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  • Sarah Husein

90 days on the PCT: The Desert


Some fun stats:

Nature Poos: 13

Weight lost: 7 lbs

Blisters popped: 3

Laundry done: 12

Showers: 15

Longest time without a shower: 10

Trail angel stays: 1

Cowboy camped: 23

Books finished: 4

Zeros: 27

Nearos: 9

Highest milage day: 25.1

Rough total ascent: 142.3K

Rough total descent: 130.3K

Miles walked: 981.2


Let me start by saying I did not finish the trail. And not finishing shattered me. I felt like a loser, and took that mentality hard for a couple months. Compiling all my journals has helped me rework the ending of the trail, and a reminder of all the good bits. This is not the end of the PCT for me, just a long pause. I plan to do a section of the PCT next year, and another thru attempt in 2024, when I'm thirty and willing to completely separate myself from my ties to home. And I'll take less zeros. And probably leave the stove at home. But for now, here are my thoughts from my 2022 NOBO attempt of the PCT.

 


Day 0

I leave tomorrow. It’s wild to think about. I’m on the deck at the loo looking out at the foggy Hollywood sign eating toast and drinking tea, and this time tomorrow I won’t have that luxury. My room is almost packed, just gotta wait for the roommates to wake so I can do the floors and finish getting everything in order. It’s insane. I had people over last night, friends to say goodbye to. Friends from childhood and the awkward years, from high school, college, post college, set. It was lovely. Low key. Gabe said he’d miss me. My roommates said they’d miss me. My friends say they’d follow me. I feel very loved and supported. I’m feeling the lasts. This morning, on the deck, drinking tea and eating toast. Feet in the sand as grains stick to my hand. Hugs goodbye on the front porch. Kisses on the steps. Last dances in the living room and last cigarettes. but the missing continues. The hugs linger into memories that pinch at the heart strings. The ocean pushes while I pull for it. The beans sprout to stock. The hammering on the house above will eventually stop. the lasts do not last. I start the PCT tomorrow. 15 hours from now is a new first.


 


Day 1 - March 27, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: southern terminus - 0.0

End: - 15.3

Miles: 15.3

Ascent: 1713 | Descent: 2304

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂



Im on my way to the southern terminus. Dad and I are listening to Ed Sheehan. Mom and dad spent a good ten minutes taking pics and asking questions that they could have asked months ago, but it was sweet all the same. I’ll get to the trailhead around 930 A, and it won’t be that hot today. My pack is much heavier than I wanted it to be, but so be it.

I started the trail at 10:30A. Got a good speed going, said bye to my dad, took some photos. Met Illke at mile 1, he is from Amsterdam. We spoke a bit about the city, but I left him at mile 4.4 by the first watering place. I regret leaving the second smart water bottle in Dad’s car, would’ve been nice to not have rationed water. I hiked for a good six more miles, and met some people on the way. Rachel and Corey at mile 7, both with lite AF packs. Rachel pointed out that the shoulder straps are too big for me and now I can’t I feel it. Met augie (Butterscotch) and michael (Road Runner) a mile or so later, they’re from Santa Cruz and Nevada, respectfully. Passed them then ran into a family of five hiking. The dad has a broken foot, two kids with him, 11 and 10. Chatted with the mom, Samantha, but I was too fast for Luna, 7.


I started slowing down around mile 10. That’s when I felt my knees and got pretty thirsty. I took more rests, checked in with the fam. I did a surprisingly good job today, didn’t think I’d make it this far.

Met rocky around mile 12, he’s from Lithuania but lives in Denmark. 24, super chill. has hiked the Camino El Royale. We talked about our families and our travels, and I mentioned how much I loved Copenhagen when I visited.

got to camp (mi 15) and met Randy and Jenny, a couple from corona. Ultra lite but with camp chairs. Met David, a guy I passed a number of times. He seems pretty green. Jeremy was the real OG. from Austin, used to be a teacher then worked at REI. He helped me make my tent better, less slacky. I miss my Nemo. Seeing the stars. But I know this will be better for the rain. So turns out every drawstring should be loose, and instead of pulling the corners out at a 45 degree angle from x and y axis of tent, it should be more along the y, far far out. He did the shorter side first. I took pics for reference. The only issue with Jeremy is he’s not a Daniel Johnston fan. Dan will hear about this. But he did give me a spike.


Mel was dope too. He left his camp spot to make room for the family previously mentioned, and joined our group. He’s from Chicago, and his 28 year old just has a kid in January. he’s only hiking section a and b, but hiked part of the sierras in 1998. We like him.

My thoughts while hiking touched upon Jules. Also thought about sara and her mom, Vicki’s offer to trail angel. and us not being in each other’s lives anymore. I listened to my whole pct playlist, and couldn’t get into the Italian Harry Potter. Too much thinking.


I did a lot better than i thought i would, sped. through the first 10 miles, should have brought more water and camp shoes - I abandoned them in the car last minute. Also, hate this camera. the zoom doesn't work. It was hot mid day. It's going to rain tomorrow. ramen for dinner.


 


Day 2 - March 28, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 15.3

End: lake morena county park - 20.2

Miles: 4.9

Ascent: 1365 | Descent: 641

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


I started my day at 720 ish climbing up the mountain with rocky, but abandoned him to pee and take my leggings off. Ran into Maggie, a girl I’d seen before with rainbow hair. We got to talking on a slow pace up, my legs still sore from the day before. She’s lovely. An attorney in Florida. I told her about the most recent drama these last two weeks saw in my life, and we made jokes about things I couldn’t quite tell you.

We got to the malt shop around 930 A, and it filled me with glee seeing all the packs out front and hikers about. Ordered a bacon burrito which I ate with Mel and Maggie out front, thankful for the extra salsa from Mags. I wasn't sure if I should hike for longer or just stay the night after five miles, knowing that a storm was coming in. Met a guy named Penguin, who has been yoyoing the desert section of the PCT for like 7 years or something. Mags and i hung out with him for a bit, we explored the hiker box and held snakes, but then the rain started coming in. We set up our tents, stole rocks from the river, and tried to stay dry by going back to the malt shop. I gave David the name Zinc, cause he had sunscreen everywhere. I bought a beer from the malt shop and met a woman named Immram, a 71 year old who had done the AT last year. She gave us the rest of her pizza. Back at camp, I set up a guyline with paracord to try to secure my tent a bit more, and felt like it was good to go. Drank until it got dark (thanks to augie giving me my beer when i was in the tent) and went to sleep soundly, feeling like nothing would go wrong. But oh boy.... woke up at 1130 P to rain hitting my face. one of my stakes blew, and rain was going directly in my tent. it was a nightmare. I kept thinking "damp is deadly, damp is deadly" as i gathered my sleeping bag, electronics, and sleeping pad and ran to the bathroom, where I spent most of the night. A woman named bridget came into the bathroom at 1 am and saw I was still wet, and came back with a sleeping bag a couple minutes later. Thankful for staying somewhat dry. Maybe I'll get a trail name out of this.




 


Day 3 - March 29, 2022


Location: The Desert

Start: lake morena county park - 20.2

End: cibbets flat campground - 32.6

Miles: 12.4

Ascent: 2292 | Descent: 921

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


Last night was rough. I woke up this morning in a bathroom, warm from two sleeping bags, still wet from the night before, and back to my puddled tent. But man o man, French toast. And veggies from the ladies next to us. And a gummy that I still haven’t consumed.

I met sarah from LA! and another Mel, and it was noodles that gave me the gummy.

Jeremy, David, Maggie and I have formed a little trail family. I think I’m developing a little crush on Jeremy, and I would have done so with Maggie but she’s aromamtic, apparently.

This morning, Jeremy brought out the dry shampoo and a comb, and his curls became a poof that I tried to tame. He said he loved my facial expressions. anyways. So we get to hiking, mostly just me and Maggie sharing starbursts until we stumble upon Jeremy and immram, just chilling. Mostly uphill today. Jeremy asks about David and we say we haven’t seen him. By the bridge, David joins the three of us as we are exchanging garmin info, and we cheer.

