Cold start

Day 1, April 1st.  Wind is howling, it’s raining and later hail ugh lol.  Made for a very interesting first day of hiking. We were about 1 mile from the terminus when myself and Trish had to pee! LOL that’s quite the adventure in itself in the rain. My “freshette” worked perfectly however Trish wasn’t having much success with her little system and resorted to the old fashion way of squating behind a bush.  Only problem was she left her pack on and when she squatted all I heard was a yelp and looked over and up in time to see her bum and pack hit the ground, lmao hence her trail name “tumbleweed”.  We laughed so hard over this all day!!!  It was epic.  After about 8 hours of hiking and several hilarious mishaps we made 8 miles and decided to camp. Was a beautiful spot!!  It rained and hailed off and on all night …Crazy cold!! This is when I realized my sleep system sucked! !! I was freezing! !  Overall in spite of crap weather, I had a great hike and tons of laughs.  Scenery is amazing.
Day 2 April 2nd.  It’s still raining, wind blowing etc argh lol  packed up and hiked 12 miles into lake marina I was soaked to the bone and so cold!  And more hail, was freezing that night also.  At  this point I knew I needed to hustle to Mt laguna and get some new warmer gear.  Fabulous hike overall even tho at this point I’m starting to wine about how cold I am lol. I swear I was pre hypothermic.
Day 3 April 3rd was a zero day and rather enjoyed lake marina and drying myself out.
Day 4 April 4th.  Hiked 12.6 to cibbetts camp ground, beautiful hike but I’m still bloody cold! Lol
Day 5 April 5th hiked 10 miles into Mt laguna, yes!! Finally here and first stop was Dave Super.  Got a new warmer sleep bag, down booties, rain/wind jacket and pants!! Omg I’m so happy at this point lol, warm at last!!
Day 6 April 6th  was a zero day in Mt laguna enjoying the rest and washing out my clothing

image

image

image

image

image

image

Continue reading

Advertisements

Time to Fly

This will be my last blog entry for probably a few days or so.  I hop on the airplane Sunday, March 30th going to San Diego. 

I will post as often as possible and with pictures, no worries there my friends 🙂  I feel very excited and anxious but can feel the nervousness in my tummy ugh lol stay tuned y’all ♥

War and Peace

Image

I started planning for my hike on the PCT about July 2013.  The war was within myself, the unanswered questions, worries, concerns etc, about the trail, re-supply, gear it all became overwhelming at times.  The Facebook hiking groups did more to confuse and frustrate me then they did to help me, tho at times I would find tidbits of advice or information I could use.  To many that insist you must do this or that or you must buy this or that was frustrating and to be perfectly honest, it pisses me off. I do appreciate sound advice and opinions from everyone but I don’t like feeling as if I’m being “told” what to do or how I should do something.  Everyone of us is different..we have different bodies, feet and comfort levels.  Also the pcta.org website helped me tremendously, I must’ve read every bit of info on their site 🙂 at least a few times lol

The peace came about 4-6 weeks ago when I stopped reading most of the “group” stuff and started asking questions of people I thought would best help me find what worked for me and they did!! I can’t thank them all enough.  These were private chats on Facebook with Jan McEwen of Jan’s Jaunts (blog), Trish Scott of Trail Trish (blog) and Jeremy Martin all helped me with my questions and concerns about feet and shoes! OMG the dreaded shoes!!! However because of my conversations with them I was able to find what worked for me!! They offered up their opinions and thoughts and let me take it from there. Jan and Trish also played a helpful role in the “what panties, socks and bra” to wear dilemma LOL :D.  Between Ray Nimblefoot Lenihan and Judith Humbert I was able to find a tent and backpack that is perfect for me.  Special note of mention Jan is a trail ambassador for Gossamer gear and even tho I’m not using any of Gossamer gear’s products she still gave me lots of good info/advice and even educated me a bit on their products for future reference, she has been a great mentor for me 🙂 The following song I want to dedicate to all the people that have helped me in the preparation phase for this hike! There are a few others I haven’t mentioned but you know who you are! ♥ #hiking #pct #backpacking

Like Sweet Wine, Spring evening

Howdy and good morning from Texas ~waves~ ….my start date is fast approaching…I can taste it like a sweet wine, I can feel it like a warm spring day.  The excitement overwhelms me like a child on Christmas morning.

It’s a short entry today, still practicing my writing 😀

 

#hiking #pct #backpackinghiking

 

 

No worries

Getting closer to my kick off date of 1 April and it’s strange but I feel totally relaxed today.  I feel confident and comfortable with my gear choices so far.  This hike has been in creation for almost 4 years and now it’s a reality!  I suppose the only thing that stays with me in my mind is “please let my body stay in one piece so I can finish”…I read so many stories last year of people leaving the trail because of various injuries, broken bones etc etc..it’s enough to make one want to worry lol 🙂 …sighs~ positive thoughts, get positive results! slow n steady ole girl….you’ll win this race! haha 😛 sometimes I do crack myself up. Keep it real my friends, and I hope to meet some of you out there having the time of our lives! “stay alert, stay alive” 😀  #hiking #backpacking #PCT

These Feet were made for walking

It’s been two years since I first stepped foot on a long trail, I still remember my thoughts, fears and emotions.  It was the Camino Frances, 500 miles.  I met some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life, and a few I’m still friends with today.  Even when I hiked alone (which was most of the day) I never felt alone!

