Day 22 & 23

day 22 – mile 226 to 232 – 6 miles

Lazy day!!! Sun was hot, we were camped near a creek so just lazed out, read maps, napped and chatted with Gabe about food we would eat at Big Bear. 

Conversations about food are normal on the trail. Questions about what our perfect meal would be, etc, entertain me while I eat shitty food like Ramen noodles and protein bars.

We headed out at 5pm and we’d meant to go to at least 236 but moon was so pretty that, on a break at 232, we got so tired that we cowboy camped there with the intention of getting up early.

Day 23 – Mile 232 to 250 – 18 miles (around 29 km)

I woke up at 5am and headed out alone since Gabe wanted to sleep in. We agreed to meet up at mile 240.

I took my time, took a break at mile 235 and met Ryan, a chef from Wisconsin who moved to Chicago. He was hilarious and we chatted and he took off. 

I then moved on, knowing I had miles of uphill ahead of me, to get to Big Bear to see my friend. Some fallen trees were ahead of me and I decided to climb over them. 

As I climbed over them, something pulled my backpack and I fell. My first fall on the trail. And OF COURSE, there had to be the uncommon poisonous plant, “poodle dog bush” ( Poodle Dog Description ) right where I fell. It touched my face, my hands, my arms and legs. Living and hiking in SoCal, I know what it is, unlike most people. I freaked out, got out of its way and dropped my pack. I then ran to the creek below and rinsed myself and trekking poles over and over and over, praying I wasn’t one of the few that have severe allergies to it since I was hiking alone and couldn’t afford to go into respiratory distress. Since I’m not allergic to poison oak (I’ve sat on it and touched it many times with no reaction), I prayed the same would happen now.

  
The plants you see are “Poodle Dog”. That’s where I fell.

Keeping calm in the wilderness is important. I told myself I did everything I could do and that freaking out wouldn’t help. I hurried up the hill, knowing I’d see people around mile 239.9, where the last water resource for 16 miles was and where there were campgrounds.

I met “Taxi” on the way up. I told him what happened. He calmed me down with some jokes and hiked on ahead of me.

I met “Caveman” from Tennessee along with a group of other young hikers on a break, up the hill.

I moved on ahead, filled up with water at 238. And moved to 239.9, where it started hailing suddenly. Another hiker “Brian”, who’d done the Appalachian Trail, set up his tent alongside mine. He was awesome and we chatted for a while.  I changed my clothing to get rid of any remnants of Poodle Dog Bush and waited for Gabe.

   
         
He came a bit later and we hiked to 250, where my amazing friend, Clarissa, picked us up and brought us to Subway (which I was craving). I was exhausted and so happy to see her, I almost cried. That day took a lot of out of me. But, hey, I got to Big Bear!!! Yay!!! 

Day 14 & 15

Day 14 – 124 to 140ish – 16 miles (did 1/2 mile to water too)

I couldn’t catch up with Jenn the day before so after horrible sleep, I went to 127 to trail angel Mike Herrera ‘s house, where I had beer and a tequila shot for breakfast. Met Benji, Dang and Rita May there and some others. 

   
   The storm was rolling in and I wanted to get a move on. 

   
       Found a camp site at 140 with Dang. He’s a writer from Oklahoma. We chatted for a while but it was raining so ran inside our tents.

Day 15 – 140 to 151.9 to Paradise Valley Cafe and then hitch to Idyllwild 

Due to fire closure from PCT mile 162 to mile 177 , there was much fuss and debate amongst the hikers as to whether or not to just hitch to Idyllwild and get back on PCT at mile 178 or do the reroute, which involves dangerous highway walking (a local showed me where the alternate route and there was literally NO space on the shoulder of the highway. More than 4 locals I met strongly recommended skipping the reroute). 

Some purists claim it’s “cheating” if you just hitch to Idyllwild. To them, I say “hike your own fuckin hike!!” . I live near Idyllwild so, if I have enough time to get to Canada, I can always come back and do the section I missed. It’s NOT a big deal!!! But somehow quite a few hikers are all up in arms about it. Duuuuuuude, I just wanna hike!!!! Lololol

It was hot!!!! But I met so many cool people and got amazing fish tacos at Paradise Valley Cafe and a few beers. 

