Can I Beat the Heat?

I write this as I stare out into the Pacific Ocean, which I currently dub as too cold to swim in. How funny since only a short two hours ago I sat on the summit of Cowles Mountain, one of San Diego’s more popular day hikes, drenched in sweat, and dying to jump into any body of water. Cowles Mountain was a just over five-mile round-trip, but even with a light day pack, it completely exhausted me. No shade, a high heat index, and my water slowly turning hotter and hotter made for a somewhat miserable hike.

How the hell am I going to survive the desert?

I kept asking myself. As Darwin the Hiker always says, I just need to embrace the suck. However miserable I may seem, I know that I still would prefer hiking over many other things, like being stuck in traffic or chopping an onion. I’ll take breaks, stay hydrated, and possibly night hike. Besides, the desert has redeeming qualities that will make up for the heat, right? Last year, my Appalachian Trail thru-hike started in the winter with temperatures dropping to single digits at night. What a different time that was. I remember taking five minutes to cram my foot into my frozen solid boot before setting out to hike in the morning, and even then not being able to feel my phalanges for the better part of an hour. When we stopped to eat, my tortilla and pepperoni were frosted over and I ended up giving it all to my friend’s dog, Aspen.

I’m honestly not sure which start sounds more fun – freezing temps or unbearable heat?

On Monday, May 7, I’m venturing out to complete my second thru-hike. After a successful thru-hike of the AT last year, I believe in myself to finish the PCT as well. I was previously known as Sunshine, but I’m hoping to change that. For now, this is Lizzie signing off.

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Comments 1

  • Weasel : May 10th

    Get a silver-coated, black-interior umbrella! You’ll have to stick to one trekking pole (don’t bother trying to attach it to your pack, you’ll be moving it too frequently) when the sun is out, but in the late morning and early evening you’ll have more energy to hike faster with your two poles in the cooler air.


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