After years of being a career woman, mom, volunteer, fundraiser etc etc I started to lose focus on “me”. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore or where the “old” me had gone or got lost to during those years.  She was there the whole time, inside, waiting to come alive again, to explore her world, meet new and exciting friends who shared her passions.  I wanted to experience new cultures and food.  I found all this and much much more on the trail(s).  I realized that hiking is what I wanted to do!! It’s not easy by any means, everyday walking 10-25 miles, up and down hills and/or mountains does get exhausting, sometimes frustrating and there are times you scratch your head and wonder “why” am I here doing this! LOL .  However at the end of each day I could look back and be amazed at myself and what I accomplished that day and reflect on all the beauty that had surrounded me that day.  I could go to sleep that night knowing that tomorrow was a new exhausting but rewarding adventure waiting to happen 🙂  I hope all the people I’ve met and the ones I have yet to meet on the trails understand and know how much of a positive impact they have on my days and my little world..All of you make a difference and touch my heart.

About Me

I was asked if I would mind doing a “about me” file and thought hmm yep a good idea so people know who I am and why I hike etc.  I will do my best here, I’m not one for talking about myself lol 🙂

I’m a 49 years  old, from Southeast Texas, who absolutely loves the outdoors!  I’m quiet and reserved most of the time until I get to know you :), I am known  to NOT have a filter on my mouth, I never intentionally try to hurt your feelings.  So if you ask me “Does this make my butt look big?” and it does I will definitely tell you… My adult life has consisted of being a mom,  served in the Army (I was a Military Police Officer and a petroleum supply specialist), driving a school bus, teaching and lots of volunteer work (animal rescue work, fundraiser for  my local public school music program, red cross CPR instructor).  As my youngest child was getting closer to graduating high school, my older children were like “mom, what are you going to do when he graduates”? hmm Hell if I know, lol, I’ve spent my entire life devoting my time to others and a career.  So then I was faced with the question of “who am I”, “what do I want to do”?  I didn’t have the answers until I hiked the Camino Frances in 2012.  That’s when I realized “this is what I want to do!” I want to hike!”  Most of my family and friends thought this was crazy, lol but that’s ok!  I didn’t expect anyone to understand 🙂 I just knew it felt right and I was going to do this.  I didn’t want to spend my life growing old sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch and watching life pass me by so I figured I would start with the Pacific Crest Trail. About two month ago as I was thinking and preparing for the hike,  I wondered to myself “what am I going to do after the PCT?”, the answer was easy, keep hiking, but where? That is when I sat down with a pen and paper and figured up my expenses and how much I could save while hiking to enable me to go on other hikes.  After that it was just a matter of prioritizing.  Te Araroa is about a 5 mth hike and a north to south is suggested October thru March, well that was a no brainer then..after the PCT I will head to New Zealand.  😀  The hikes I plan on doing in the UK, Spain, France, Ireland are in no particular order….except that the GR10 in France has to be done in summer, so I’m thinking I will do the camino again around May 2015 then the GR10.  I will return to the states in plenty of time to prepare for the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) and hike with Team Siesta in spring 2016.  I do plan on hiking alot for the next 2 or 3 years and after that I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but I do know I will still be hiking somewhere.  It’s like a semi-retirement vacation of sorts, I plan on having a great time and meeting and making new lifelong friends along the way. That’s about it..sums me up pretty good I’d say 🙂 thanks for taking the time to read it lol

My Kind of Crazy

Testing my gear in the back yard

Testing my gear in the back yard

Most who know me, know I’m not much of a writer. LOL 🙂 I use southern slang and pretty much don’t sugar coat anything, so I hope you will enjoy my blog regardless 😛 I have 9 days until I start my hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, 7 days until I fly to San Diego.  The excitement and reality of it all is becoming so real and clear, at times it’s like an emotional roller coaster, then again if life was a merry go round I’d be bored. 😀 These are practice blog entries for me, so I will get use to writing and chatting about things so please be patient lol I’m sure i’ll improve as time goes on and hopefully won’t bore you lol.  I am not a trail ambassador and I’m not sponsored by anyone.  Any gear I write about is solely my opinions and/or experience of using that particular gear.  I am starting out with a Zpacks Hexamid Duplex tent, I have set it up 5 times now and absolutely love it! I did originally order the “J” hook stakes and didn’t like them much so I ordered the snow/sand stakes which I like much better (more grip imo).  I have the Zpacks Arcblast pack, after several fittings and some help from zpacks I have it fitting nicely and think it will do just fine on this hike :).  My sleeping pad is a Big Agnes Q-core SL at 66″ and 16oz, I’ve slept on it twice so far and all I have to say is “AWWW” it’s comfy!! Enlightened 20 degree quilt (down) is my bag of choice for now and I think it’s very comfy, cozy and warm!!

That’s about it for this posting 🙂 Hope y’all will follow along and I promise to do my best to keep it real and interesting.

Counting Down

It’s been a somewhat daunting and exciting time the past few months, prepping for my PCT Adventure.  The dehydrating, the inventory of gear, constant weighing with trying to go lighter..  I’m so glad for now I’m done shopping and cooking lol 🙂 I’m quite comfortable with my choices for my gear.  I only did 7 re-supply boxes! I can’t imagine doing 20-30 like some are doing, 7 almost drove me insane lol.  I’m basically on my own out there, I won’t have a “support” person to supply me like  I wish I could.  Mom is busy taking care of dad who is in hospice, my children are busy with their lives…I don’t expect any surprise packages or letters while on the trail and that’s ok with me 🙂 I will enjoy the hiking knowing my family is doing well and hoping they don’t worry to much about my craziness.  I have 9 days until I fly to San Diego and 11 until I start hiking!! I mailed most of my gear ahead so I wouldn’t have to check my pack or have any hassles with airport security about my trekking poles or stove lol …