long distance hiking

PCT 2017 Mail Drops

Today I was looking at an email from a trail angel who is dropping me off in Campo, and I realized that there are people already on the PCT! It made me realize that this is really going to happen. Over the next few days I will be sending out some mail drops that Flask and I put together, another sort of illuminating moment.

I am still unsure of the best way to resupply on trail, and I do see the benefits of both buying as you go and mail drops. I choose to do mail drops because I don’t eat meat so the extra protein I can pack into every meal really helps, but I am also positive that I will be finding my way to town to get extra supplies and eat at restaurants.

There are several spots where I intend to resupply in town, partially because I know I will be very sick of the variety I have packed in the boxes. I picked my resupplies with Flask in a sort of debate/informed guess manner. I’m sure we’ve planned some weird stops, but we won’t know until we are on trail! We also encountered the problem of P.O. drops which are only held for a month. To solve this problem we have enlisted close family to send us time sensitive boxes with dinners and protein rich foods.

After this hike I am going to come out with a backpacking cookbook listing all of the best recipes I’ve created !

Here are some pictures of the process:

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Appalachian Trail -March 23 2015- October 1 2015

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Two years ago! I can’t believe it has been that long, and I can’t believe it has only been two years. I can still close my eyes and find myself on some distant mountain in the Appalachians. Today I am finishing up packing our resupply boxes for the PCT! I can’t wait to get back on trail!!!!

Flask and I will be starting in Campo on May 13th 2017!!!! Happy Trails! I hope to see some of you out there! ❤

 

Hiker Ladies, I present the Menstrual Cup!

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(not my  photo:  http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sites/womenshealthmag.com/files/wh-menstrual-cup-1000.jpg)

It’s not called a Diva Cup, it’s called a menstrual cup, and there are many brands of them! I bought mine from a company called Glad Rags at the San Francisco Green Festival Expo. I really love it!!!! I haven’t used a tampon or anything of the like in about three years.

I’ve had some terrible experiences with medicines and shots that alter periods and there is hearsay that tampons are not only wasteful, but they also might be linked to cancer causing materials.

Here’s a fun article from Time Magazine expressing possible concerns:
http://time.com/4422774/tampons-toxic-cancer/

I would highly recommend this for any hiker as it cuts down on bloody trash you have to carry. I found a bloody tampon on trail once…seriously ladies? If you don’t want to hike it out, get a menstrual cup!

Another interesting concept is that periods change when hiking. During the first half of my 2015 hike my cycle became light and sometimes missed. I think happens because the body is too stressed to attempt to reproduce.

Glad Rags:

http://gladrags.com/category/33/Menstrual-Cups.html

Katahdin: 2,189 miles

Oct0ber 1, 2015

 

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The trail was a stream…

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Met Horse and Chesapeake while climbing the mountain…today felt like any other day.

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I wish I could have done Razor’s edge…wasn’t confident enough to go alone o.o guess I’ll just have to go back…dad?

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I offered Horse and Chesapeake a ride back to town…so we left together.

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When we got to the bottom of the mountain…I found a note saying: Captain Planet- your ride broke down.

Under that note was one to Horse and Chesapeake: Your family is here.

It was a weird change of events. I caught a ride with them instead and as we were driving back we saw Mother Earth go blazing past. We flipped the car around and chased her for a good ten miles, until the ranger station. We called it the Mom Car Chase. We were going about 60-65 on the tiny road leading to Baxter.

It was fun to laugh and yell and honk the horn. I was super glad for the ride, for the smiles and for new friends at the end of it all.

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Kevin turned the big 60 today! We celebrated his 60th birthday and the end of trail with an awesome dinner and chocolate cake ^_^ Happy Birthday Kevin!

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Thanks guys! I couldn’t have done it without you.

