My Ode to the Desert

Dearest SoCal:

I knew you were beautiful, but had no idea the true extent of your beauty.

I knew you’d be hard, but didn’t grasp the extent of your difficulty.

I knew you’d present challenges, but didn’t expect them in form of Poodle Dog Bush, consistent headwinds, and long water carries.

What a trip the desert section has been!

I’m a couple hundred miles in, and all I can say is, “wow.”  

In a weird way, I’ve actually been more taken aback by this section so far.  I feel stronger, though the elevation is not as high.  I feel disconnected, though I’m getting service more on trail.

It may not make sense.  It’s just the range of feelings that I am having.

450 miles (to go) is nearly the length of Washington, so I will still take things one day at a time. Yet somehow, that feels like so little!

The end of this hike is approaching. As much as I don’t want it to end, in a few weeks’ time, it will.  As much of an adjustment as it will be to get back to work/life, I am excited to have nightly showers, a steady paycheck, and a roof over my head that is not Dyneema.

Gosh, my emotions are as diverse as the SoCal geography.

This section is so beautiful, and I can’t believe I get to see it with my own eyes. The climbs may not be as high, but with (sometimes) seven liters of water on hand, I’m astounded by the strength I am noticing I am building.

I will not be coming back to San Diego the same person.

Mentally/emotionally: definitely not. Physically even: definitely not. Everyone was right.  They told me before I left; I didn’t believe it.

Thru-hiking (in some capacity) is now part of my life. It won’t end with the PCT.  Next year, it will be the NorCal section I missed. Beyond that, who knows!

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Comments 2

  • Jhony : Nov 14th

    You saw Poodle Dog Bush in the Desert? Where was that?? Are you sure?

    • Janine Abdallah : Nov 15th

      Yup, in the section between Pine Canyon rd to Lake Hughes rd, SoBO. Camped one night with it all around, so had to be careful with my spot.


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