Hiking the Real Hike: Day 1, Day 2, and Ow!
It’s been a long time coming. A year of planning, months of buying the never ending gear list, and hiking as much as I could with my pack. But the time I spent in LA leading up to day one on the PCT has felt like the longest, in a good way! I needed that time to prep for real. Originally I was only supposed to wait 5 days and then it turned into 8 days because my hiking buddy, Bonnie, bought a Coleman pull behind camper for her husband Toby to live out of. He is basically going to be our trail angel for 6 months, thank God! Then 8 days turned to 12 when their drive out here did not go as planned. Gas problems, overheating, and mountains can really slow you down. They eventually made it! Now it’s time to hike!
Day 1 – Agua Dulce to Bouquet Canyon Rd (mi 452.9 – mi 465.6)
Diana is here! Bonnie’s youngest daughter. She hiked the Appalachian Trail with Bonnie six years ago. She will be with us for about a month before she leaves for college. Diana and Bonnie have trail names from the AT. Cubby and CoMOMdo. Everyone gets a trail name on a thru-hike. I’m skeptical about trail names for now. Everyone introduces themselves with their trail name and I’m still thinking “ok and what’s your real name?”. I’ll get used to it. It’s a different way of living out here. A culture, if you will. I’m getting all the 411 from Cubby and CoMOMdo.
We walked 12.7 miles today. Although it felt like 20. Took breaks for snack, lunch, water, and after a difficult incline it was overall a solid day. Definitely exceeded my expectations. Outstanding views, breezy weather, and scat all over the trail. We think it was mountain lions. Apparently they hunt from the trails. We heard them every now and then, but we never saw them. Classic kitties. I feel like a hippy for real out here. Doing yoga moves every chance I get because my hips, back, and feet already hurt.
Trail Angel Forklift's Sign at Bouquet Canyon
When we got to Bouquet Canyon Rd Toby met us with water! He’s the real MVP! Coming through!!! There was also a trail angel in Bouquet Canyon named Forklift and some hikers we saw throughout the day – Waters, Medicine Man, and Tripod. It’s nice to see people who hiked the same hike and see how they felt about it. We made camp shortly after convo and water. Sleeping is hard. We try to sleep with our feet propped on our backpacks to get the blood out of them. I really hope I get used to that because last night was rough.
Day 2 – Bouquet Canyon Rd to San Francisquito Valley Rd (mi 465.6 – mi 478.2)
Not only was “waking up” difficult because of my aches, but I woke up to a snotty nose that got all over my tiny pillow. A pillow CoMOMdo happily teases me about carrying. An hour and a half later we are on the trail. 3.5 miles up. That’s how our hike began. I was moving very slowly, almost going backwards. Cubby was sprinting and CoMOMdo, who I now refer to as Geezy, was right behind her. But things took a turn at 3.2 miles. Geezy injured her ankle in March from a cruise zip lining accident where she over extended her foot upon landing. She took care of it and thought it was healed. The section of the trail we were hiking was originally intended for equestrian travel. It is very narrow on the edge of a mountain. As Cubby and Geezy were racing up the mountain Geezy misstepped and rolled her previously injured foot. She fell to the ground and called for Cubby. I didn’t hear her yell but I imagine it was something like “GEEZY, THAT HURT! I HEARD A POP! OW!” Luckily a wonderful day hiker was right behind her. A kind gentleman whom I let pass my slow ass right before the incident. Geezy thought it was me at first. That’s how much pain she was in! Thinking I was that close behind her. He gave her a frozen Gatorade, made sure we could handle it, and continued his hike. Geezy got up a few minutes later and kept hiking. We had 10 more miles to hike. TEN! Her ankle was weak, but guess what! She was still hiking faster than me. Until she rolled her ankle a second time! It swelled up so bad she had to stop again. Cubby strapped the frozen Gatorade onto her ankle with a bandanna. She hiked with that for about 4 miles. We finally reached a bench and took a lunch break.
Medicine Man wrapping Geezy's foot at Leona Divide 50
Luck comes through again when Medicine Man and Tripod come hiking up just 30 minutes after we sat down. Medicine Man had compression tape and wrapped her ankle! He definitely lives up to his trail name. Saving lives. We kept hiking. Me finally in front of Geezy. Not that I’m bragging or anything. It starts getting hotter when one o’clock rolls around to which Geezy responds “Geezy, it’s hot”. Are you starting to see why that may be her new trail name? She says it at least once every time we stop. She’s going to have me saying it by the end. Hell I’m already saying it.
Trail marker at San Francisquito Valley Rd
Geezy hiked 10 miles on what we think is a severely sprained ankle. When the three of us reached the ranger station on San Francisquito Valley Rd we contemplated what to do. Geezy didn’t want to stop, but this injury could end it for her if it gets worse. So we eventually decided to call Toby and take a zero day. While we waited for Toby, who was an hour away, but took him two hours to actually find us with no cell service, we met a temporary trail angel, David. A dad who’s supporting his son, Blade, hike the PCT. David was such a cool guy! He helped pass the time with great conversation and yummy chips, salsa, and hummus. David was a little gift bestowed to us after the trail took a shit on Geezy. Sadly we never met Blade, but maybe we’ll see him on the trail!
Day 3 – The First Zero Day
Woke up at 12:00PM! It felt so good until I tried to stand up. Wow, soreness my old friend. I love being sore because it means you’re becoming a better version of yourself. Every time you go to sit down or stand up you’re reminded of all the work you put in to feel this very feeling, pain! Ah, yes how I love that pain. Poor Geezy is taking care of her injury and knows I have to go on without her. We can’t lose our momentum on day two! My body is craving more and I know if I wait out her injury my body will remember comfort. We can’t have that! Comfort is one of my weaknesses and today was very comfortable. My sister came and got me and Cubby and we saw Rocketman at the Grove! It is a must see, highly recommend! Then we went to her apartment, did laundry, watched Big Little Lies, and ordered Chinese food. PHENOMENAL all around! No complaints here and the season premiere was everything! I’m happy I was in a bed for two nights; who knows when that will happen again. Goodbye comfort, hello rattlesnakes!
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