What’s the opposite of a hoarder?

Within 20 minutes, I had these huge bags full of clothes and shoes and trunk is now full of stuff to donate to the nearest domestic violence place. 

  

I was seriously tempted to just put everything in bags and donate it all but I had to restrain myself. I had to keep reminding myself that I’ll be coming back so I have to have some semblance of a wardrobe left. 

What’s the opposite of a hoarder? Whatever it is, I think it’d describe me. 

Feels good to get that done; though I’m sure I’ll end up chucking even more material shit out once I’m boxing things up.  The one thing I can’t seem to throw away are my poetry books and CDs (yes, I have most of them in my iTunes but still!!!!). 

So much to do. Bought last minute small items like super glue, platypus (apparently the Platy bottle fits with the grooves on my Sawyer Squeeze, unlike my Smartwater bottles so worth getting it), more snacks, etc.

On another planning note: I looked at Craig’s PCT planner today and it says, at my estimated plan, I wouldn’t get to to the Southern Terminus until Sep 20th which is 8 days after my birthday and has no zeroes taken into account so I realized I really will have to boogie. Was hoping I could cruise a bit at the start but might have to step it up. But we’ll see. I’m not going to try to figure that out until I get closer and know my body’s stamina for the day to day hiking. 

Will keep you posted! 

Embracing It All

I was driving 3-4 weeks ago on the 2 (freeway) to meet a new friend to hike. An Imagine Dragons song came on and I started crying (I blame it on the hormones). I felt this tremendous sense of ugliness, like I was the ugliest creature on Earth, being this fat. Like I would never be someone that inspired such a beautiful song. Then a side thought popped in my head “at least I have my beautiful blonde hair”. This satisfied me for about a nanosecond but then I had this sudden and undeniable urge to shave it all off.

And then it dawned on me: I’m shaving my head for the trail. I’ve wanted to do it for over a decade, since Sinead O’Connor and having watched the G.I. Jane movie so why not? I’m already in this and there’s no turning back anyway so why not go all out and do it all? Why not take away the last vestiges of my vanity? 

Plus, on the practical end, I won’t have to deal with heavy and greasy hair on the trail. It will be sooooo easy to clean. Fuck it if I might have a lumpy head. I truly don’t care if I do!

Mind you, this all took place in the span of about a minute and the Imagine Dragons “Shots” song  was still playing and I just listened to it on repeat and cried in relief the rest of the drive. Something about embracing my self-hatred in this accepting way made me feel so free. I’m doing something I’ve never had the balls to do before!!! Hot diggety dog!! Yes!

Pictures to come, my readers. Beware, there might be tears!

Nothing like gaining confidence

Finished my 2 day WFA (Wilderness First Aid) class and am certified!!!

I learnt so much and met some amazing people. Everyone was so nice and funny. Reaffirmed for me that these type of people (into hiking/outdoors activities), no matter the background, are my sort of people. 

My brain is officially fried for today from the overload of information but we got to practice so much that it actually DID absorb and I feel so much more confident should I come across a fellow hiker In need of medical attention or even notice anything with myself. Sigh! Me so happy! 

 

  

My lovely lady lumps (amongst other things)

Got my ultrasound and my breastesses are all tumor free. YAY! I wasn’t really worried until I had 2 doctors tell me to go get them checked.

Thank goodness for Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. If it wasn’t for them making the screen testing/ultrasounds more accessible, I don’t think I could’ve afforded it. The government could definitely learn a thing or two from them and Planned Parenthood about how they run their medical programs. I think getting my PAP smear regularly and having my lady parts examined and taken care of is the only medical maintenance I can afford to keep up because of them. Even getting some lumpy moles examined (I’m a sun tanning brat. i love my sun so constantly check for melanoma) is out of my price range usually.

On another note – but definitely one of the several hundred items on my to-do list – I did the REI compass & map reading class last night, after work! WOOHOO!!  I learnt SO much and the teacher was amazing. You could tell he loved compasses and maps so his enthusiasm was contagious. Class ran late and I didn’t even get home until 10:30pm. My exercise program is going to shit with all these other after-work things I have to do. But I loved learning about the compass and navigating on a trail and shooting a bearing, etc. Now that I know the basics, I’m really wanting to take another (this time outdoors) class with REI but I have no clue how I’ll fit that in my schedule.