We hike further up and the view is incredible. Reminds me of the highlands or glacial national just with more rocks.


I tell jeremy a story about gattlin and longhorns and agua dolce, and, being from Texas, he’s thrilled. He launches into France and cave paintings under lighters, dancing longhorns in the light. it turns out, he doesn’t hate Daniel Johnson. We are all going to make playlists for each other in mt laguna tomorrow.


Right before camp, which was an extra .2 down a massive hill, we ran into mel and sarah from LA. But we were exhausted and didn't want to be social with the other 30 hikers there, so we trekked on. We get to camp, feet in pain and hungry and tired, debating where to set up for the night when a British guy named LOtheAR (loser of the American revolution) comes up and says he’s a trail angel, come hang by my van, and I’ll put the water on for hot chocolate. We just chatted for hours with him about the pct, yogi, etc etc. Great day. Hard climb but v happy. Just wish I had peed again before coming back into my tent.

Woke up to pee at 2 am. The stars are incredible




 

Day 4 - March 30, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: cibbets flat campground - 32.6

End: mount laguna - 41.5

Miles: 8.9

Ascent: 2257 | Descent: 582

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


An uphill battle today, we climbed for ages in the sun. It honestly felt really good in the moment, music on, dancing a bit, the mountains in the background stacking on top of each other in my favorite way. we chilled by the creek and took our shoes off, resting. Immram was at the creek, and it was good to see her. I caught up with Jeremy on the last flat portion and chatted for a bit, we decided to make playlists for each other.

Got to town twenty minutes before closing, ate at the French restaurant where Eric served us amazing food. Saw dad, he gave me some essentials (camp shoes!) and he met my little tramily. Took a glorious hot shower and did laundry. I feel like a new person save for the bad sunburn on my face. Jeremy shared the meaning behind his bag and the playlist he made me is lovely. We are all sleeping in the ground in a shared space, Maggie on the couch, then Immram, then me, then David. It’s quite lovely.




 

Day 5 - March 31, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: mount laguna - 41.5

End: - 56.2

Miles: 14.7

Ascent: 1672 | Descent: 2422

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Sleeping last night was a wild time. Five people crammed in a room, crinkling sleeping pads all night, mags hitting David in the head in the way back from the bathroom, etc. Loud but warm.

Today was lovely though. It was just mags, Jeremy and I hiking. David is taking a zero.

We hiked mostly downhill, through the forested desert of mt laguna, then watched the scenery change.

My favorite part of the day was taking a nap in the sun around mile 10. Picnic tables , warm with a slight wind. Did my first nature poo of the pct and scratched my legs up, but it was a success. the views coming down and over the ridge were stunning.

When we got to mile 50, Jeremy and I spun around twenty five times each. Green around us and beige below. We ran into some older explorers and one woman had a jacket that matched my sun and moon tattoo. It was lovely. The sunset tonight was beautiful.

Jeremy, mags and I chatted about our fears, the ages of our souls, our favorite colors and favorite songs and favorite films and best birds. Really appreciate them.

It’s going to be cold tonight. We were going to cowboy camp but 39° weather isn’t a great idea.

Jeremy tried a ramen bomb. Too starchy. I showed them my photo every day thing and he said I have one of the most beautiful smiles he’s ever seen. Eight years of braces were worth it, I guess.

It’s 830, going to sleep. Stars are plentiful. New moon.



 

Day 6 - April 1, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: mt laguna - 56.2

End: - 71.2

Miles: 15.0

Ascent: 1473 | Descent: 3276

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂


Cowboy camping tonight with mags and Jeremy, but also somehow can’t escape gummy bear. It was a really pretty hiking day, lots of great views, but Jeremy is severely sunburned. I got my first hot spot, some luko tape solves that right up.

We hung out at the watering tank a couple miles back for a good two hours, met some AT hikers but I think Jeremy and I were pretty over talking to them. On the last couple of miles up, we were feeling rather beat. I texted sierra to send my other tent over, and she’s prob going to send it to paradise valley tomorrow.

There was a little moment between jer and I as we ascended the last few miles. Mags was freaking out somewhere out of eyeshot about running into poodle dog bush (it was nothing) and idk we got really close.

jer, mags and I talked about faith today. Mostly jer and I. I shared my concept regarding the age of souls, and repeating life on earth to learn things.

The stars are plenty tonight. Perfect weather (60 ish) and while I do wish I had my glasses, it’s still so lovely out.


Linda Harris pulled through. Her friend is a trail angel and is putting us up in scissors crossing tomorrow. So grateful for that. I think we’ll take a zero, unsure tho.



 

Day 7 - April 2, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 71.2

End: scissors crossing - 77.3

Miles: 6.1

Ascent: 586 | Descent: 1445

Sleep: Shelter

Mood: 😐

Ok so last night we cowboy camped and it was wonderful even though gummy bear was there. Also found out we are all Aquariuses. Maggie and I have the same birthday. We made the hike down pretty easily, taking our sweet time with three hours at camp in the morning. We got down to the flat portion around 1045, and had a good three miles to hike before scissors crossing, where we were meeting robin. We saw our first rattle snake. Towards the end, I shared my AirPods with Jeremy and played some cat powers and sufjan and a lot of Fleetwood Mac (need your love so bad), is was honey hi that inspired me turning around to tell Jeremy about this song. And it was going fine. The desert is beautiful and I’m so in love with these mountains and walking, but things got a little funky later.

Robin’s husband mike picked us up (I asked if we should wear masks and he was like, lol no.) we got back to their house (beautiful) and robin served us some lovely Mac and cheese, and we met the dogs. We chatted for a bit then mike drove us back to scissors crossing where we slack packed and hitched a ride into town. I’m one beer in atm, and we meet these guys Noah, jeff, and some others, and Noah offered us a beer. They were doing this thing called the gamble 500, which basically is a race that if you finish first, you get a bowling ball in your window. I drank another beer and killed Maggie’s. Jeff then gave us 25 bucks to eat at Julian’s pie shop.

So we get to town via a ride from Rangel, and gear up at 2 foot with Charlie Brown. We see sarah from la and Mel and noodle and Natalie (now project I guess?) and twinkle toes and fucking gummy bear. And I’m vibing. I fuckijg love these guys. We then go to what we thought was Julian pie but it was Julian cafe and bakery or something and had a mediocre pie. I said “anyone want a bite of my pie? This isn’t a euphemism” and Jeremy and I started cracking up. It was great. But then maggie goes pee and Jeremy turns to me and says he really likes me and that started a whole day of freak out because it’s too early for a hike crush. And granted I was crushing but like, come on. And he’s saying he’s glad he’s sunburned otherwise he’d turn beet red…. Maggie comes back and we realize we’re at the wrong pie shop so she runs over to the other one while Jeremy and I pay, idk it was this whole thing. It’s awkward. And I’m thinking of switching trail families. We didn’t get a pie.

I told Maggie and I was talking about it in the book store but then Jeremy comes in as I’m talking about a friend from home possibly confessing his feelings for me before my hike and how much that would upset me because here I am journaling about a boy instead of the views.

Rest of the day is chill aside from Jeremy freaking out a hiker’s dog into the middle of the road. We get back to Robin’s, take showers, do laundry, and for hours I’m chatting with Riley (robin’s son). It’s so lovely. I love trail angels.

We’re sleeping in the camper tonight. We are taking a zero tomorrow. all in all, a good time. Just hate boy feelings.


 

Day 8 - April 3, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: scissors crossing - 77.3

End: - 77.3

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Shelter

Mood: 🙂


Slept in the camper with everyone. Mags and Jeremy literally cannot not pee at night. Jeremy woke us up first with his inability to open the god damn door. Then Maggie. Then Jeremy again. I slept weird and had a cramp in my neck.

First zero on trail, ate some pie. Ate too much pie. Threw up from said pie.

But here’s the story.

Mags and I walked down to the main road to hitch a ride. These two giant pit pulls come charging out towards mags and i and we’re freaking out but they were actually super sweet. We pet them and try to send them back but they keep following us towards the road. The black one was a good boy and went back home but the brown one followed us to the road and ran into the street. Wasted an hour knocking on doors trying to solve this thing.

