MILE 942.1 – 1016.9


MILE 1016.9 – 1092


Day 71 (continued) – 13.7 miles

The rest of the day was pretty mellow terrain wise. There were a few granite staircases that my feet kindly reminded me that I hate. The landscape is different now, no more jagged peaks of the high Sierra, ice blue lakes and talus for miles. They’ve been replaced with soft domes, meadows and rolling hills.

I’m sad to see the Sierra go, but I’m proud of us for making it through! What a tough section. This 18 feels so much better than the one I did last week. Can’t wait to ditch this bear can. Only a few more days now.

Day 72 – 16.6 miles

Today was hard!

Woke up still feeling tired after sleeping in over an hour past the alarm. No biggie, we have all day to walk, we’ll figure it out.

The soft dirt was replaced by rock and – I don’t care if this sounds overly negative – probably the worst stretch of trail I’ve hiked yet. It was just terrible. A million pointless ups and downs, and the steepest at that! Graded for horses my ass.

All day, the rock pounded away at my feet and knees, pretty much by mile 4 I was in pretty moderate pain. And to top it off, something I ate didn’t agree with me so my stomach hurt for basically the entire day.

I was able to choke some dinner down though, so I did eat enough. The scenery was also nice towards the second half of the day, it feels like a different Sierra…. I kinda wish it didn’t feel like the Sierra anymore. It’s really hard on my body and I started feeling really down about myself.

Sometimes, especially when you feel like you’re falling apart, it’s hard to not look around and compare yourself to other people. Some days I feel on top of the world out here and I feel so capable and I’m just so thankful. Then there’s days like today, where I feel mostly broken, totally in over my head, and just generally defeated.

I’m getting concerned about my feet. I have these nubs on the side of my foot near my pinky toe and they’re starting to get pretty swollen and causing a lot of weird sharp shooting pains. It definitely is aggravated by all the rocky trails, I hope my feet can hold out another few days without serious injury.

Day 73 – 17.2 miles

I awoke today with a new attitude. I was not going to let anything ruin my day.

I took an Aleve and sucked it up cause that’s what you gotta do sometimes. We started the morning with a climb up Seavy Pass which was pretty mellow as far as passes go. Although, the trail was all rocks again and I was thankful for the sweet relief of modern medicine to get me through.

After that, we met up with Slaps and hiked with him for the remainder of the three climbs of the day. It was fun to hike with someone, we don’t usually so the miles went by quick with someone new to talk to. On the descent from the third climb, we also talked to a dad and his sons, he had done the PCT three times in fact, so naturally I asked him a million questions.

We had dinner right after Wilma Lake, and made the final 3 mile push to camp. We got here and it a pretty mediocre site because this place is crowded, but that’s ok, it be like that sometimes.

I was proud of myself today. My feet honestly still hurt pretty bad today, but I reminded myself that I’m choosing to be here and I’m stronger than I feel. I didn’t get mad today, and the mosquitos were even terrible.

Tomorrow we leave Yosemite and enter the Emigrant Wilderness, and it’s technically the end of the “Sierra” section. We also hit 1000 miles tomorrow. What a trip.

Angler showed me a picture of us before we left, and I told him that I’m not the person I was in that picture anymore. He said he isn’t either. I like us better this way.

Day 74 – 15.9 miles

I woke up sore. My feet basically scream at me the first mile after sleeping or even just taking a 30 minute break. I’m sure it’s the rocks, but if this is just how it is now I can probably deal with it for a while.

We woke up to some of the worst condensation – I’d still say Acton KOA was worse but this was a close second. We lingered to let everything dry out, it didn’t, so we continued on to Dorothy Lake. We took a long break there and got everything dry.

The pass was easy. The terrain started off pretty rocky, but then mellowed way out during the later half of the day.

We took another long dinner break at Walker River and I soaked my feet a bit, I’m not sure if it helped but they were at least numb for a few minutes and that was nice.

We started the climb to Sonora Pass, and so far it’s been great. Nice and gradual, and DIRT. So thankful for dirt trails. My poor feet.

The landscape has changed dramatically throughout the day, we started with the granite peaks and domes more characteristic of Yosemite and now the mountains look a bit more volcanic. They remind me of the Donner area, Tinker Knob and Castle Peak. It’s starting to feel like home.

Tomorrow we go into Kennedy Meadows North and ditch the bear cans! And also take a much deserved and needed zero!

