tehachapi that day doing a 17 mile day whereas I didn’t want to get there till the day after so she left around 6:30 am and I leave camp at 8:30/9am. Today was a hard elevation gain, but I had a super good day. I started to get better at taking breaks (or siestas as some people call them) I don’t nap midday cuz it’s too hot so for me it was just breaks. But I split up the hot hot day and didn’t hike from 12-2pm and had a nice long rest. I got to camp around 5pm which was the latest I’ve gotten to camp by far. Nice secluded spot to myself. Tonight is the last campsite of the desert. My last sunset of the desert. My last night in the desert. So when it was time to watch the sunset I walked like .4 of a mile to get to a good spot. I brought my grandparents ashes with me. And I had a good cry and moment watching the sun go down.
The next day I booked it to town. Abel was going to meet me 3-5 miles up as I was on my way down. I did 8.5 miles or something in only 2 hours and 45 minutes. I met Abel at 3.8 miles from the bottom. He brought me a cold pop and water and we chatted all the way back down to the car. I had such a great day today. We then picked up Gazelle as she slack packed the miles I did before. And Abel dropped us off at the Mexican restaurant for some food. I had Optimist come by and eat with us too so I could say goodbye for now.
Done and dusted is the desert now.
Today I got a ride from my massage therapist at 8am.
Mark was a great guy, picked me up, gave me a 2 hour massage because my body was broken haha and only charged me for 1.5 hours, and then he dropped me off at Big 5 after.
That massage was absolutely amazing. 10/10 recommend him to other hikers who go through Tehachapi.
Once I got to big 5 I bought a few dehydrated meals and a stuffed turtle I couldn’t leave behind.
A turtle named turbo.
Then I walked to Walmart to start my resupply shopping. I texted Abel and he met me there and we got some groceries to make enchiladas tonight for us. I CAN’T wait!
Once we got back home I realized I have almost triple the amount of food that I needed so I will try to return some tomorrow.
That’s what I get for resupplying while I’m hungry. Rookie mistake.
I started to organize my food and as soon I was finished I took a nap. After my nap Abel taught me how to make his enchiladas. Very simple recipe. They were SO GOOD!
We will have leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner so I’m excited for tomorrow already.
I went to bed a little sooner than usual tonight, very tired.
Tomorrow I get to trail again for my last leg of the desert, but today I have one last zero!
Abel dropped me off around 9 to the bakery so I could get some food and then I got a hitch to Walmart to return some of my food and get bug spray. Still no luck on new shorts so I’ll have to sew up the hole in mine to last these last desert miles.
Abel got me from Walmart and we went back to the house.
I wrote up all my blogs for my website from days 1-7 and uploaded them. Then I helped Abel with his Garmin questions, and took another nap.
Once I woke up I finished days 8-15 and then ate some left over enchiladas.
After dinner Kim and I played some games together (she introduced me to my new favourite game! I love the trail, last year I learned 3 games that I hadn't played and now I've got two more I love from this year)
Abel and I cleaned her car for her after, I was very happy to do so and give back a bit after everything they have done for me.
Abel and I and Kim had a drink that night and chatted for like an hour before I went to sleep.
7am tomorrow I wake up to pack for my ride at 8am to Walkers Pass.
7.6 miles hiked
10 people on trail, 15 more at Wee Vill market
First day hiking with someone (for at least 4 miles)
Today I got up a little earlier and got a message from my friend Lightning Rod (from last year) and she was camped 2.5 miles before me. This message was an hour ago so I figured she was very close to me by now.
I started packing up pretty quickly and then as I was putting my gear in my pack I heard a distinct cough and yelled out inquisitively “Lightning Rod?” And she was there behind the bushes by the water source and answered! I finished packing up quickly and hiked the first 3 miles with her catching up. After our first rest she went up ahead as she is a faster hiker than me. I caught up when she was on a phone call. We hiked the final mile together into Hikertown :)
When we got there I was very dehydrated as I had no water for the last mile. There was a cooler full of cold beer and ice water so I dumped the water on my face and body to cool down.