We managed to get a ride from these three girls in a Subaru who all go to UCSD, we were their first hitch.

Ran into so many people in town, including Sugarman and Danielle, Randy and Jenny, Rachel and Corey, Mel and Natalie, and the family of five. We got a lot of free shit then hitched a ride back with Rangel. Chilled out here for a bit, Lola got out. We got her back in. Jeremy apologized for his confession sort of. We all ate some Mac and cheese and then chatted with Robin and Mark when they came home for a few hours. We gave them a sign for the game room.

I’m still trying to find my why. The first time I tried section d was an escape. To do something for myself after the rape. It was an escape, but I was also trying to prove my strength to myself. Half dome was because Caleb could never. California riding and hiking trail was to process the breakup with em. I don’t know what this PCT thru is for other than for fun. To meet people. To get a break from the harsh days of tv work. Maybe I just want to focus on the beauty in strangers turned friends and deserts turn mountains. I want to hone into the little bits. Smaller than sunsets and peaks. Petals on crimson flowers and blackberries on trail. Smiles at water caches and stretches at camp. Little joys.

 

Day 9 - April 4, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: scissors crossing - 77.3

End: - 93.2

Miles: 15.9

Ascent: 3078 | Descent: 1310

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 😐

loved starting the trail early leaving robins place but it was so damn hot today. I think I got heat exhaustion, nearly threw up a few times. Or I’m preggers lol. Lots of climbing. Lots of water. Listened to music all day. Called Jules. We’re cowboy camping near the AT crowd. sat on a cactus around mile 14, now my trail name is spike. I kinda like it. Got some heart shaped glasses in town yesterday and digging it. Feet aren’t in great shape. Blister on my second toe on the right. And big toe on the left. Trying not to poo until town tomorrow.




 

Day 10 - April 5, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 93.2

End: - 109.0

Miles: 15.8

Ascent: 1723 | Descent: 1583

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂

Today has been one of my favorite days on trail. From the meadows / fields we passed with grass blowing in the wind, to the eagle rock. It’s been dope. Especially going to the welcome center and seeing everyone. I love it here. Sunrise was pretty too. I hiked alone in the morning for a bit. It was lovely. My blisters are pretty bad though. I have to return all my other shoes and get a bigger pair.

I’m currently cowboy camping under the stars, 109 miles from the Mexican border on the pct. Randy is snoring a few feet down, and Jeremy asked me if he was an optimist. he’s not. And that’s fine. I sometimes say I’m a realist, but I think in my heart of hearts, I haven’t yet let the world turn me into a pessimist. I’m lucky. Im fortunate to still have some optimism. the French guy is strumming his guitar by the creek as the frogs make their rounds of croaks and it’s dreamy. My feet are the only body part not covered in dirt and it’s peachy. My clothes still smell after a load in the wash and i honestly don’t care. I am so happy out here. I wake up with the sun and hike until there’s shade for a lunch spot in the dirt and pee behind bushes and sometimes I’ll accidentally sit in a cactus but god damn am I happy. Blisters be damned.



 

Day 11 - April 6, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 109.0

End: - 123.8

Miles: 14.8

Ascent: 3082 | Descent: 1158

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙁


Ok first, the views are wonderful where we are cowboy camping. I’m happy about that. But I started my period today and it’s misery. Got to the gas station in Warner springs and literally it looked like I miscarried in the toilet. I have one liner left. Had to ask a girl (noseeum) on trail for a pad. And period poos in the wild isn’t a fun time. Just overall very low energy.


so we started at the gas station / post office. Had a big breakfast there (turkey sandwich) with Randy, Jenny, zags and Jeremy. First day without mags, who is leaving trail for a week for a wedding.

We left town prob around 10? Late start. I slept til 745. Super tired. we road walked til we hit the trail then started the climb. I had to rest every two miles cause I literally have no energy.

Mentally, I thought about 2020. Mainly the rape. I guess this was brought on cause initially we were going to stay at mikes place and in the comments on gut hooks it said that basically guys there were trying to get girls drunk. I had this image in my head of cowboying there and a guy trying to assault me. No Bueno.

I listened to crying in h mart, mostly. Also listened to some of my Will To Meaning playlist. Jeremy and I took a midday break around mile 8 under a tree, it was less hot today given the wind. I shared the Emma story and some of my 2020, he shared his divorce story. I was worried with just the two of us. But it’s chill.


We ran into Maj and triage a lot. He wears a kilt. Super chill peeps. Got water out of a trough and tried to clean my blood soaked underwear. So excited for idyllwild.


We are in this super bouldery bit now. It’s dope. Reminds me of Jurassic park. The view is insane, just a ton of ants around. My feet are doing so much better today. The hydroclyoid bandaids are amazing. Did a poo at camp even tho I really didn’t want to. Jeremy was getting a kick out of my meltdown haha. More of a whine attack.


Crescent moon tonight. lasagna for dinner. Vape for dessert.


Still happy to be here.



 

Day 12 - April 7, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 123.8

End: - 139.8

Miles: 16.0

Ascent: 1722 | Descent: 3196

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂


Currently starting this after lunch - a nice little tortilla wrapped around string cheese and salsa. Much better today, more of a down hill and a little more energy. Still sucks that I’m on my period. Saw Immram, Jeremy was in a weird mood this morning. But we Gucci now. Almost done with crying in h mart.

Ok so I met this guy named sam. 29, hot as fuck, from Michigan. Prob going to be in idyllwild at the same time. Met him after I ate shit going down some granite steps.

Jeremy has been in a funk all day and it’s seriously getting on my nerves. Sad boi energy and it’s a downer. I didn’t come out here to be with mopey people.

Had my first ramen bomb tonight. So good! Beef ramen with three cheese potatoes. At camp just shy of the sketchy cistern - which I could barely fit my arm into. Thought I would fall in.

Cowboy camping again. Got bit on the face by a mosquito. Above my left eyebrow. So excited for a cheeseburger and a shower tomorrow. Going to try to wake up really early for this gnarly uphill.

Grateful for mags texts, her playlist for me, my dad saying he’d make me curry. Also talked aliens and shit with Jeremy over dinner. Always fun.


 

Day 13 - April 8, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 139.8

End: paradise valley cafe - 151.8

Miles: 12.0

Ascent: 2433 | Descent: 981

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


I mean, technically I’m sleeping on a carpet cause I gave Immram the bed. I was annoyed with Jeremy today. Like I kept rolling my eyes. He just can’t make a decision. I hiked the end bit to paradise valley with auggie and a bit with michael. They’re great. I kinda wanna join their trail family.

I had the chutney burger at paradise valley cafe. Finding our packages was brutal. It turns out that our air bnb is a mile from town which is a bummer.

Immram did reiki on me for my knee, which I fucked up trying to do the dirty dancing move with Mel / keeper. She’s so hot.

We hiked 13 miles in 5 hours. A record for us. My feet were aching towards the end. Started at 7 am and added the extra mile to PVC, got there at 12:30

It’s weird being in idyllwild. I’m thinking of sara. I sent her a voice memo.


Mary had a journal at her water tank. It asked what we learned. I said that the journey is the destination, and that music helps the miles go by faster, and dancing is key.





 

Day 14 - April 9, 2022


Location: The Desert

Start: paradise valley cafe - 151.8

End: idyllwild zero - 151.8

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


Full zero in Idyllwild. Chilled out in the morning. Got drunk with auggie, michael and Adam. Got my picture taken at nomad ventures. Got a coffee and chatted with re run, then my parents arrived.


I had dinner with my parents tonight. They drove to idyllwild and we had dinner with most of my trail family. I’m lucky. We went around and talked about our why for the trail. Some said just to see that they could do it. Or because they love it. Another said she just wanted to be back to human basics. And I said i just wanted to live fully. I’ve lived my life knowing that I nearly died along with my twin, and this knowledge is something that pushes me. A friend in college always said “this is all there is.” So why not enjoy it? Why not see all I can in this lifetime?