Day 75 – 11 miles

Fuck. I was tested today. My sleeping pad has developed a pretty bad leak that I can’t seem to find so I spent the entire night waking up every hour to re-inflate it. My hips and back are killing me and I’m just heading up Sonora Pass right now hoping KMN had a new one, I’m not sure what I’m gonna do otherwise and it’s stressing me out so bad. What a rough morning.

We made it over the pass and down to the road. We got a hitch fairly easily, unfortunately not without some more unsolicited advice from someone on my hitching technique. The unsolicited advice really gets old and it’s a good reminder for myself to not do it to others, it’s annoying.

We got to Kennedy Meadows North and got all situated. I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with the amount of people here so I decided to just hang out in the dorm room and decompress a bit.

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the community out here and finding a sense of belonging. I honestly feel just as out of place as before, the community is great but I haven’t found that belonging. I still just prefer a quiet alone space, and I’m starting to stop feeling guilty about needing more alone time than the average person. It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life, and I hope to start letting that go. It’s ok to be an introvert.

Day 76 – 0 miles

Today was good. We stayed at Kennedy Meadows North and had a relaxing zero day by the river. We even saw a bunch of friends throughout the day and that was fun. Mostly uneventful, and mostly relaxing. We had some really fancy steaks and it was nice to have an actual meal meal, going out to eat is nice, but sometimes a baked potato, steak and corn on the cob really does it for ya.

Day 77 – 19.3 miles

Back at it! We had a late start around 9am cause the earliest shuttle was at 8:30. The guy that drove the shuttle was really nice and told us some really cool stuff about the history of the area, he actually reminded me of my dad a lot.

I learned that my grandma’s sister passed away today and I feel really bad for my grandma. I thought a lot about the fragility of life and how temporary everything is.

I took Dramamine before the shuttle ride and it made me super sleepy for most of the day and it made the climbs feel impossible. But every time I started feeling salty about hiking, I reminded myself of that fragility and temporariness and it made me be less bitter and more thankful.

There’s a lot of smoke in the air, and honestly, between the smell of smoke and the mule’s ear I’m feeling right at home. A lot of nostalgic feelings today.

The landscape was a lot of ups and downs but most all of them were on dirt so my feet were loving it. I was ready to push to 22 miles today but Angler was having an off day so I told him wherever he wants to stop we’ll stop. That’s part of being a team.

I bought a new shitty sleeping pad at Kennedy Meadows North and I’m not sure if it’s going to work for me but I’m gonna give it a go! At least Tahoe is only three nights away and I can get another one there.

We also saw the largest rabbit I’ve ever seen. I swear, this thing was so big it scared me. I think if you stood it up it’d be about 3-4’ tall. I don’t think I’ll ever see a rabbit like that again. Wow.

Day 78 – 22.8 miles

Woke up with a shin splint, super cool. But also woke up without a sore back which was a big worry of mine with the sub par sleep pad situation right now.

We had around 22 1/2 miles to do today because we’re pushing hard to get to Tahoe. We woke up at 6, pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t freezing ass cold.

Once we started hiking I immediately knew what my shin was doing. I have a shin splint. I took some Advil and KT taped it and hobbled on. Neither helped very much unfortunately, but it be like that sometimes.

The landscape today was the best we’ve seen yet. I absolutely love this section and the Mokelemne Wilderness. I’ve always said that granite was my thing, and don’t get me wrong, it still is. But something about this place, really amazing.

We got some trail magic today, the second of the whole trip! It’s really amazing that people just come out and help us. I’m so thankful for it.

I listened to a lot of music today. A song came on with the lyrics “nothing lasts,  it’s for the best” and wow, something about the timing just made so much sense to me. I came out here because I felt like my life was stagnant. I was living this sorta half of what I wanted life, but the other half was just so tied up with past shit weighing me down.

Every day is different out here, and the first time I see a new mountain will probably also be my last on this adventure. And that’s part of what makes this lifestyle so beautiful and special. Really something new every day, you do the same things every day, but never in the same place. Nothing lasts, it’s for the best.

We hiked on, and we made it the 22.4 miles we needed to today. I’m proud of us for pushing on, and I’m really proud of myself for sucking it up and making the best of it today. Despite some pain, I had a great day.

We have service at camp and I got to talk to my grandma which was nice. I also got to talk to my mom, and my friends Dave and Brandon. I miss everyone from home but I’ll get to see them soon. I think my brother is even going to hop and and hike with us for a section. I really hope he does, I miss when we all used to go backpacking together.

Day 79 – 21.7 miles

I “woke up” – I put that in quotations because I hardly fucking slept, I just tossed and turned all night – today to a lot of back pain from this crappy sleeping pad, but miraculously my shin was 100%! Maybe rolling my feet out before bed really helped? I won’t question it! So thankful!

