Take Chances, Make Mistakes, and Get Messy

Greetings from Wrightwood, CA! It’s somehow been nearly a month since I started the trail (25 days to be exact). Where does the time go?? I’ve been thinking about writing an update since I said farewell to my Pa after our shakedown hike, but I just haven’t.

Let me tell you why.

For those who aren’t aware, I came into this experience having made the commitment to pursue a low-waste thru-hike and to also serve as a Grounds Keeper. As one might imagine, these commitments required a bit of research and preparation leading up to the start of this journey.

On trail, my low-waste journey has led to curious questions from fellow hikers, interesting resupply situations in towns, and many learning opportunities. I’ve run out of food and had to rely on friends to get me through to my next resupply just because I didn’t want to buy food that was packaged in plastic.

A typical resupply box for me. Spoiler alert – this was not enough food for this stretch.

Serving as a Grounds Keeper has had its moments as well. Fellow hikers have been inquisitive as to why I am carrying a scale – and interested in using it to see how much their packs weigh. Thoughts have crossed my mind such as how long do I have to carry this heavy trash for? What happens when my bag is full and I encounter more litter?

Worse, what happens when I’m simply too exhausted to stoop over and pick up yet another piece of trash?

I even cut my finger on my first day on trail from trying to pick up glass. Like I said, learning opportunities have been plentiful, and that truly is the beauty of it. I’m learning and growing, and experiencing new things each and every day.

I’m working to find balance in carrying out my mission, while also walking all day (and testing my physical and mental limits in doing so), embracing new people and experiences, and relating what I’m experiencing to family and friends back home. It can be a lot at times. It’s messy and beautiful, and I’m grateful that you all are here for it. You may not have asked for it, but I do think a Ms. Frizzle comment is warranted here – ready?

“Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”

Thanks for joining along on this wild ride and know that I’m excited to share more with y’all soon.

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Comments 2

  • Sam : Apr 30th

    That picture of the mountains and sun is amazing!!! Keep up the good work on litter detail (if everyone did that your bag would be a lot lighter). 🙂

  • Jan Graner : May 1st

    Sooooooooooo happy for you Rach! Glad you are doing your part to collect trash and throw it where it belongs! Get plenty of rest, eat and sleep well and know I love to hear about your adventures!! Stay safe!


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