Lightning Rod and I hung out for about an hour or so and then I wished her luck on her hike and I got myself a hitch to Wee Vill.
When I got there I ordered some rosemary fries and chatted with other hikers.
I was waiting for Abel to come and get me.
When he arrived he chatted with hikers for a bit and got some beers to share with people.
I saw Daisy and Mishka again. Sadly the pupper’s hike is over so she’s going home and then Daisy will come back and keep hiking.
Finally Abel and I left and drove home :)
I showered and started on some laundry and then rested for a bit.
Tomorrow I will take a zero day and get a massage to help with some of my achey-ness.
13.8 miles hiked/Solo camp
-Saw about 17 hikers
Ohhhh boy I am exhausted.
I started to hurt by the 9th mile with my legs/hips so I’m a little worried about that. I really shouldn’t have pushed this hard. I definitely won’t do that again. Tomorrow will be 7 miles to Hikertown and then a ride to Tehachapi.
I made it to mile 500 but I must have missed the mile marker because I didn’t see it…. A little underwhelming because of that.
I dropped my pack half way and went packless (slackpack) to 500 and back so that made the day easier. Still… I’m in pain. I’ll have to take a double zero I think, at least a zero and a nero for sure though.
I set up camp and almost went straight to bed after I did a little rehab.
My legs and hips are incredibly sore tonight. Calves too. I definitely pushed it too hard. I know now I should stick between 8-10 miles for now.
I think I will get a massage to get my hip unlocked again.
Also the water source I’m at tastes sooo bad.
And I’m out of my electrolytes to make it taste better... god damn
10.2 miles hiked/ SOLO camp
-27 people going nobo
Today started out pretty good. I woke up earlier and felt an urge to start hiking instead of my usual meh I can wait.
I was excited to hit my 10 mile day.
And of course to get to wee vill market for a burger haha.
The day started uphill, but it wasn’t too bad. I actually didn’t listen to any music for the first 4 miles. First time since being on trail where I didn’t have music in my ears asap.
After 6 miles hiked today it was boring. I wanted to be done. So flat and I could see for like a half mile straight…
My feet still hurt around mile 5 which sucks, but at least it’s better than mile 2 like before. My calves were burning today though.
I met someone on the trail who was following me on Instagram which is cool, she also blogs for the trek.
I didn’t feel any hip pain until mile 8. My longest day without hip pain.
I was pretty pumped about that.
When I got to mile 9 I was so done. I came across a pretty good pump up song tho and I was dancing with my poles while hiking that last 1.2 miles and the song stayed on repeat.
Any guesses to the song I was listening to?
My last mile I was also without water as I drank it all because of the heat.
When I arrived to the water source I threw my pack down and got my bottle and filter asap.
I put the dirty water into my clean bottle and drank straight from the filter. I was so tired and thirsty that I couldn’t wait to filter it clean to my bottle. Figured I can buy another bottle at the market.
Then some dude working gave me a berry smoothie while I was waiting for my ride to find his way to me. I needed that. Fruits.
When my ride came I was so happy. The car was cool. I arrived at Wee Vill and immediately dropped my pack off and sat down with a dog I found.
Mishka is her name. She’s a good girl husky. I hung out with her and her own daisy basically all day. I gave him and Mishka the rest of my burger that I couldn’t eat.
My hiker hunger still isn’t here yet. But I do go through some bouts of hunger where I can eat like 1,000 calories at once and then nothing the next… very strange.
I met up with an Instagram friend named Ellen (trail name Wayfinder) and we hung out for a good part of the day too.
I decided I didn’t want to stay overnight here because there are just too many people around.
I asked the store for a ride and they said that they could. First at 6… then 7… then 9…. then 9:30 It was a long day haha.
I was at Wee Ville for 8 hours… but I had a drink with new friends, a burger, rosemary fries, deep fried pickles and some lemonade and apple juice. And I got to hang with a pupper and give her pets and melted cheese and she slept on Glow for a bit.
I set up my tent around 10:15pm and basically went straight to sleep.
8.83 miles hiked / camp with about 7 other people
-35 people I saw hiking NOBO
Today I woke up at 7am and got packed up by 8:30am to start hiking.