       

This cactus cracked me up. It’s like a foot cactus 

Day 11, 12 & 13

Day 11 – from mile 91 to 104ish? 13ish miles/22 1/2 km

I HIT A HUNDRED MILES!!!  (Just under 161 km!) 

 

Warner Springs was just a tad too far for my feet so I walked through so many empty fields with cows in the far distance and finally found a campsite. I wanted to cowboy camp (no tent) but the clouds looked pretty ominous and felt chilly, like it does before rain.

Some coyotes danced and laughed around my campsite at night but it didn’t bother me. I think that was the best night of sleep I’ve had on the trail yet. 

   
  
Day 12- 104 to 109.5 (Warner Springs) 5 1/2 miles/8.9(?) km

Woke up and saw some Aussies (Steve & Amelia) coming up from the trail. They said they’d just seen a mountain lion cub. This freaked me out since where there’s a cub, there must be a mommy and I didn’t want to be in between them. I asked them if they were sure it was a mountain lion and they pointed it out – it was slinking near the other tree just behind me. It was huge but I noticed it had tufts on its ears so had to be a bobcat. Thank goodness!!

 
The arrow is where the huge cat was slinking around!

Bumped into the crew I’d met the day before – Honest Abe, Cheetah, Jay and an OG (Original Gangster) hiker by the name of JZ – he did the PCT – the first time – in 1987!!! It was a lot shorter then – ie, the 20 miles to Lake Morena was only about 7 or 9 miles back then since the trail wasn’t totally established then. He’s also a triple Crowner (meaning he’s done all 3 major trails in U.S. – the PCT, the CDT – Continental Divide Trail – and the AT – Appalachian Trail). Met a dude by the trail name of FM who was nice.

  
Took some pics at Eagle Rock with them – which is a natural rock formation that I swear someone sculpted to look like an eagle. 

   
      Made it to Warner Springs Resource Center which was amazing – had a burger there and they did laundry and had everything set up to help hikers (they take donations and all donations go towards helping their small community). 

My faith in humanity is being restored as I get help from these angelic people. It looked like it was going to rain so we all camped out there. 

Met some other amazing people, like Jenn (aka Bodysnatcher), saw Brad – the Aussie Hike Bike Safari blogger – again which was cool. Saw one of my favorite people, Mitchell, again. He’d been attacked by poison oak in Julian and I thought I’d never see him again since he does such long days and kills it on the mileage.
 
Camping in front of Resource Center  

  

Jenn – she’s a hoot. Funniest bitch on trail making her sexy face

  

Some amazing person came with beer and wine for us !!! 

  

JayZ – I could talk to this man all day. When asked what motivated him to do all these trails “I just love hiking, man”! Super cool dude. Oh, in case you were wondering, he got his name before the rapper. I asked. Lol

  

The sheriff gave us a ride in his patrol SUV to the post office. These are the criminal dirty hikers in the back 😝

 

Mitchell. Going to Berkeley later this year. Good luck man!!! Hope to see you again but I doubt it since you’re so fast. 

 

The sign greeting me when I pulled up with my sore feet.

Day 13 – 109.5 to 124.8 – 15.3 miles/24.6 km

Most mileage I’ve done in a day this far!! That day was never ending fuckin’ uphill. It didn’t end. Finally found some horrible camp spot and kept being woken up by my wet tent slapping me in the face. I refused to get up and handle the tent since it was so wet and cold outside.

Alls I have to say is: my butt better look great after all this hiking and uphill struggles.

Fog and drizzle but I love fog!! Here are some pics 

    

   
 

Day 7,8,9 & 10

day 7 – mile 68 to77.3 so about 9 miles.

Blistering heat, little to no shade. About 9 miles – a few uphill 

   
   and then this

  
Hung out with Kevin, one of the chillest cats I’ve ever met (I later found out, over pizza, that he was a practicing Buddhist which made so much sense). Little did I know, that would be the last hiking I’d do with the man (we started around the same date and he was one of the last from our start date that wasn’t rushing, like me).

Ally, the angel from heaven who hiked with me (and her dog) the first 4 days, offered to pick us up and bring us to Julian. 

All the hotels in Julian were booked (I had a Sunday night booked in Julian and had originally thought I’d camp but my feet were dying from these horrid blisters and swelling from the heat

  so decided to find other lodging just for Saturday – so we stayed at The Apple Tree Inn) but we decided to get some groceries and free meal/pie at Mom’s in Julian (they give free pie and drink to PCT hikers if you have ID and your thru hike permit).

