Blue October – Into The Ocean

It has been a little over a month since I finished my thru hike. You would think after 3 long hikes I would be better at reintegration, but I’m not. Returning to
“regular’ life has not gotten easier. The me I am on trail is different from the me in regular life. The same but different, two sides of the same coin. I long to
be back on the trail because I love the person I am when I’m there. Stronger, more confident, inspired, independent, the stripped down basic beautiful me. If you
are wondering, yes I will be back on the trail. There are miles on the AT that stand between me and the Triple Crown and I want that, for me. If nothing else I’ve
learned not to let anything stand between me and my goals.

Being back in regular life means dealing with all the things. Adulting. There are so many things to do.

Had a lovely welcome back party with friends. (thanks everyone
who came and put up with my absence in the middle of it all!) Still so many people I would like to reconnect with. So much changed while I was away, births, deaths,
engagements, marriages, and situation rearranging. As I moved up the trail life moved on, I knew that it would. I’m catching up, processing and oh my gawd the politics.

My car needed to be repaired (darn little beasties chewed my wires). Posted one message and so many people offered help, thank you. (special thanks Nick for going
out of his way to repair my janky car and deal with my crazy that day, love you) I needed to find a place to live and work. I am deeply grateful to my friends for
taking me into their homes when I return. I’m finally getting some work but the commute makes me question my sanity.

Yeah…..back to work!!!

There are also the internet things to do. You might have noticed I have posted in a while. Some posts I only wrote half of and never finished, like my gear review.
Those awesome ladies over at HLAW (Hike Like a Woman) gave some great advice about blogging. That’s when I realized I really need to redo my blog too! Honestly it all
got a bit overwhelming for a bit. So when some friends invited to hike the Eastern Sierras with them I was like, “Yes, yes, and yes!!”

PSA: Prolonged contact with nature can promote positive mental health.

Four days in the Eastern Sierras, just what the doctor ordered. Short hikes to beautiful lakes, fall colors, laughter and marshmallows around a campfire.

Can’t think of a better way to kick of birthday month! Friends with birthdays (thanks Leslie including me in your celebration at the Hollywood Bowl, great time! All this time in California and I’m only just now seeing the Hollywood sign!)

Oh and MY BIRTHDAY! This being my 46th trip around the Sun, a time of reflection is in order. 20, heck 10 years ago I never would have imagined this is where I would
be in life. Even with all the craziness I love what my life has become. It’s not for everybody, but its mine.


Nero Zero breakdown

Made it to Kennedy Meadows, that is major. The gateway to the Sierras!  700 miles without a Zero! Financially that is great because I can’t afford all the the hotels and time in town. The last few miles into KM were long and winding, but I was pumped every time I got a glimpse of the Sierras! Walking up to the General Store (where I would camp, shower, eat, and worry) was great the hikers sitting on the patio cheer for you as you walk up, nice!

bear canister_preview                                                    bear canister- thanks for the loan

Staying 3 days in KM was not in the plans….but, first I needed to pick up my bear canister that I got through the loan program. You only need the canister mainly through the Sierras, so they loan it to you and you mail it back when done! Second,  I needed the rest and the opportunity to socialize with other hikers. Chatting with other hikers was good and bad, though. It was nice to know that other people struggled or disliked the same sections that I did. Sitting around the deck or the fire at night laughing and learning about everyone is a big part of this experience. However, the guys quickly picked up on my nervousness about the Sierras. They made a point in telling me all the scary hypothermia stories they could think of. This combined with the incoming storm, plus watching people pull rope, ice axes, gloves and well, winter gear from their packages sent me into a tizzy. Bring on the wine!!

Quickly realizing I might be unprepared for the mountains, moreover my finger less gloves might not cut it. Luckily, I was able to score a ride into town with another hiker and headed straight for the outfitters!

So headed into the Sierras, hopefully I won’t freeze to death. But I made it through the last snow storm. So send me lots of warm vibes!