It was a hard hike uphill, but the north bound hikers assured me there would be trail magic up ahead at the top of the hill so that kept me pushing. I made it up to the magic by 11ish and was greeted by an ice cold water bottle, a frozen capri sun and snacks.
I got caught in the vortex and I stayed for almost 4 hours at the trail magic and left by 2:45pm. I met lots of NOBO’s and ate a sloppy joe for lunch. Yummmmmy
The hike down was easy for the most part. But I fell once and twisted my ankle. It’s okay tho, I guess my strengthening exercises I did a bit for my ankles helped.
It was very hot on the way down. I was feeling like my skin was burning even with the sunscreen on.
I arrived to where I decided I would camp and dropped my bag. Then I immediately put my feet in the creek to cool them off and get the swelling down. Felt so freaking good. First time on trail I've had to do that... last year I did it almost multiple times a day.
I chatted with the other hikers for a bit after setting up my tent, picked up a horny toad lizard and put him somewhere safe and ate some snacks and then retired to my tent for the night.
Very tired today. I think the sun got to me a bit. And the bigger mileage. Slowly working my way up :) It feels good.
Tomorrow I do 10.2 miles
Wish me luck!!
5 miles hiked/ solo camp
-Saw 12 people going NOBO today
Today I was going to hike 9.5 miles uphill, but the altitude really started to kick my ass so I just went 5 miles instead.
It was so hot today. I didn’t start hiking till 11ish because we know how much I love my sleep and I slept till 8am. Then packed up and organized and left for trail at 10:30.
I ate 12 slices of ham for my lunch LOL.
It’s about 1:15pm right now and I’ve only gone like 2.8 miles.
My chest is so tight from the altitude and my headache is brutal.
I am going to rest till 1:30 and then keep pushing. Maybe if I rest every half mile I’ll be okay.
God I hate altitude.
Second lunch I ate a Nutella peanut butter wrap.
I got to camp at 3pm. It’s so hot out as it’s still early, so I set up my tent (took like 20 minutes because it’s soooo windy I had to go searching for rocks… I hope this time my tent holds)
Then I walked .2 back to shade I found before and read a bit.
I had to reinforce my tent again. This wind is getting to me…
I watched my show, posted on Instagram, saw a beautiful sunset (FINALLY) and went to sleep :)
Tomorrow will be a hard day but I’m excited for the challenge.
7 ish miles
Slack pack day
Today I had to wake up super early because Abel had to drive to Agua Dulce to drop off hikers around 7am. So 6:30 wake up for me.
I got dropped off and started hiking by 7:40 ish.
I made it in record time because I jogged a bit and got to the other road by 10ish. What a luxury hiking without the heavy pack haha.
After I got a massage and then went to Walmart for resupply.
Abel picked me up from Walmart and we went back home and I took a nap.
Then I made dinner for everyone (Mommy Dinner I called it since I was a kid)
We watched a man named Otto…. I cried my eyes out.
And then we chatted a bit and I went up to bed to be alone for a bit.
Tomorrow I hit the trail again :)
I can’t wait!
Zero day in Tehachapi
Today started off super sleepy, I stayed in bed till like 10am.
I got ready to go meet my new hiker friend David at his air bnb because he has a pool.
I arrived at the air bnb around 11am and we hung out in the pool and outside in the sun until around 1:45.
Then I got a hitch home with the cleaner and ate some food and watched my show.
Around 4 the rest of the house started to arrive home and I chatted with my trail angels a bit.
Now I’m back in bed watching my show and resting until dinner.
Eyes are super tired.
My body and mind keeps tricking me into thinking I’m getting itchy on my legs, it is driving me insane waiting to see if i get symptoms, but I feel like I should have by now if I was going to get them.
Dinner was AMAZING. Chicken curry. Abel and Kim are such great cooks.
We chatted for a while during and after dinner and then played a game called 'Skip Bo' which I haven't played since I was a little girl. (Shout out to my Ant Pat for getting me that game years ago) and then I retired back to my bed to watch my show and chat with my family.