 

Day 15 - April 10, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: idyllwild zero - 151.8

End: idyllwild - 151.8

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


Honestly so glad I didn’t hike today. Ended up not sleeping much last night with the motion censor lights going off and Jeremy moving every ten fuckijg minutes, and this morning I was like, yeah nah I want to spend more time in Idyllwild. I texted Auggie, and it turns out they were doing a Harry Potter marathon, so for the past ten hours I’ve been in the silver pines lodge drinking beer and playing “perfect ten, but…”


New trail fam? Possibile. Klug and Auggie are dope as fuck. I drew a little tattoo on Auggie, a floral for his grandma who passed. Really love it. And I’m sleeping on a couch. Good vibes.


 

Day 16 - April 11, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: idyllwild - 151.8

End: - 155.9

Miles: 4.1

Ascent: 669 | Descent: 392

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


I’m so happy I took another zero yesterday to watch Harry Potter and hang with Klug and Auggie. When we got to the trailhead today (ride from grumpy, which was fucking weird and he said things like “older men look at girls and we’re like, they don’t make them like that anymore” (Klug and I were cracking up)), Adam forgot his hiking poles in town so he went back but Auggie, Klug and I started hiking the four miles in to the campsite. Klug went ahead but Auggie and I chatted about where we’ve been in the world, and then he told me about his visit from his grandma in his dream. We talked a bit about our grandmas (Jeff isn’t answering his phone atm) and when we got to camp, we all talked some more. I shared a little big about caleb, and my breakup with emma - just that it's hard to support someone when you're drowning. I feel like this is what i want my trail family to be: a mix of beer nights, laughing over games of perfect 10, and deeper conversations.

I braided Klug's hair before dinner. We chatted a lot about visits from dead relatives and souls and relationships and growth, that right person wrong time is just the wrong person. Idk. I feel very at home with this group. It’s a cold night. I have my nalgene with hot water on my butt. It’s going to be windy tonight. But full of warmth.



 

Day 17 - April 12, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 155.9

End: - 168.5

Miles: 12.6

Ascent: 3675 | Descent: 1728

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 😐


Today was fucking hard dude. All uphill, and the last two miles were brutal. My Spotify isn’t working for some reason so I can’t listen to music. But I did finish crying in h mart, and was able to download Harry potter. The views were beautiful. Lots of blown down trees and ice on branches. V v v v v cold. It’s getting down to 31 tonight. I have all my layers on and a hot water bottle on my butt.

Rose: sunset. Incredible.

Thorn: that god damn climb.


Around 4.5 miles before the campsite, Auggie and I laid in the sun and talked about whales and favorite colors. Warming up to him for sure. Like spicy warm. The insane part of me almost said “ want to make out?” But we aren’t doing that.


ok I’m going to bundle up more cause it’s already freezing. Love you. Still happy to be here. My Achilles are in pain and my right foot hurts. Same with my left calf.


 

Day 18 - April 13, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 168.5

End: - 177.4

Miles: 8.9

Ascent: 2622 | Descent: 1395

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


Technically did more climbing and more miles cause of Apache water source but currently camping .1 mi into the taquiz alternate trail. So did 10 mi total today. Feet were hurting towards the end

So many blow downs!!! Probably like 40 trees blown down. Klug saved my life. I was trying to go over a big blown down tree and was straddling it but it was slightly too big for me, and my toes were going to go, and it was essentially a straight shoot slide down for 100 feet where my vagina would be pulverized by branches, and Klug was next to me like “I need consent, what should I do” and I was like, take my hand, pull me. And then we just cracked up and made vagina jokes for a mile. This was by MM 175.


Auggie, Klug and I are camped together with triage and maj nearby. We all had dinner together and auggie and Klug shared poo and bear stories. Imma miss them. I told Klug I did phlebotomy and he said it was kinda hot. Nice.



 

Day 19 - April 14, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 177.4

End: - 190.5

Miles: 13.1

Ascent: 3042 | Descent: 3412

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

First day hiking alone. Finished HP1, onto HP2. This morning, auggie tried to get a thorn out of his hand and I braided Klug's hair again.

Lots of snow on the trail. All downhill literally from here. Big water carry. I’m either going to camp 15 miles down or try to get to town tomorrow. Need to resupply. It’s very windy tonight. Will prob get my earplugs out. I’m v cold. Just ate some pad Thai and missing familiar faces.


Found lost boy’s Cheetos on trail, I don’t feel bad about eating some of it. Should prob charge some electrics but whatever.


Grateful for great views. And good memories. Hate the snow. Sort of slipped a few times. Also grateful for chatting with grandma



 

Day 20 - April 15, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 190.5

End: snow creek road - 207.0

Miles: 16.5

Ascent: 255 | Descent: 6316

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂

Insane descent but my dad picked me up and I got chipotle and klug and auggie are staying the night so not all bad. We drank beer and went in the hot tub and took showers and tried watching HP2 but we’re exhausted. Back on trail tomorrow prob at the gas station. Also did laundry.


I might take my car for a drive in the morning. I miss her. Fran. LOML


the walk down wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I thought I’d get jelly legs but it was really just bad exposure and windy and boring. The big rusted pipe was, in fact, big and rusty. Other than that, an alright day. Auggie and klug did 23.5 mi which is insanity.



 

Day 21 - April 16, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: snow creek road - 207.0

End: whitewater preserve - 218.5

Miles: 11.5

Ascent: 2216 | Descent: 1240

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Technically we only liked 9.5 miles cause dad dropped us off at 209. Sleeping in my Hornet without the flynet cause it’s a relatively warm but windy night tonight. Going to see some stars.


It was so damn windy today. Insane. Like sit down on the side of the mountain or risk falling off of it. I think I’ve been hesitant to be vulnerable with myself. I like hiking with Augie and klug cause they’re open to their vulnerability. Unrelated but Augie and I found a giant green rambutan like thing today but inside was water. It was alien.


Cheshire Cat greeted us at the campground with pineapple and returned with pizza and beer. It was incredible. He talked a lot about being present and learning from his dog to not focus on the years we have left but focus instead on the now. And to let things pass through you. Like the wind. Be water, klug said.


My walking meditations have focussed mainly on sara. And how little the Korina thing matters, in the grand scheme of things. She makes her happy. Why did I need to be so sensitive to that? I’m planning to reach out to bean tomorrow. To apologize. I feel like two different people sometimes. I take work home with me. It’s hard to process things when I’m on for 16 hours a day and there’s so much time to process out here.


Mags is starting on the trail tomorrow. I think she’ll catch up with us.


 

Day 22 - April 17, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: whitewater preserve - 218.5

End: - 228.4

Miles: 9.9

Ascent: 2246 | Descent: 825

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂

Hella hot today. So fucking hot. But we chilled with our feet in water and I let auggie and klug know that their friendship means a lot to me and it’s lovely to witness. Also klug shared his writing about his friend that died, it was a poem regarding hiking and who he’s doing it for. I shared the piece about love. And how the people who once loved me won’t go to my funeral. We’re cowboy camping under the stars. The crickets are loud. Prob going to get out my ear plugs. Augie invited me to camp with his parents in big bear and Maggie is like 16 miles behind us. Going to wake up hella early to get out of the heat.


From the journal: I don’t know when i stopped recognizing myself. When i stopped liking myself at the core. I'm trying to find that again. the love. the peace. the joy and the innocence. the wonder. i'm finding it hard to lose myself in the stars or get lose in passing cars. Stillness isn't a thing in my life. tehre are moments. today at the river bank with blue skies above, or on the ridge line surrounded by taller mountains. I think i'm trying to find my vulnerability again.




 

Day 23 - April 18, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 228.4

End: - 239.9

Miles: 11.5

Ascent: 4492 | Descent: 221

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Gave my Sawyer squeeze to freedom cause his broke. Also gave a cliff bar to the woman with chowda cause she was out of food. Listened to blink 182 during lunch (i miss you and Adams song) and climbed over a big fallen down tree. Planning to wake up at 4 am to get to onyx mountain early ish so we can get into town at a decent time. Love auggie and klug. Wonderful humans. Ran into triage and maj at camp, asked klug or auggie to filter my water cause I was wearing crocs and they were both chill about it. Idk. It’s v comfortable with them. They sort of remind me of billy and Eddie just less anxiety and more serious, but also more playful.