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I’m proud of myself for sticking with the blog, got a few more days left until I really “finished” trail ^_^

Lunar Eclipse:Night hike to a view

09-27-2015

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Mama K^0927151143-000927151831-010927151853-000927152043-00

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My mom took this picture^ We were both out watching the eclipse that night ^_^

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Mr. Bill’s knife and Mama K

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I said goodbye to Flask and walked off to complete the last bit of trail. As soon as we parted I saw a moose! I spent the day walking at a good pace. In the evening I stopped at a campsite on a lake so I could watch the eclipse.

After awhile the campsite got overrun with other hikers. It was a small site, and I wasn’t feeling social, so I packed my gear and left right after sunset. I watched the big yellow moon rise over the lake as the eclipse started. I got to the base of Nesuntabunt Mountain and found an empty shelter. I could see the eclipse through the thick pine forest throughout the night. Gradually the light was dimming and the moon was glowing red.

The climb up the mountain was difficult to follow in the dark. It went up through large cascades of boulders and I kept losing track of the white blazes. Every so often I would stop, feeling lost, and frantically look around for trail markers. The forest grew darker and darker as the night went on and my headlamp kept going out because it was broken. I kept seeing the forest flash in and out of existence. Every so often a white blaze would flash by.

I found my headlamp in a hiker box. The battery cover was broken and I had tied it together with a headband for the past few months. My hiker trash headlamp made the journey up the mountain a terrifying experience. When the light went out, I would stop and calmly look at the moon. After a few moments of darkness I retied the headband and continued my trek.

When I got to the top of the mountain I found two tents set up in the middle of trail. I was profoundly annoyed because I wanted to keep walking, but the signage was right between the tents. I picked a direction and apologized for disturbing the hikers then continued onward. I didn’t get far when I realized that I had chosen the incorrect direction.

The trail steeply fell away, and I found myself standing at the edge of a rocky cliff. I felt fear on trail a number of times, but this was true terror.  I sat down and looked out to Katahdin and above me was the full-lunar eclipse, a giant blood red moon. I searched nearby the viewpoint for a flat spot to camp because I didn’t know where the trail continued. I found a nice stealth site…OFF-TRAIL o.o and pitched my tent for the night.

In the morning I woke to watch the sunrise in the distance. I sat at the viewpoint and ate my oatmeal. I was thinking about Mr. Bill, so I took a picture of his knife with the mountain in the distance. This was the most breathtaking night I experienced on trail, certainly a grand finale.

Ha ha ha- A little side note: I looked up the meaning of Nesuntabunt Mountain…”Three humps”—the mountain has three summits and is surrounded by granite cliffs.

Franconia Ridge

8-25-2015

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In the morning we woke to fog. The clouds that formed the beautiful view the night before were foreshadowing. A storm rolled in as we crossed Franconia Ridge. We were near the highest point of the ridge, above treeline, when the thunder started. So we ran from rock to rock as rain started pouring down. As we moved along, the rain turned to sleet, then to hail.

I lost Mother Earth’s camera this day due to water damage. Yonder and I made it down the mountain without injury and trudged through ankle deep water for several miles. It was late in the day, we were drenched and everything in my pack as wet when we reached the second hut. We wanted to stay, but the crew wasn’t receptive because of the rain. So we had some hot soup and bread in our dry woolies, then put our freezing wet clothes back on and climbed up the next mountain looking for a campsite. Near the top we found a tiny site in the forest of death.

From here on out I took pictures with my flip phone and disposable cameras.

Mt. Liberty

8-24-2015

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We hitched back to trail later in the day after much debate about the weather. We climbed Mt. Liberty and stealth camped in what I had taken up calling the forest of death. High elevation forest in the White Mountains consists of an Alpine ecosystem that often looks as if every tree might blow over at any moment. There are few places on the ground to put a tent, so we carefully tried to pick spots that were low impact, but not full of logs.

In the evening we climbed Mt. Liberty to watch the sunset. It was a phenomenal view as light beams shot out from behind dark clouds.

After Trail I returned to this part of the trail and climbed Mt. Liberty with Mother Earth… then we got a very special view of this amazing place. I will post about this when we get there!!!