Introduction – 2013 Thru Hiker Ladybug

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

“My best vacation is your worst nightmare.” – Jim Bridwell

Hello everyone!  My name is Sonya, but you can call me by my trail name, Ladybug.  I was chosen by Zach as one of the 2013 A.T. bloggers and I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to share my upcoming journey with you all.

A little bit about myself:

I am a recent college grad.

Finally! Now it's time to hike...

I love to climb rocks – big ones.

Denim friction - very important.

Ice is nice.

It's easier than it looks - just stick the pointy things in the ice and move up. Or just smile nice and pose for pictures - no climbing necessary.

I ride a motorcycle.

I am probably the slowest motorcycle rider on earth (I just look fast) and most padded. Seriously, do you see many riders with this much clothing on? And in the desert no less? Unheard of. I like my skin and want to keep it.

I am a metal detector-ess (I made that word up).

Nerdy? Perhaps. But I have a big bag of rings that says it's not that nerdy.

I have six cats, all but one are rescues.

Ouray, the diabetic kitty, and yes, that is a saddle.

Cross-country skiing is fun.

The best part about skiing is stopping for the hot cocoa and marshmallows I carry in my pack (i.e., my survival kit).

I love to hike/backpack.


I realize that some of you may think by looking at my pictures, and most especially the metal detecting one, that I enjoy living life on the edge, maybe a bit of a risk taker.  That couldn’t be further from the truth – it’s just that these activities, although a tiny bit more risky than your average walk in the park, are just so much dang fun.  Plus what is life without adventure?

(Just for the record, though, I’ve been climbing 15 years and have had extensive training – I’ve never had an accident and I would never risk myself or any of my climbing partners).

I am not especially brave, either.  I am terribly afraid of heights and big exposure (really!), I get spooked when it’s really windy and I’m riding my motorcycle (scary!), and I still get a bit nervous when night comes and I’m camping far from civilization.  However, I try not to let fear write the chapters of my book (although it has written a few excerpts…).  Life is simply too short to allow fear to control your choices in life.

A bit more about me – I live in California, close to Yosemite National Park during the summer and Joshua Tree National Park during the winter.  I have a life partner and two adult kids, Sierra, 26, residing in Austin, Texas, and Randy, 23, residing in Portland, Maine (soon to be California – yay!).  I design and create jewelry and work as a freelance market research assistant, allowing me to work out of my home.

I start my hike on April Fool’s Day, probably the most appropriate day for me.  Besides that, I picked this date because I am hoping to miss most of the winter weather (okay, okay, I’d like to miss all of it…) and it gives me 5-6 months to comfortably complete the trail.  I really want to enjoy every minute and not rush it.  Of course, I’d prefer to miss winter on the other end as well, so I probably won’t dilly dally too long…

We have a ways to go before I start and I am busy with preparations.  I will try not to bore you with all the mundane details, or at least I will try to make those mundane details interesting, as I share my trail preparations and musings in the coming months through this blog.  I welcome comments, feedback, suggestions, ideas, and questions from you, so don’t be shy.

For those of you who are curious about my trail name, let’s just say that I watched a lot of Sesame Street as a child.


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