In the Wilderness- Genesis

20180623_090705So this is how the 100 mile wilderness went…

First off i was all hyped to be going it alone, into the wilderness. Nope. Holy crap there are a lot of folks in the “wilderness”. For instance i never camped alone, which was weird but fine. First night i set up my tent, i was just not feeling the people in the shelter. This guy had a gun and was all “better to have it and not need, than need it and not have it.” Really, I’m a girl with a broken pocket knife…you’ll be fine. I high tailed out of there, wet tent and all, pretty early. I wanted some miles between me and pistol packin pete.

I hiked 16 miles to the next shelter, i was the only one there..for like a minute. I pitched my tent in in a bad spot and did a crappy stake job. It rained, EVERYTHING was wet or really damp. My bad. Dragged my pack to the shelter, then after the drizzle stopped went back for the soggy tent. Meanwhile i meet this dude, southbound hiker:


I try to ask people “whats your story?” It gives people the opportunity to tell what they choose to share instead of playing 20 questions. Well, boy did he have a story. I wont share because its detailed and not mine to tell. But he asked me to take his picture, oh and he was low on food so i gave him some ramen. (Should’ve checked first…that left me with only 1 hot dinner for myself).

I wished him well and quickly hiked 10 miles or so to the next shelter…because it was gonna storm, again. I set my tent up IN the shelter and hung things to dry. Then the rain and hail started. The shelter and tent sites filled fast.

Two things i feel i should explain 1) yes i put my tent up in the shelter, however my tent takes up the same amount of room as if i just threw down my pad. 2) i do it because of mice dont want them crawling on me and the bugs and mosquitoes are mad intense out here. They drive me bananas. Tried sleeping with a bug net on, nope.



Cold snap

Things have not been going all that well since this seven days stretch started. It was chilly waiting for Doc Campbell’s store to open, but we needed to get our packages. Glad we had them as it would have cost a small fortune to resupply there. I left there feeling I still had things to do, I did. Like my phone and pocket battery both were not fully charged, couldn’t make any calls (no signal only wifi), and no laundry, sink showered put back on dirty clothes.

So first off it’s been REALLY windy and cold. We took the High Route, as it had only one river crossing, but was crazy windy. Seriously the wind has been going full blast for like 3 days. Oh did I mention I dropped my phone, yup, landed right in a stream, great. It was kinda wonky for a bit, all the wind helped dry it I think. It’s mostly working except my GPS map won’t show my location, agh. [Update: changed a setting and GPS maps are working!]

Just when I thought I could deal with the wind came the cold. It was so cold on the 3rd day, I hiked ALL DAY in my puffy jacket, rain coat and all my clothes. (Btw, I forgot my wool cap, darn it) With no phone signal we really had no idea about the weather.  So as we’re walking along this jeep road, headed for the hills a guy in a truck pulls up.

Guy: you girls ok?
Us: yes
Me: how’s the weather? (pointing to dark clouds gathering in the distance)
Guy: oh, storm coming….snow in the high country, bye.
Us: well great

mmm, tasty water
You never really know what to expect out here. Last week I was melting in the desert, this week, snow. People have made fun that I carry cold weather gear the whole hike. But I was so glad to have my long pants, gloves, and multiple shirts….i wore them all to bed the other night! See we got to camp setup our tents….that’s when the thunder started, then the hail, then the snow. Turns out the low that night (at close to 9000 feet) was 30°!  New Mexico, prepping us for Colorado I suppose. We are about 50 miles from Pie Town our next resupply stop. Can’t wait….I need a weather break, and shower.

Trail lesson: things might be tough today, hang in there, a change is gonna come.

Every ounce counts…..

Went out for my training day on Monday. 20 miles 25 lbs backpack! Last time I went out it was 17 lbs, man what difference. Started out pretty pumped up on caffeine, straight up the hill, thinking to myself ‘i eat mountains for breakfast’. I love taking on the mountain right out of the gate. Then I cruised down to the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve pass the horse stables and out to the waterfall.

Right at the hwy 15 underpass was a bridge out sign. I almost turned around but then though heck I’d go check it out. Yep it was out alright. I decided to try to cross anyway. Spent a good ten minutes debated how to do that. I haven’t had the best of luck crossing water. Happy to say I made across (only got one shoe wet). On the upside I’ve learned that my trail runners and socks dry rather quickly! Oh did I mention it wasn’t just one bridge out…..there were two! The second one was much easier to get across. All that rain last week really left a mark.

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At the waterfall I turned right around and headed back. I was feeling good and making good time so skipped my planned lunch/rest break. Bad idea #1…….I so hit the wall not long after that.

All of a sudden my legs were just barely moving and my pack felt like a small car. With my pack pulling on my right shoulder I decided to loosen my straps for some relief. Bad Idea #2. By now I’m thinking just keep moving. Meanwhile I forced myself to eat a granola bar and sipped some Gatorade. To get all my miles in I had to stick to my initial plan and climb to the top of the Sabre Springs open space trail……

Long story short…..I made it but it was not entirely pretty. I’ve gotten myself to drink more water over time. Now I have to work on getting nutrition right. Oh and I got a lovely little blister from loosening my straps!  Some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

El Nino/El Nina

Recently when talking with a friend about my 2015 PCT trip he casually says, ‘well you know it’s supposed to be an El Nino coming up’. Great just great. I have a feeling I will hear about this over and over. Oh yep there it is, over on a PCT forum:

While El Nino is no certainty of a big winter, El Nino has resulted in some of the heaviest winters on record. So there it is. A 10 month, April 1st, 2015 prediction. The perfect storm of ingredients all lined up like ducks in a row. This is in no way a scientific evaluation, just my mindless ramblings.

Okay, so there is going to be weather. I’m personally ok with that, and will not get myself all worked up over it. Maybe there will actually be water in the creeks, so I can filter water and not carry tons, for miles. Snow in the Sierra’s great, I’m signing up for a mountaineering course anyway. Rain in Washington, guess I’ll buy a rain coat and make a skirt. This girl is ready and going weather or not.