I texted sara today, asking if we could talk when I got to big bear. She didn’t answer but I also don’t have service. it’s a windy night. Loud. Camping without a flynet. Prob going to be cold as fuck tomorrow.

V grateful for the nap at lunch.




 

Day 24 - April 19, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 239.9

End: onyx summit - 252.1

Miles: 12.2

Ascent: 2225 | Descent: 1616

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


My feet are killing me but we hitched a ride into town with a guy named Corey who was an Eagle Scout and picked us up, dropping us off at jariscos, this Mexican joint. While we were trying to find a hitch, we shared music and danced and laughed. Love these guys.

Now in a holiday inn, freshly showered, wearing rain gear and watching avengers.

We met up with bruja, Pixar and taser at the whiskey bar, played pool, got ice cream and Indian food to go. Auggie ended up sleeping in my bed cause klug snores. Didn’t sleep until 1 am or so cause of the coffee ice cream. Worth it



 

Day 25 - April 20, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: onyx summit - 252.1

End: - 252.1

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

We hung out in big bear lake. I got my filter back from freedom. Road Runner, Butterscotch and I made playlists for each other. Mags came back. Jeremy David and the rest of the gang chilled at a coffee shop. I kind of shut down for a sec. Butterscotchs parents are here with don and Mary and I fucking love them. Freezing tonight at campground. Wrote the below when I couldn't sleep.


I used to fall in love really easily. Or maybe I just didn’t know yet what love was. I crushed hard like a nutcracker, spreading flakes of shell trying to get to the center, then lining up the next one once all the pieces were gone. But I’m learning. Or maybe my jaw just got tired. I want to say love is like trying to start a fire with two damp sticks. Rubbing together furiously hoping for a spark. But love is my parents playing monopoly deal every night and my dad turning the air up cause my mom’s cold even though he can’t sleep unless it’s 70 or below and my grandma telling me to be really careful and my friends checking my garmin every day and my sisters making fun of me and my mom asking “you ok?” Love is the embers after the flame has gone out.


From the journal: First official zero in big ear - mags is coming to town today - so stoked to see her. I've been hiking with butterscotch and road runner. Currently eating zucchini bread, thinking about one of the lifetimes i lived in italy. Listening to maggie rogers new song "that's where i am" and thinking of what the next few months hold. Chesire cat said the other day that time on the PCT is different than civilian time. it's been nearly a month since starting the PCT but it feels like its been three. I've been processing a lot. the other night, when we were cowboy camping, i looked at the stars and was reminded of the night i was raped. it's been a year and a half, but it feels recent, yet a lifetime ago. i couldn't sleep. i tried writing.


 

Day 26 - April 21, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 252.1

End: - 252.1

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 😐

Weird day. Good day. Slept in a campground with Butterscotchs parents and don and Mary, it was fucking cold but we all chatted in the sun and heard stories of how the couples met.



Went to lunch with my dad and he got along really well with Butterscotchs parents which WAS a plus and is still a plus cause my dad’s fucking awesome and so are his parents and Road Runner was like I wanna be best friends with your dad.



So we get to the travel lodge, which Hans and Nancy put us up in. Butterscotch and I are sharing videos and cuddling a little and it’s great yeah.


Some stuff happened. and it got me thinking... I came here to hike the pct. Not to meet a boy. I came here to get to Canada. And I don’t want to be the reason for two best friends to be mad at each other. I’m not here to get in the way of their journey.


Burrito was delicious btw. Los jariscos. Barbacoa.


I have new insoles for my shoes. Here’s hoping they work.

 

Day 27 - April 22, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 252.1

End: - 252.1

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙁


Took another zero in big bear due to a snowstorm. every couple of years, the itchy feet get prickly. The road trips are suddenly not enough. Redwoods and Oregon beaches don’t do what they used to. So i shock myself. Move to Italy for several months or skydive on a whim or start a 5 month long hike. I don’t know what I’m trying to escape from. Or what I’m trying to run to. No amount of Chet Baker on cobblestone streets or sylvan esso on a trail width of fourteen inches can get me out of my head. My thoughts follow me wherever I go, and the night stars still cause me pain sometimes. I came out here to process. And I keep getting distracted. We met a guy named chesire cat a few days ago who said to be like the wind. Let things pass through you. If you’re not kind to your mind, your feet will follow. You’ll find a reason to leave the trail. I want to come back a better person. Less impulsive, maybe. Quicker to forgive. When the shit of 2020 happened, I thought I deserved it. I thought, this is karma for Italy. Or for wringing lovers hearts. And I want to run away again. It’s a rubber band. Run away, make poor choices, push people away, therapy, work, itchy feet, run away. An ex once told me she hoped I’d find what I’m looking for, on one of these cycles. I still haven’t found it yet. maybe I’m looking too hard.


 

Day 28 - April 23, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 252.1

End: doble campground - 268.6

Miles: 16.5

Ascent: 1440 | Descent: 3024

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


Trying to get more mileage in, thinking a lot about the Butterscotch thing. Hiking crew is Butterscotch and mags today. Road Runner is doing his own thing


Bruja, Pixar and taser slept over last night in the cabin by the McDonald’s. Bruja and I literally cuddled for hours. Platonically.


Mag and I left around 9 am, Butterscotch picked us up in a lift and I sort of did my own thing today. I’d get ptsd flashbacks of the bathroom thing every mile or so and would mutter, fucking kill me. We all had dinner tonight, drinking a free beer that a family gave us on the side of the road. It's glass, so i'll be carrying that for a few days. I think Road Runner just stopped by the campground but I feel weird saying hi. I miss him immensely.





 

Day 29 - April 24, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: doble campground - 268.6

End: little bear springs camp - 285.6

Miles: 17.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Mags and I did snow angels today. Met burrito - from SF, his favorite burrito is a Korean burrito from takorea


I keep having flashbacks to that night with Butterscotch. And then i shake my head and say fucking kill me or fuck, get out of my head. The red headlamp and sitting on the toilet and it’s just shame. I think im finding my why. I think it’s the rape. Or 2020 in general.


Met sleuth and tough nut, two single women hiking. And I’m reminded of why women are strong. Unyielding.


I had dinner with Road Runner, mags, Butterscotch and burrito. It was good seeing Road Runner again. Before everyone got here, I told Butterscotch that I’m still sort of healing from the trauma of 2020. Was tearing up a bit. And that I needed time.


Mags and I played M*A*S*H after dinner. Prob hitting 40s tonight. I'm sleeping in a horse pen.


Todays trail was chill. Easy woodsy climbs, weird seeing cars and civilians by big bear. They cheered us on.


Rose: dinner with Road Runner. Great view of big bear with snow on it


 

Day 30 - April 25, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: little bear springs camp - 285.6

End: deep creek hot springs - 307.9

Miles: 22.3

Ascent: 1517 | Descent: 4563

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂


Didn’t sleep at all last night. Told myself I’d turn my brain off like a light switch today. Sort of working. Butterscotch and I had a talk. I told him about the rape. He might walk separately from me to get space.


The boys have definitely been walking separately from me lol. so much drama. Butterscotch and Road Runner are v codependent


Holcomb creek is so lovely. Had a nice lil snack here. Trying to get to the hot springs tonight. We’ll see. Been listening to a lot of Florence + the machine.


Ran into two older women named buff and wrong way at the bridge - they took a pic of me with the beer that waterbaby gave me


I love hiking drunk. It’s a great time. Left the bridge at 352 and got to camp at hot springs at 715. Massive sprint. Ran into Road Runner on the way and he didn’t say hi back


Before running into Road Runner, I dropped my camera down the mountain lol. scaled the wall to get it back


Hot springs are nice. Cowboy camping with Pixar, taser and Bruja. Need to pee


Rose: beer from water Baby, talking to billy and Eddie, trail running a bit

Thorn: Butterscotch and Road Runner


Also technically I did 23 miles today


Todays writing:

Oh how a river can break off into streams of nearly still water, only to return to a gush once you’ve forgotten how strong the flow once was.

