It’s a small world after all

Day 17 – May 5thOB and I were both up before our alarms this morning which didn’t surprise either of us; We knew we had to be ready to go by 815 or so because Rachel (the sweet waitress at the Grizzly Manor who would be giving us a ride back to the trail from Big Bear) was meeting us out front of the Black Forest Lodge at 830 and we wanted to be sure we were all squared away with the lobby folks in getting checked out.

It was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel to get us back to the trail at mile marker 268.4 and from where Rachel dropped us off, we had to do quite a bit of bushes-wacking to getting onto the actual trail, but it was fine because within 15-20 minutes or so we were on the trail ready to roll, but had to take a quick pit stop before too long because it was much warmer than we thought it was going to be, considering we were at such a high elevation, and we both needed to shed out outer layers. 

Once the clothing situation was taken care of, we kept on trucking until about 1130 when we took a quick lunch break. My legs were obviously still on a zero day because they were having a hard time keeping up with OB’s pace today, even on the flatter sections which is where my stride usually takes over and I make up some of that distance but not today! It didn’t help though that there were clouds rolling over the mountains and all we wanted to do from about 230 I was for the sun to come back out but it never did. So we hiked on, cold and tired with feet that we’re getting more and more sore. We had thought about trying to push out a few extra miles today but by the time we’d reached our nearly 18 miles for the day, we were both ready to stop. We found a campsite near a water source and quickly set up camp before starting in on a warm dinner. As we were getting out living arrangements ready for the night, Tommy Lee Jones came strolling in (we’d passed him earlier in the day as he was watching the cloud start to roll in over Big Bear Lake) and since I hadn’t introduced myself earlier, he looked at OB and said, ‘so you’re OB,’ and looking to me said, ‘what’s your name?’

Once I’d introduced myself, he asked me if I had a blog, and I mentioned that I had several actually, clarifying that one of them was indeed for Appalachian Trials.

‘My girlfriend told me she read a blog about a girl hiking with a guy named OB.’ It’s such a small world! 

His girlfriend isn’t out here hiking with him because she’s a school teacher but it was cool to hear that someone is reading my blogs other than my friends and family! He ended up setting up camp with us and he and OB bonded over TLJ’s job, a skydiving instructor.

Since I have zero experience in that department I just sat there and listened, chuckling along to the few references they made that I actually understood but I really enjoyed not having to talk much tonight. Being cold takes me energy straight out of me but I still enjoyed listening.

Tomorrow OB and are are going to try for a 25 mile day to see if we can do it and to see if the pace works for us, so I’ll keep you posted there.

It’s currently 7 pm and I’m snug in my sleeping bag for the night, hoping to be able to stay warm enough to actually sleep some!

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Comments 6

  • Ashlee : May 16th

    I got so excited when I saw you posted two new entries today, and they definitely didn’t disappoint! I hope you’re enjoying your zero; you’ve definitely earned it. I’m TLJ’s girlfriend, and yes- a total stranger is absolutely following along on your blog. I love reading your perspective on the adventure, and I only wish I could be out there myself. Living vicariously through you will have to do for now. Your plan to finish with the Sierras sounds really interesting! I’m looking forward to seeing the contrast in your experience and how you work out the logistics by going this route. Thanks for keeping up with the blog and keeping me entertained 🙂
    P.S. I definitely put that same picture of OB and TLJ on my “off the PCT” blog. You took a great candid shot of them!

    • Lydia Armstrong : May 24th

      It was so great to finally put a voice to the amazing girl that I keep hearing about! I’m sincerely so happy you’re enjoying my blog and just know your boyfriend is great company to many out here! I hope to be able to meet you one day as TLJ has nothing but the best and sweetest things to say about you every time you come up in conversation. & I’m so glad you’re using that picture, it’s by far one of my favorite candids so far.(:

  • Steve : May 16th

    Lydia, I, too, am enjoying your blog. Hang in there and keep posting! I love hearing your experiences. My wife & I hope to hike part of the PCT this fall. Thanks for helping painting a picture of what it’s like…

    • Lydia Armstrong : May 24th

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying them and I hope I’m doing the trail justice! I’m hoping to get more actual blog posts up before too long instead of my day-to-day journals. Enjoy your section hike and I’ll be sending you happy thoughts!

  • Jai King : May 20th

    Hey Lydia,

    It’s your buddies here at the office. We miss you chic and are definitely trying to keep up with you. Keep up the good work and just know that we are rooting for you all the way from Denver. 🙂

    Jai, Tiff, Sofia, Melissa, Paula, Val, DC, & Chief Eaton.

    • Lydia Armstrong : May 24th

      You guys are the sweetest, thank you SO much!!! It means the world that you all are keeping up with my crazy adventure. Tell everyone I say hi!(:


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