It was super smoky this morning. It really made me feel like I was home. Growing up in NorCal I just associate wildfire smoke with good summer memories, playing in the yard as a kid and watching the bombers fly overhead, it’s fucked, I know.

We had service which was awesome. I chatted with some friends from home and listened to music. It was nice to not have to listen to my offline radio anymore.

The terrain was absolute perfection again! My feet were hurting again today, I am fairly certain my shoes are now too small and are crushing my feet, cause I loosened my shoes a whole lot and they felt a bit better but still not comfortable by any means.

We went over Carson Pass as the smoke cleared out, the wildflowers are amazing! As we approached Tahoe, it really started to hit me what we’re doing.

I called my dad, I ordered a new cnoc bag because mine’s a hot mess and only getting worse, so I’ve ordered a new one and am having it shipped to his shop. I mostly just wanted to call him to say hi, I haven’t actually called him at all so far and it was nice to talk. He’s actually driving my brother up to Sierra City and said “he has invited himself to our breakfast plans” and I was glad.

My mom said my sister is having some health issues again, I thought about that a lot today. And how thankful I am and how privileged I am to be here really. Not to say I don’t have health issues, but nothing compared to my sister’s. The human body really scares me.

We ended up having to continue on past our hopeful camp because Tahoe is a crowded place. Angler found a nice spot near a meadow though, although, I have a feeling we’re gonna wake up yo some mad condensation.

The cool thing about having to push on today is that we intersected with the Tahoe Rim Trail. I’ve been here before. Everything from here to Belden I’ve basically seen before. When I saw the TRT sign, I thought back to myself in 2020 and how I felt seeing that sign back then. What a contrast. I’m seeing a lot of positive changes in myself.

Sometimes, it’s hard to see change in yourself because you’re you every day. But I think so far, the PCT has made me think about really challenging things, things I don’t want to admit or even accept at times. Things I can’t let go of. Just really raw shit, and I like that because every time you allow yourself to feel it, you can see progress.

I’m just really happy to be here now, this is the perfect time in my life to be doing this and I’m just so glad I’m able to, every day is such a special thing.

Day 80 – 11.7 miles

Town day!

We woke up in our stealth spot with no condensation! The wind that whipped through all night had dried it all out, thank goodness. It was hot, the sun made the tent feel like a sauna and I had no problem getting ready to go.

We continued on, periodically stopping to reminisce on the familiarity of the Tahoe Rim Trail. We didn’t take many breaks even though my feet were killing me, I think they’re just going to hurt until I get new shoes so I didn’t see much point in stopping.

We got to HWY 50 around noon and started hitching. No luck. Lots of cars whizzed by without stopping…. Until we got one! AK said that he was on his way to Stateline and now so were we! Halfway through the ride he told us it was for a piss test because he’s on probation… good.

He was a really nice dude though, he even helped us find a pizza place. He said he sympathized with us because he just got his license back and was telling us a bunch of stories about how we rode his skateboard for two days strait cause he couldn’t get a ride once, he also casually mentioned sleeping in a cemetery.

He told us that he’s always had really bad luck with bitching and asked if we have luck. I told him I feel like we have bad luck with hitches because maybe some people judge me based on my tattoos, he agreed that they probably do.

I ate an entire pizza. We made our way to the hotel then went and did laundry. I called my mom and grandma while doing laundry and it was nice to talk to them.

I can’t believe we walked to Tahoe. This is so surreal.

I bought new shoes. Apparently 1/2 a size bigger feels a lot better. I’m fairly sure that my arches are collapsing or have collapsed or something. I’m also pretty sure I’ve got bunions, but hopefully the new shoes offer some relief.

Day 81 – 0 miles

Had a zero day.

Honestly, I got bored pretty quickly and was definitely ready to head back to trail today. Although I know this next stretch without a zero is gonna be long and I know my feet probably appreciate the rest.

I’m seeing a lot of people that I know and from Instagram dropping off the trail for various reasons. Mostly they say they’re just over it. It’s funny because the longer I do this, the more I fall in love with it and couldn’t imagine leaving.

Really excited to get back on trail tomorrow. My new sleeping pad is so comfortable and my new shoes feel a lot better (so far!). I looked up too much information about bunions today and have convinced myself I probs need surgery. Why can’t I just leave it alone? It’s almost comical how I just find things to fixate on.


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Comments 1

  • bebopbill : Jul 23rd

    nice photos!
    thanks for sharing.
    keep on truckin…


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