That a stream can turn into a flowing river

Tide pools will be washed out only to emerge when you go looking for them.

I wrote fuck you next to your name on the rock where it happened. If only my mind worked like the sea, swiping it clean with a splash of water.


I want to turn my brain off. Not a light switch, per se, but a dimmer. As I walk another twenty miles, the flashes come back. Brief, vivid. I usually avoid the moment. When you held my head down or pulled aside my underwear and asked if this is rape. It was. And you knew it. But I usually avoid thinking about that. I think about the waves. The sound of it crashing. The pain from the rock underneath me. The lights from the restaurant across the harbor. I think of my lack of fight or flight. Or the walk home. Or walking on the wall trying to out walk you and how I’ve been trying to do that ever since. I think of the stars. And the confusion, afterwards. I think of the pill I took and the sand left against my skin from your fingers and I think about thinking about showering. And I think about the next morning. Sobbing to my mom and samira and sara saying I can’t work today, how could I work today. But I did. and I’d cry. And I’d stare off in meetings looking at the white wall, my body still unclean, the shower not had. and I think of the alcohol I drank to cope and how a road trip or a backpacking trip was solace. So I walk. I climb the god damn mountain, and I shake my head to get the thoughts out. Sometimes it works. Other times I drown in it.



 

Day 31 - April 26, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: deep creek hot springs - 307.9

End: windy fucking spot - 317.7

Miles: 9.8

Ascent: 1286 | Descent: 1547

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂

Started the day at the hot springs, having cowboy camped with Pixar, Bruja and taser. Four ciggies. Started the day with a cigarette and tried to take my tea in the hot spring but it boiled over so nothing really was left. Got to chatting with water baby and got his instagram, took a few pics of everyone and wrote on a rock until Road Runner came up to me to ask where the next hot spring was, I pointed where the naked man was knowing he would be there and we joked about it later but at this point weren’t really talking.


Chill morning. Laid on another rock and peaked through the holes in my baseball cap to see rainbows or little windows of a leaf. Reminded me of its such a beautiful day.




Butterscotch left first. Well technically Daisy did but we aren’t counting that. I was waiting for mags to pack up and went up to Road Runner to ask if I could braid his hair. It was an olive branch. A peace offering. He said he’d never say no to that.



So he puts pants on and I start braiding his hair and we get to talking finally. And I say how he ignored me yesterday and I was like fuck he’s still pissed off. But he insists he said howdy. So we’re laughing at that and I tell him I just want things to return to how they were before. before Butterscotch and I hooked up. Cause I’m not here to date, I’m here to heal.



It was a good convo. Anyways. The hike out of the hot springs was kind of boring except for the bridge and the weird damn thing for floods.



We got a ride into Joshua inn By alan, the champ. Me, Adam (Northman), mags, Butterscotch Road Runner. And just fuckijg drank. And played pool. And music. And ate some pizza and burgers. Road Runner and I spent most of the night laughing with each other but earlier when I was braiding his hair he said we’d need to talk over drinks so I brought that up and he was like, nahhhhh. I said he was an 8.5. cause he fucking is. Sort of ignored Butterscotch all night.


Also we night hiked and just found a random spot. Literally a wind tunnel.


 

Day 32 - April 27, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: windy fucking spot - 317.7

End: Taj Mahal - 335.7

Miles: 18.0

Ascent: 2422 | Descent: 2246

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂


These days are so long that it’s hard to keep track of what’s what.

We Cowboy camped last night. So fucking windy. Butterscotch and Road Runner left early to hike, then Maggie, then me, then Adam. I am fucking blasting these days. Quick like a whip, these super feet doing wonders.


we get to the first water and it’s mags and I, and this girl tough nuts or something who says she didn’t sleep well cause there was an animal. So we continue on and we run into Hootz who was complaining about a girl yelling cause of an animal. Hilarious.

Also this part of the hike was kinda boring.

I catch up with Road Runner and Butterscotch for snack time and braid Road Runner's hair. BS is in a mood. Mags comes. Then Adam. It’s chill. I leave right after BS and RR, and catch up wjth RR once BS pees. So we’re having our conversation that we need to have and idk bout you but he seems the fickle one but I’m in the middle of an apology when I hear my name. I look up, it’s Emma B. Incredible that she found me.


we get to hiking and run into these cool ass giant pipe things so we’re taking pics and I introduce her to everyone. Mags and Emma became fast friends. BS asks if we can speak later. I say sure, prob during lunch.


So we hike. And it’s beautiful. We hike around a lake and shit. I pull mags and Emma aside for an update and explain for like an hour what’s happened on the trail so far between BS and RR and Bruja. we hike to the picnic tables, where Adam and I go for a swim. I have lunch with emma on a rock facing the water. She asked if I dated anyone in LA before I left. I said sort of but it didn’t lead anywhere. I asked if she was still dating her partner. She said yes and that she’s still poly, but that I’m the only one that got her excited. She didn’t date anyone else.


It was getting cold so I finished my lunch and packed my stuff. We get to hiking again, and vibes are good. Mags and I share headphones and listen to doses and mimosas , and mr bright side, yelling out the lyrics. also, turns out Emma and BS went to the same college.


We get to the water source and we’re vibing. And I hug Emma Multiple times. and hope that she joins us next week.


we hike to the next source and I leave early to get to camp. BS is behind me. I thought I found a weird alien thing but alas. So I say let’s talk. He says he wants to put distance between us. I say do whatever. And there’s the thing, we aren’t here to date, we’re here to hike the pct. and a hookup is just a hookup. And trail crushes can stop there. Just makes the day go by quicker.


at camp, I show my poi skills with two massage balls. they doubted me but it was cool. They were impressed. I talked to RR about camp cope 🥰 and played the opener. we all chatted bands and I tried to guess Adams favorite. It’s bon iver but I was close. will prob make him a playlist.

sleepy. McDonald’s tomorrow. Peed on my feet by accident. Angles matter.




 

Day 33 - April 28, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: Taj Mahal - 335.7

End: McDonald’s - 341.9

Miles: 6.2

Ascent: 705 | Descent: 1233

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂

First to leave camp this morning. Listened to camp cope and watched clouds move and stood on the edge of vertical drops. Magical. As I was approaching mcdonalds, i saw a dead little baby mouse on the ground and started crying, and built a little RIP sign for it. But it started to move so maybe it was just cold? I tried to warm it up with my fingers but then Mags approached and said don't do that, it's mom will abandon it, and i started crying some more. I think my period is coming.


Got some maccas!!! Told the fam where I’d be and Sofia went to pick us up but we ended up having to Uber down cause of traffic.


As we were waiting for the ride, BS RR and Adam joined us. I told RR “want one last braid before canada?” And he said, idk canada is a long time away, we can do Oregon. And I said I’d give him a braid on the summer solstice, naked hiking day, that’s the only day he’ll have me. Braided his hair and hugged him. It was nice. We vibe. The three of them got in their Lyft after a hug from me.

Met Sofia at the Tesla super charger, she was like “I have a weak gag reflux,” and that we smelled worse when the car wasn’t moving.

Got in the hot tub after a shower. Mom met mags, we went to TJ and target to resupply then met to the smoke shop where I ran into thru hikers! Popeye and the Italian! Knew it by the Fanny packs and the sweat marks. Ended up having drinks with them later. Felt so good to put eyeliner on.

Mags and I are going to send food forward to wrightwood. Can’t do a full carry up 6000 feet. Nope.

Saw Dakota today!!!! Omg. Best day. She hugged me and we chatted and she’s such a chatter box. Mags cut her own hair. Dakota helped.