Here’s Ally and I at Mom’s

  
Here’s Kevin: if anybody sees him later (he had to go back to Northern Cali but was planning on coming back to trail), tell him we say hi!!!

  
I was soooo excited to see fruits and veggies after all my shitty (nutrition wise) meals on trail!!!

  
Day 8 & 9 

Stuck in Julian, CA, waiting for my size up shoes to come in. I go wine tasting, take Epsom Salt bath, see local music (think they’re local?), have breakfast at Granny’s (THE best place ever. They have this hanging on the wall)

  
eat pizza, do laundry, pop blisters. You know, the usual. 😝

   
   

  
Day 10:

Soooo foggy and a little drizzly in Julian. Was up at 5am but didn’t think I’d get the 13 mile hitch I needed back to trail fast enough with the Lack of visibility. The mom & pops of 2 sisters that are hiking (Rebecca & her sister… Forgot her name!) offered their car to take a few of us back to Scissors Crossing. Got to trail later than I wanted (around 9:30) but, fortunately, there were winds.

I heard shit about this part of the trail – especially how it has NO shade and you should only attempt it at night or before sun comes up in the AM. I thought it was stunning and 14 miles (77.3 to 91.2)  went smoothly event though I started so late.

Met another fellow blogger I’ve been following – “Hike.Bike.Safari”  ( http://www.bikehikesafari.com ) . He’s some weird Aussie dude (I kid, I kid! he’s cool. 😄😝) that’s been killing it on the miles and travels all the time and is on the PCT now.

  
Camped near water cache at 91. Seemed to be the place to be since everybody camped near there. I had to be the last person out of camp so I could do my business without someone busting in on me (I have a bladder of steel apparently). 

Here are some pics from that day 

   
Cacti in these parts were amazing. These guys were HUGE. A few taller than me!

  

That skinny line is the trail

  

That tree thing is actually spiky like a cactus

       

I’m such a blob and I have too much to do

Here I go again about my fatness. I NEED TO STOP BEATING MYSELF UP!!!! I apologize to you, dear reader, for the repetitive nature of this topic. I’ll try to shut up about it but since it’s in my head almost 24/7, it’s hard not to. Plus, it’s MY blog so I should be able to bitch about what I want, right?

In the spirit of moving away from that topic :…. So, this lovely woman from a local TV station was doing articles about the PCT and women hiking it and all that and she asked if she could video me for it. Despite all my insecurities about my weight since my IUD, I said “yes”. I almost regret it now, seeing how fat I am on video but she did a great job on the article so am going to share it anyway, for friends and family to see. If anything, there’ll be a good “BEFORE” and “AFTER” PCT pics. hahaha… the “PCT Diet”. lol.

And I sound like SUCH a valley girl!!!? Is that REALLY how I sound???? OMG! I’m just glad she didn’t post me going full blown hormonal on the video (I just lost it and was crying and cracking up at the same time. If anybody saw it, they’d think I was completely insane! hahaha).

Link for article and video here:  http://scvnews.com/2015/04/07/wild-movie-inspires-women-to-find-themselves-on-the-trail/

Oh, and I sold my car today – less than 24 hours after posting about it and to the first buyer. Can you tell I was motivated to sell it? I got $400 less than what I posted it for but was about the price range I was thinking. Am going to miss my cute little car. But she’s going to a cute-ass family who’ll respect her. Weird how attached we become to material objects, no?

My head is spinning with everything I have to do. Still have to pack, shave my head, see my friend, clean up my place, finish a couple of resupplies for the first section, finish reading Yogi’s PCT handbook, send out the resupplies and some supplies to friend in Idyllwild and Big Bear. And I wanted to fit some more hiking in with my pack weight but that doesn’t even appear to be feasible at this point. Despite all this, I’m just sitting down, writing this blog and reading my friend Kali’s blog who’s out on the trail now instead- her blog is: https://ithinkilltakeawalk.wordpress.com/ in case you want to follow someone else that’s awesome. How am I supposed to catch up to her? But I must.

Ok, I think it’s time I stand up and get back to boxes and laundry and packing and cleaning and going crazy and just wishing it’d all magically come together for me.