Sunday, May 11, 2014

In the beginning.....

Day 1: In the beginning there was a 30 mile per hour wind at midday in Campo on the Mexican border at the trail head. A wind that bit into me like eagle talons... Let's not forget that I've lived on tropical islands for the past 16 years! In the beginning there was a 40 pound back pack aka "The Purple Monster" and in the beginning there was also my first trail angel, Sasha, who picked me up from San Diego airport and drove me the the start of the trail. Thank you Sasha!
Starting out late I hiked by myself with my warm clothes over my skort and running shirt and had to strip down after a mile because the exertion had warmed me up. I was surprised to find that the first day included ascending a mountain that just kept going on and on, up and down switchbacks and the Purple Mondter was killing me already. At times I sounded just like Captain Haddock from the Tintin comics with phrases like " billions of blue blistering barnacles"...that's one I can repeat. Mist swirled about me like a cold cloak the higher I got on the mountain. I was trying to get to Hauser Creek but it just wasn't appearing. Presently a young man hiking in sandals caught up with me. He was planning on hiking to Canada in sandals, so I gave him the trail name "Sandals" and after learning a bit about me he gave me the trail name "Feather" which has subsequently evolved into "Two Feathers". Sandals went on ahead and the light began to fade just as Kara appeared behind me. We decided to pitch our tents on the trail as darkness fell and dhe taught me some valuable lessons anout living on the trail. I would have been scared if she wasn't with me that first night. I was stoked that my solar panel was keeping my phone somewhat charged. I also encountered my first snake along the trail and loved the high chaparral. My camel back bladder had developed a tear near the top before I even got it out of the car, so I carried it in one hand the whole day, for fear ofnot having   enough water and named it the "Blue Baby".....

Everyday I plan to acknowledge 5 things I'm grateful for and today it was: 1) Friends, loved ones and family; 2) Being able to do this advdnture; 3) Being able bodied ; 4) Beautiful wild flowers ; 5) Having Kara to camp with.


  1. Like the snake and the idea of each day acknowledging 5 things to be grateful for. Edward

  2. Beautiful snake! That's called a King Snake (Lampropeltis getula). The subspecies you captured with your camera has a fairly rare striping pattern. Most king snakes are ringed, but many of the local ones here are striped like yours. You see this pattern mostly in San Diego county. They are harmless to humans, and have an interesting behavior. They don't seem very afraid of hikers. I have even been followed down the trail by a king snake. It's an auspicious beginning that you met our local fauna. Happy Hiking!

  3. You are amazing and awesome! What a challenge you have undertaken. I look forward to hearing more of your adventures. I have only one marathon under my belt, 2 triathlon sprints, and a few half marathons. I can't imagine doing these ultras, but I have read about the Pacific Crest Trail and would love to hike at least part of it someday. Next year hubby and I will be hiking the Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt). Baby steps! Good luck and be safe! Gail

    1. Thank you Gail! I hope you get to be able to go on your adventure next year. Now that I have completed the trail, I am reflecting on the experience and writing a motivational book to encourage people to go for their dreams. Carpe Diem!