 

Day 34 - April 29, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: McDonald’s - 341.9

End: nice view, rooms - 356.7

Miles: 14.8

Ascent: 4366 | Descent: 929

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂

Wild day. So dad drove mags and i to the trailhead, where we heard the trucker guy say “back up Walmart “ and just berate the truck drivers. We walked through a tunnel with zinc written on the wall, and another tunnel that I took a photo in. I was vibing out getting good miles listening to my runner of roads playlist and look up by the water cache and who do I see but the road runner himself. We yell at each other from across the curve and I’m like “bro what the fuck, you're supposed to be avoiding me” then we catch up and he tells me about the double feature yesterday, I tell him about going to my parents, palak paneer, meeting those two hikers. We get to the cache and BS dips quickly with RR, Adam hangs back, I tell him I’m over it. Mags and I had lunch there.

We met bliss at some point, he’s this 59 year old Rock climber and chill as hell.

After lunch I get warmed up again (hot day) and totally vibing again listening to the same playlist when i finish it, and switch to Harry Potter. Just as I’m getting into that, I look up and see RR taking a Siesta. I go past him but rethink, saying I was going to rest in another mile but I can chill here. So I get a piece of the sunflower cup out and share it with him as I talk about Trader Joe’s, sushi, Sofia picking us up, etc. we talk a lot about sushi and it somehow turns to the conversation we never finished. He says he shouldn’t have flirted with me at the bar. I said he’s good at it and what’s wrong with harmless flirting. We’re vibing. Hard. He says he’s been listening to my playlist and that it’s good, I say it’s all I’ve been listening to. And then he’s like we can’t tell BS that we siesta’d together. Secret siesta. I tell him how codependent they are, and that when BS, mags and I hiked together, all we talked about was how much we missed him. Mags came at that point, and RR shortly left. We did sort of talk about how it isn’t chill to flirt with each other in front of BS, but how fun it is.

We gave him some time but my trail legs are definitely here cause I blasted passed him and I think scared him. He said he was listening to 100 gacs, so I added money machine to his playlist. I called Brianna and hiked and talked, told her some of the drama.

I get to the campsite and just sit, smoking my vape and drinking Gatorade, waiting for him. He passes and waves and says he’d see me tomorrow and that tink followed him. And in my head I’m like, is he trying to get me jealous lmfao. But he comes and sits and we talk about it some more and I tell him that I have many trail crushes, how can you not when people are so damn cool and just get hotter every day. And we joked “8.5, 9 with a beesting.” But I told him that I tend to confuse friendship and romantic interest, but also that I’d like romantic relationships with friends. I said he fucking deterred, and that I was into him at the bar, that we were vibing hard. And he said well you should have texted me in idyllwild, but I didn’t have his number at that point. We agreed that the chase is better, and maybe some time down the line, we could start something. But not when the BS thing is so fresh. I confessed that I wrote about him saying the phlebotomy was hot. and he confessed he saw my piece about love from the night we were camping. he also got a vibe when I told him not to do another fire season. we want him around.


He left and mags came to camp. Over dinner I gave her a mini update. She asked what we’d name our kids. And I confessed that I did think about thinking about it. But that it’s too soon obv.


crooked and hunger jack came to the campsite around 7, they’re from Wisconsin and Illinois.

Good views today. I switched out my camera to the small Pentax. Still trying to figure out a way to tie it to my pack.


 

Day 35 - April 30, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: nice view, rooms - 356.7

End: grassy hallow visitor center - 370.3

Miles: 13.6

Ascent: 3230 | Descent: 2343

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 😐


Im getting real good at catching my hat when the wind picks it up. Nearly threw up today, guess that’s a thing right before my period. took it really slow. Initially we wanted to do a 20 but after I kept dry heaving I was like fuck Baden Powell, I’ve done it already, we are road walking this bitch. Trying to do 19 tomorrow, 21 the next, 20, then 14 to acton. Need to book a cabin mañana

ran into RR at guffy campground and again I didn’t braid his hair. Sad. I want to see him more.


We saw some ski lifts today and horses, and the mountains always amaze me.


Thorn is obv the dry heaving and just the body weakness.



 

Day 36 - May 1, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: grassy hallow visitor center - 370.3

End: Eagle roost picnic area - 390.2

Miles: 19.9

Ascent: 1840 | Descent: 2375

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 😐


Road walks, man.

Skipped Baden Powell for a 14 mile road walk. Feet were killing me but it was really cool to walk 12 miles of road closures.


Best part of the day was at the parking for Baden Powell, where we talked to Laura, who lives in a van with her husband and dog. Got her Instagram. She gave us strawberries and bananas 🥰🥰🥰🥰 and said to keep her updated so she could provide trail magic for us. She’s from Missouri. Also a random guy took his photo with mags and i lol.


Saw Northman (FKA adam) at Islip saddle. He had a hole in his shorts. Met popcorn and quinoa, two hikers from wales. Took their photo.

Laid in the sun waiting for my parents but they went the direction of the road closure so currently waiting for them to come all the way around. Waiting on them by the side of the road. Feel really bad about that. Klug might camp with us tho!!! So that’s exciting. Trying to meet up with Jules tomorrow


Pilgrim ended up stopping by, I gave him some of my parents water and he and RR talked forever and the vibes were initially weird then kind of warmed up. idk. And I asked RR if BS was over the situation and he was like idk. And now RR and pilgrim are possibly flirting? The thing that bothers me about pilgrim is before he even says hello (which he doesn’t) he immediately asks if I have extra water. and he doesn’t make eye contact with mags nor I, like we are less than him.



 

Day 37 - May 2, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: Eagle roost picnic area - 390.2

End: - 411.7

Miles: 21.5

Ascent: 4065 | Descent: 3773

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

So there’s a road walk detour to avoid the frogs but we missed getting on to the trail and ended up just walking the rest to 398. The clouds were sitting below us on the mountains, so fucking pretty. Mags and I took a break before that on the side of the road and these guys filming a Lamborghini commercial pulled up. Asked us about the pct and gave us bananas and offered a joint. We took the bananas. Stumbled upon a ski lift, Climbed the ladder. Continued the road walk. Danced a bit to doses and mimosas. RR was sleeping on the side of the road. It was a lovely sight. IMMRAM SHOWED UP! It was so good to see her. We all hugged. BS and Northman showed up, they had a nice little convo and we talked about pilgrim and his stories of furries and his lack of eye contact with women. Butterscotch went to call his friend Zach and I looked at RR like, did that go ok? He’s like yeah, and I’m like cool 7/10. We hung out for a bit until Zach pulled up, RR initiated a hug with me and I felt v happy about that. I asked to braid his hair and he said no, he wants it but no. It’s bigger than that.

my dads baby wipes made it to glenwood lol. V thankful for all the bathrooms in Angeles, esp cause I’m on my period. Had another nature poo today. after lunch, met clause and still rob. Clause does maintenance work. He gave us water.


Met sausage and pickle (Greg and Anita) at camp. We chatted for hours. They’re Australian (Brisbane) and idk it flowed naturally.

V windy tonight. Camping at the same place as last year. Great view of LA. blister on left side of left big toe. Was going to get pizza tomorrow but they’re closed on tuesdays. Sad.


Roses: bathrooms, clouds, Road Runner's hug, seeing Immram. People being kind.

Thorn: literal thorn making me bleed on my leg and staining my sock. Starting my period.




 

Day 38 - May 3, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 411.7

End: messenger flat campground - 430.3

Miles: 18.6

Ascent: 2865 | Descent: 3702

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂

Had a dream last night about Road Runner. Had a dream that I went up to him to kiss him as if I’d kissed him a thousand times and he was expecting it but current me stopped and said wait we aren’t supposed to do this. Then I woke up.

Booked it to the fire station where I met up RR, BS and desert Steve who gave us coke and a cookie. RR and I flirted for a bit. I told him I had a dream about him. He said he sort of mentioned to BS that he liked me and BS didn’t take it well. I put a safety pin through his ear cause he lost his earring. I taped that then he decided to put the backing of his earring in so I also taped that and he shivered and I smirked.

BS left early. Emma showed up with fruit and it was magical. The climb up was hard but that view was insane at the til. Favorite of the trail.


