Just me and the desert creatures

Day 8, 20 miles

I started packing up around 7am. I chatted with the girls.  Names?  – Bridgette and Christi.  Hi I’m Sally, where are you from?  – Vancouver, Where are you from? – Vancouver.  Where in Vancouver?  – North Van.   We’re from North Van!  Turns out they work in guest services at Grouse Mountain!  They laughed, “We can’t get away from you Grouse Grinders!”

It was too windy to cook breakfast, so I headed out down the trail to stop in a protected spot.  I passed a young man, packing up his camp.  His name is Ethan from North Carolina.  Great accent.  He said he is going to do his 1st 20, so he can get to Idyllwild tonight.  But Idyllwild is 3 days away? Nope it’s 20 miles!  What!!?  My planner showed 4 days?  Paul could have stayed on the trail and caught his original flight on the 18th! aaaaaaaaaaaa!!

Down the trail I went; tears flowed behind my sunglasses.  How could I make such a stupid mistake?  I was loaded down with 4 days of food I didn’t need (I’m not hungry anyway),  too much water (again), and now I’m carrying the weight of my stupid mistake and the weight of missing my best friend.  My pack never felt so heavy.

I don’t see another hiker all day. I hike 9 hours in the heat.  It’s tough.

I think about my children.  How they are happily getting on with their young lives. Enjoying their jobs and friends.  I am immensely proud of them.  I  want them to be proud of me too.   March on.

I think of my Dad.  He is my hero and he inspires me.  March on.

I think of my friends and family and know they love and care about me.  March on.

I look around at the gorgeous landscapes.  Nature all around me.  I am here.  How lucky am I to be able to experience this magical trail.  I feel blessed.  March on.


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Hello Rattlesnake. I asked him nicely to move off the trail so I may pass.  He didn’t hear me.  I had to tap my trekking poles on the ground so he could feel the vibration.

He turned and retreated to the brush, and I removed my earphones!

I got a few pics of this cute guy before he ran away.

Resting at one of the many water cashes brought in on jeep roads by kind Trail Angels.

Tule Spring where I met Mr Rattlesnake
<< Stop reading now, and don’t look past the next photo, if you have a weak stomach >>

With 10 miles still to go to Idyllwild I could barely walk.  I checked my feet and my baby toe was competing for shoe space with my big toe.  I had to tend to it with a needle.  It exploded into the air like Mount St. Helens.

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