And so it starts
I have been on the Pacific Crest Trail for a week now and have covered 110 miles. Thus far, the hike has been beyond my expectations. The desert is filled with water and there are flowers blooming everywhere. A cool breeze blows most of the time and you forget you’re in the desert and cool nights mean good sleeping. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a desert. Even with the cool breeze the mid afternoon can get unbearably hot. We seek out shade when we can and have mini siestas throughout the day. Every day is filled with vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see and wildlife is abundant. Lizards, snakes and birds are all around at all times but are so well camouflaged that you rarely see them unless you sit and watch, or if they’re moving. Pink cactus blooms and yellow flowers paint the hillsides and make me think of how I would watch Bob Ross paint landscapes on PBS as a child. The Appalachian Trail is a green tunnel. The Pacific Crest Trail is endless beauty. I’m in love
Stank and Snakes
I am proud to say that after one week on the trail I am finally stating to smell like a thru hiker. I know because when I hitchhike, drivers immediately roll down the windows when I get in their car. I shower and smell bad again within minutes of getting dressed. I smell like a never ending rainbow gathering. Thankfully, my stench has warded off the critters of the night. I have had no issues with rodent break ins, or animals of any kind trying to steal my food bag from my tent while I sleep. I have however almost stepped on two rattle snakes. That was downright terrifying. The first one was about 2 1/2 feet long and I stepped about 2 feet from it before noticing it in the middle of the trail…easily within striking distance. I must have leapt back about 6 ft in terror. He didn’t even rattle at me. I gently tossed pebbles in his general direction and he slowly slithered off. The second encounter was even more terrifying. I was walking with my friend Nile and all of the sudden he said, “Turn Around!” I slowly turned and realized that I has walked within 18″ of a rattlers tail. He was a BIG one. He blended in perfectly with his surroundings and was barely visible. Again, he didn’t rattle or move at all when I walked by him. With the snake between the two of us, Nile banged his trekking poles on the ground . The snake coiled, rattled, and took off after a minute. I REALLY need to watch where I’m stepping. It’s difficult because once you start hiking you get in a zone and it’s takes a lot to break you out of your groove. I guess a rattle snake would do it.
Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up at 5 am and be walking by 6. I’ll eat my normal breakfast of a clif bar, granola, and caffeinated Mia. I’ll then have my entire life packed up in a matter of 15 minutes. Everything I actually own. It’s a satisfying feeling. Knowing I can live with so little makes me beyond confident. It makes me comfortable. I’m a nomad that walks with like minded people all day long. We’re a tribe. Moving forever north over mountains and meadows. Soon I’ll be in Idyllwild and shortly after will get my first taste of snow. As terrified of snow as I am, I’m looking forward to a change. As I previously mentioned, the desert is hot. I have a ton of suff to do so this post is going to be short, but I’ll be posting again from Idyllwild.
Thanks to everyone that will be sending me out goodies! I’m excited!
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