I got to camp an hour or so before Emma and mags. Daisy also showed up. Missed RR by twenty minutes.

Had dinner with everyone and a guy named Jonathan. Emma and I are cowboying. Had a great talk. She’s trying to make me fall for her but I’m just not into women right now. I told her this. But she daydreams about me while I day dream about RR. She said I’m a love addict and i think that's true.



 

Day 39 - May 4, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: messenger flat campground - 430.3

End: acton KOA - 444.4

Miles: 14.1

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 😐


I was annoyed today. Butterscotch literally won’t look at me and I ended up doing 15 miles in five hours cause I fucking ran down the god damn mountain. But I saw grandma and Jeff and drank tangelo juice and got a shit ton of beer that I handed out like candy. I made pilgrim pay for his. Played the ukelele with willow and Sensei, it was nice. Mostly just played “sea of love” a lot. Porcelain got these nasty modelos with fake like flavoring. I’m trying to recreate last year. The moment that made me want to do the whole trail. But it’s not working. And Road Runner and I talked in the pool for ages which was lovely and staying with beast and dim sum and mags, who took forever to come down the mountain with Emma. I’m hungover. It’s 4 am. But I’m alright.



 

Day 40 - May 5, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: acton KOA - 444.4

End: - 459.6

Miles: 15.2

Ascent: 2929 | Descent: 1784

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂

Downed a coke and got all queasy but sat in a cave for a break while I tried to fix my blister with tape. Mags braided my hair this morning. She's staying an extra day in Acton cause her feet are really messed up. I hope i see her soon.


I ended up running into RR and BS right before Vazquez rocks as I was listening to need your love so bad take 2, my fave. And my heart did a summersault. I took a break with Northman and Jonathan (later, Porcelain, though we wanted to name him "Mr Clean") in the shade, and we climbed the rock to the highest point. Saw BS and RR walking below. Had lunch with them all but it was just BS and RR at first so I was like an i allowed to join you or do you still want space. We ended up all hanging out and drinking and eating. Gattlin came to visit while butterscotch was napping. And I wanted to just be near RR do fucking bad. BS announced he’s leaving trail after the sierras to work. Bummer. Ellis, a local, came by and told jokes for ages. Haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.


RR and I made little moments of eye contact or jokes throughout dinner. Dim sum and beast got to the restaurant and Dimsum and I shared a cig. We ended up night hiking and getting a bottle of jack each. I’m currently halfway done. Porcelain and I came to the spot we’re currently at and had a nice little convo about parents and dreams and work and reincarnation. BS decided to hike more but Northman, Porcelain, RR and I all stayed. We’re cowboy camping and listened to tenacious d while Adam and i ate and RR and I drank / ate funions. I am drunk. And I’m obsessed with RR. We talked about marriage and love and soul mates. And I think at the end of the day it’s work. And commitment. I told Porcelain before the others got here about what happened between butterscotch and I, and me liking RR. Interessante.


I told RR he should continue the hike. I want to hike with him.




 

Day 41 - May 6, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: - 459.6

End: fire station - 478.3

Miles: 18.7

Ascent: 3789 | Descent: 3699

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 😐


Todays been interesting so far. Cowboy camped after night hiking last night, drank some and sang some tenacious d. Kept looking at RR this morning, and finally finally braided his hair. He leaned against me. We gave each other looks. Porcelain left and while Northman was pooping, RR and I started to chat. And he was like idk how I can trust that your feelings for me are genuine when the thing with BS happened. Which, fair enough. I started to answer but Northman came back.

I told RR about my dream. The one of us nearly kissing. And I had a dream last night that I was holding his hand. I started to hike and stopped maybe a mile and a half in. RR caught up. We talked. I told him that I like him more than a crush, that the reason I want to braid his hair is because it’s the only time I get to touch him. I told him I think about it every single day. and he told me he liked me probably more than a crush but he doesn’t know if I’m genuine. I told him about lieland. That. i stopped lying in 10th grade after hearing this story on This American Life. And that I daydream about him. And the connection we have. We then started hiking together. We shared my air pods and I played him need your love so bad take 2. Apparently BS is leaving trail after the sierras. So RR and I just need to make it to then. But I did tell him about sara and korina and that I feel for BS.


RR mentioned jokingly that he’s a Jew and I’m a Muslim and who knows if they’d let us get married. So I told him about my parents, and I told him I’ve thought about it. The clothes and the food and the dancing and the music.


We ran into BS, Northman and Porcelain a half mile later. Butterscotch got food poisoning.

Hiked down to the water cache, got a cig from jinx. Saw puke-n-rally. Miss Road Runner lol. Across from the cache, a civilian was talking to Adam, Porcelain and I and he asked if I started alone, and I said yes. He said “brave girl” so I pointed to the boys and say “they’re brave boys”

The hike out of the cache destroyed me. My feet are in so much fucking pain. And my right knee. BS said that RR can show me some stretches tomorrow and I wanted to be like, yeah he can 😉 but just said alright bet. I left butterscotch and road runner a liter of water since the cache was empty. saw a cool frog. And a lot of hummingbirds. I haven’t seen a dragonfly yet. Only a dead one a few days ago. The views were insane tho. The green hills cascading and the sunset shining streaks onto the highlands. Exhausted. Going to sleep. Earplugs in. Right next to road. In a tent for the first time in ages


 

Day 42 - May 7, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: fire station - 478.3

End: Maxwell road - 488.2

Miles: 9.9

Ascent: 2690 | Descent: 1852

Sleep: Cowboy

Mood: 🙂


So woke up near the fire station, saw David / zinc there! Haven’t seen him in ages. Postman and a bunch of others were there, I charged my phone but couldn’t get water cause my dirty bottle was with BS and RR. They finally came in around 9, and we tried hitching to town but ended up walking it. By town I mean a gas station, where I pood and got apple juice, a little burrito and RR got me an its it, it was good but nothing to really write home about. RR told me this morning that he had a dream about me and woke up happy but forgot the dream. He daydreamed the night before while night hiking about us cuddling. And I just want to get near him so fucking bad. Oh I bought new sunglasses. Still have the heart ones tho


I went up to this guy in a truck and asked him if he could take us all back so Northman and I rode in the back of the bed and it made his day.


We got back to the fire station and I braided RR's hair, half up half down. I did a few handstands and one into a back bend.


Im still smoking a vape btw. Should have quit by now.


We got to hiking, I left a little after the boys. Porcelain was asleep. We sat down a mile or so up the ascent. I sat next to Road Runner and he elbowed me in the butt and again I just want to touch him. To be near him. We had some good eye contact today and it’s dreamy.

The rest of the day was hiking through the mountains of Lake Hughes, and I thought of the drive with Hannah a few months before for a Hot Wheels gig and how special that was –twelve hours of deep conversation. I braided RR's hair again and goddess asked if this was an every day thing. I said if I had it my way, it would be. I called Laura cause some of the hikers (goddess / splash, extra, sassy and captain) said there was a bar down the street. I wanted to go but none of the butterscotch boys wanted it. RR aye ayed me goodbye and asked for soda. We walked a mile and then Laura picked us up, so two times today I was in the back of a pickup.

I had fried chicken and fresh fries and a sprite and a modelo. There wasn’t time to get a soda for RR.


Laura drove me back around sunset after wishing me good luck. I hiked for like an hour or so to get to the campsite, fueled by Laura saying she saw a mountain lion yesterday. I listened to RR's playlist and need your love so bad on repeat. There were cars up top, and that’s where I found the boys.

Currently cowboy camping next to RR's feet with my feet next to BS's head. Wish his face was next to me. It’s cold and windy tonight. They’re trying to hike 20 miles but idk if my body can handle that. I need new shoes.

V happy to be out here. It’s beautiful. Half a moon tonight. I think I’ve been finding distractions in feelings for others instead of processing. But that’s for another day.

Love you. So much


 

Day 43 - May 8, 2022

Location: The Desert

Start: Maxwell road - 488.2

End: horse trail camp - 508.1

Miles: 19.9

Ascent: 3723 | Descent: 3098