It might sound totally nerdy but I actually used to draw compasses when I was a little girl. I was obsessed with ships, sea and anything nautical. I even wanted to join the Navy but my mother said I couldn’t since I was a foreigner.I would spend hours meticulously drawing a compass, taking great care to insert every single degree mark and starting from scratch if it didn’t look perfect or symmetrical. This class brought back some of that interest that I thought I’d lost decades ago.

Now I have to figure out how to compensate for the lost exercise days on my exercise program. Last thing I want to do when I’m just so exhausted and want to just launch myself on my bed and take a 72 hour nap.

As for more hiking: This weekend, going to Ridgecrest to see a friend I haven’t seen in a while and hiking Fossil Falls, which looks pretty rad. It’s so close to Big Pine, I’m tempted to try to see if my car will drive that far. The Eastern Sierras are just SOOOOO gorgeous. I want to move there when I decide to settle down. But if my car were to break down, my trip would have to be on hold since I’m counting on the money I’ll get for selling it for trail money. Don’t know that I’ll even have time to do it. It’s a long drive so want to make it worthwhile. Maybe I’ll stop by the Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley on the way home…

Also, somehow, I  have to make time to finish Yogi’s PCT handbook and figure out some resupply. I haven’t even had the attention span to get on that yet but seeing everybody on the Facebook PCT pages have theirs all figured out is making me a little worried. Am I not worrying enough? Do I really do want to do this? Will I ever be prepared? Should I just back out now? I don’t like pooping in the woods, I need to learn to pee standing up and I think I’m going to just shave my head…  AAAAHHHHH. MY HEAD IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE with all these thoughts constantly streaming in my head!!! Can you tell? lol

Does anybody else have this or is it just me??

Grateful

I did my yoga class this morning, which was so nice after my calves were burning after my 11 mile hike yesterday  (with my new Cascadias, mind you, so had blisters from the stiffness which caused me to balance my feet abnormally so I could keep hiking which made my calves that much more sore. Normally 11 miles wouldn’t hurt). And I had some crying and frustration come on during the class but came out so relaxed and, oh, so grateful.

I’m grateful for all the people in my life that have shown nothing but support for this crazy goal of mine to hike the PCT. Most of these people don’t even know what it is but support me unconditionally. Some have offered their homes near the trail, some want to send me packages and some have even donated without asking me  (I hate asking for help, in any form, so this is huge, especially since I really needed it).

I never expected this amount of support. I thought it would be all me, with me having to ignore people – friends and family alike – telling me that I was thinking irrationally. That’s not what happened at all. I’ve yet to have people tell me outright that I shouldn’t be doing this. Most only have safety concerns, which I also have and I have no problem debating that should I not have thought of something I should be concerned about.

I feel like I’m jinxing myself by even writing this but I’m also grateful for how the world seems to be coming together for this goal of mine. My bosses were nothing but supportive when I put in my notice, Everything on my to-do list is happening and my world is whirling with activities – from my exercise program with Anish to scheduling classes to finally facing my dreaded medical to-do list  (getting left breast checked since a doctor thought she felt something to lasering off a gross toe fungus I got from going barefoot at the Grand Canyon communal shower and IUD checkups, etc).

My mind is blown. I can’t believe I actually have these people that care about me and want me to find my place in the world in the weird ways I decide to go about finding it.

I’m blessed. ❤

Weekend Adventures ❤️

Learned so much this weekend. About myself, my physical conditioning and gear. Will go over it all in length after a shower from this weekend.

2 1/2 days with no shower, legs and armpit hair growing unchecked and freezing cold temps, snow and crazy gales. This weekend was the best. Got to see the Eastern Sierras and checked out Red Rock Canyon (CA). Soooo amaaaazing

IMG_8379

IMG_8252

IMG_8191