hike your own hike

PCT 2017

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October 2016, Mother Earth and I did a little hike on the PCT near Lake Tahoe. It was a spontaneous hike without much thought or planning. I did manage to take a peak at the weather, so we only stayed on night. The first snows came the following day. We hiked up to a nice campsite on a ridge. We set up camp and made dinner right away. As we unpacked the food, I realized that I packed the extra dinner bag rather than the actual food bag I had prepared.

I looked at mom  with slight alarm and thought “Will she be mad?”

She laughed for awhile at my mistake and eventually asked me which one we should have for dinner.

I responded with “Which one do you want for breakfast?”

We laughed again. All food is good food when you are hungry.

It was cold enough for us to put on all of our layers and windy enough to get us out of bed at 3am to relocate at a sheltered spot a few miles back down the trail. Night hiking probably sounds ridiculous or even dangerous;however, it is second nature to night hike for a thru-hiker, and I was glad to have the experience with Mother Earth. I want her to be comfortable making decisions in the wilderness that really take into account all possible actions. Night hiking sounds like desperation, but really it’s a good  example of how overcoming cultural fears leads to more freedom and safety in the wilderness. As a female hiking solo on trail, I often night hiked away from sketchy individuals sleeping at shelters or roads and stealth camped.

As we walked down the trail we saw three shooting stars, the tail end of the Orionids meteor shower.In the morning our stomachs grumbled about oatmeal. As we walked out, we followed a rainbow back to the car. A big storm was blowing in and the rising sun caught the western curtain of rain. Collectively we saw about 12 rainbows.

Currently:

I’m trying to decide if I want to blog on my AT site or start a new blog for the PCT, what do you guys think?

Flask and I were sitting around last night discussing the not so distant future. We’ve decided to leave around the 28th of April  2017 for the southern terminus of the PCT. Before we hike we might take a little trip down to Baja with my cousin who has decided to hike with us. Before any of that we are thinking of visiting family, so pre-trail is going to be an exciting time! We might even take a train cross country!Starting in April we are going to be moving about quite a bit.

Post-trail we are thinking of doing some exploring in British Columbia and Alaska. We are hoping to finish sometime in early or mid-September.

Currently I have printed out my guide, and I have most of the gear I need. Flask and I are marking out our resupplies on the map. In Jan. and Feb. we will be putting together our self-care packages and making our dinners. I plan to complete a vegetarian backpacking cookbook when we finish this next trail. My first attempt at making my own meals definitely had some failures. Hopefully it will all come together on the PCT, and I can finish up writing my recipes.

Stay tuned, there is much to come!

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Duncannon, Pa

I wrote this about a month ago when some friends got off trail in Pa:

I fall in love so easily, so simply, so softly and without time. The fast pace, the no time but the right time is going to tear us apart. In moments when we will miss each other, we forget what it means to connect right now, forgetting our present in quiet anticipation.

The world moves quickly and loves slowly; I move slowly and love quickly because it could all change, turn, move along and disappear before I even notice. To disappear before we disappear, to know before we are known. So what is it that goes missing? Is it me or is it you?

I can’t tell anymore.

How do I cope? How do I keep moving when all the inspiration just stops, just ceases moving, just seems frozen and there is no way out. No more wanting, no more needing, no more of this bullshit game. No worries.

At this point I break through myself and emerge- emerge stronger- emerge different. I’ve got to change and struggle and bloom-not to be confused with measured or placed or grown. I am immeasurable so I really wish everyone would stop trying, stop planning, just stop, long enough to find a change of pace, a change of perspective that doesn’t involve following a map. And if you do have a map…at least it was unexpectedly given to you.

I miss the freedom of hiking blind, of hiking with no idea, no group, no plan. Being happy means learning how to enjoy being uncomfortable; it means embracing fear. There is no absence when the senses set the world on fire.

The other day my tent flooded with a few inches of water. I felt stricken with panic as the water level was rising. Instead of being sad, angry, out of control—I just enjoyed the rain. I watched it pour in, my mat was floating as water rippled under the floor. I haven’t experienced a storm so enjoyable and so upsetting. Everything was ok because there was no other way that it could be. I couldn’t change the situation or alter my experience except in my attitude.

The world turns on itself, and I won’t ever be the same. Can’t ever be the same. I can’t express the happiness that emerges from these changes. I am becoming a better person, a self-reliant, nice person less concerned with the horrors of humanity, less concerned with events that my two hands can’t touch. And what of my two hands will make me better? I want breathe life where it isn’t and point out that which slips by, unnoticed.

Don’t let the world go slipping by. There is a fine line between speed and movement.

Can I choose not to carry along my uncertainties or my doubts? Everything will be ok.