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  • Sarah Husein

90 Days on the PCT: The Sierras

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

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

Biggest trail family: 5

Smallest trail family: 2

Highest milage day: 25.1

Rough total ascent: 142.3K

Rough total descent: 130.3K

Miles walked: 981.2


Missed the desert section? read it here. Below is what I managed to do of the Sierra section. This is where it all went downhill for me in a short time. It was the most beautiful and hardest part of the trail, but I'm so thankful for all of it. My life, the mountains, the people I call my tramily.

 

Day 57 - May 22, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Kennedy meadows general - 702.2

End: - 701.0

Miles: 1.2

Sleep: Tent

Direction: Sobo | Slackpacked

Mood: 🙂

Did laundry! Met up with the boys on trail ! Got high with them! Told RR that my friends thought his idea was a good one (waiting to date until after trail, i think?) and RR shrugged and I said it’d be nice to compromise


We ate some food and I of course sat next to RR. Idk it was really nice seeing everyone like Sensei and Porcelain and puke n rally and beast and triage. Clapping everyone in is such a treat. But I do feel a little like a fraud. I need to come back and sobo these 20 miles.


RR said he missed me too. And that he talked to BS and said that we cuddled a little bit. But that BS' insecurities came true. I caught him looking at me today. And get a feeling that Sensei is sending me. But all I want it to wake up cuddling with RR. Talking about work and questions and sharing stories and warmth.


We drank some today. Quite a bit. Had a wrap cause god knows I need something healthy in me. Showered. Did laundry. RR, Northman and I watched the incredibles on the projector. BS was in a mood and was like “Are you guys going to sleep or not” so I told him to wear ear plugs. We met the Daly family, with the three kids under five.


I wanted to hold RR's hand before bed. While watching a movie. He said good night to me and we hugged and that’s fine but I want more. And I told him that. I told him I wrote about all the kisses we’ve missed, that we will miss.


Maybe I’ll send it to him. Maybe he’ll read the prophet and change his mind. Or maybe we just live in this limbo of what could have been, and never will. But idk if I really believe that.


Aunt Wendy is coming in tomorrow. My knee feels a little better by just not walking on it. I’m going to quit vaping on trail. Starting Wednesday.


I should have peed. I can still do that I guess.


 

Day 58 - May 23, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Kennedy meadows - 702.2

End: - 702.2

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Another zero. All of us except RR woke up early and headed down for coffee. We figured we should get to grumpy bears earlier for brekkie, so I went up to wake RR up. I used his first name to do so, which he liked.


We might’ve taken a swig of whiskey but tbh I don’t remember. Got in grumpys truck with RR in the back, and I wished I could see his smile.

Idk it’s weird. I don’t want to say I’m used to getting what I want but usually with the men of my past, I’m used to getting what I want. And I just want to hang out with RR and expand on this situation ship for something more concrete. But I’m doubting it’s going to happen.

Breakfast was insane. Giant pancakes and giant burritos, giant glasses of OJ. Penguin was there though, and I prayed he wouldn't recognize me. we stopped at triple crown outfitters but not a whole lot there. But got a bandana with the PCT on it! Going to two foot adventures tomorrow


Wendy came by! It was good to see her and Jill fixed up my knee. It feels better today. Keeping the kt tape on for a week. Oh we got yelled at by grumpys for bringing beer.


we all hopped in Wendy’s car and came back here with cookies and beer, drank a bit. played poker over dinner. RR had a phone call “with an old friend” so I’m assuming it’s Alexandria. Watched the princess bride and thought of us as the protagonists. I asked about the phone call but he said he just wanted to be near me, and I held his hand for a brief moment. We got lost coming back to camp and he showed me his phone which said he wants to get to know me better and share stories and cuddle and hold hands and I said I want the same thing. But braids and laughter. I think he’s watching fleabag in his tent, and I want to be next to him.


Going to watch some fleabag before bed.




 

Day 59 - May 24, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Kennedy Meadows - 702.2

End: Kennedy Meadows - 702.2

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

I sent RR the poem about all the kisses we will miss.

I was really high today. And it felt pretty good. I weighed myself and I’m down to 110. need to eat more.

Ok here’s what went down today. I had breakfast at the general store (a sandwich), RR came down late and finished my eggs. I did a little drawing and told the boys I want them to write in my journal. I helped the boys with laundry. I took a shower, I took an edible and we called grumpy around 11 for a ride. Once it arrived, we fit five people in the back I think, i road on RR's lap. Oh Pixar and taser came into town. No sign of mags. Jeremy also came.

We got lunch at grumpys, I had a double cheeseburger with Jalapeño and avocado, the boys all had the triple crown burger. Looked amazing.

Northman wrote in my journal and then the weed hit me, and I was so fucking high. Put on kyle (I found you) and vibed, then we talked lord of the rings and I said gimleys weapon was a hammer instead of an axe, and that Frodo and yoda were in Star Wars, just fucking up left and right.


So tired. Going to sleep. But hung out for a bit then smoked a j back here, the ride in which was in BS' lap. Thoroughly impressed we fit ten total in a pickup. came back here and it’s a few beers and whiskey deep. Butterscotch also wrote in my journal. Road runner drew a doodle...


here’s what Northman said:

Northman’s entry:

5/24/22 14:40 guest entry: the northman


I know the previous guest entry was quite emotional. I don’t know if I can match that to the same intensity, but I will do my best. I can only speak with certainty for myself but I imagine you have felt much of the same in your own way.


I think it’s safe to say that most of us are out here to find the better or best version of ourselves. To me, thru- hiking combines the best elements of any growth experience. It’s like the emotional and social challenges of 6 months abroad are combined with the physical challenge of a marathon. And you have to do it every day.


But for me, the surface level analogy above doesn’t communicate a nuanced fact which has become true for me: to become the best version of yourself, you must first confront the worst elements of yourself. I came to do the pct for many reasons, but the one that is often conveniently left off the list if my age. Most days it is the views, photos, and camaraderie that fuel me of the climbs, but occasionally it is something more ignoble.


I want to be jimmy chin. To experience the feeling of hanging off el cap, climbing a 20000 foot peak and sharing the joy of the outdoors with the world through the lens. But I also want these things so that my parents will respect me even though I don’t have my bachelor’s. So that friends who make 3x the money I do but will likely be tied down in Maryland for the next decade will question the direction of their early / mid twenties are taking them. So that women will pay me greater notice and people who used to know me will see me on their phone screens and ask “who the fuck is this? He’s not the guy I went to school with.”


None of these individual desires is inherently dark, but when I feel myself drawing energy from them on a climb it is not a peaceful feeling. On some level, I’m sure you know this feeling or similar. I don’t think you can hike 700 miles without seeing the worst in yourself.


Even more complicated is love, or whatever you want to call it. It seems like it can be the sweet cherry on top of the thru hiking experience, but could just a easily take you out of the present, or worse, be an anchor on your heart that brings down your experience. But in this place, facing down new challenges and soaking in beauty every day, how can people like you and I (pardon the assumption) resist the desire to share it with another? Even though I’ve made no serious advances towards anyone on this trip, I still find my thoughts wandering to future fantasies when the miles drag on. Is this a bad thing, even if it is natural?


But for me, when I crest the ridge at golden hour and see layer upon layer of hills and peaks, all dark or complex thoughts leave me, and I am totally at peace. My hope is that the sierras will bring me this clear and simple state of mind at least once a day, so that I can leave them and know that I was present throughout. I recall you writing about how you “want it all” and I agree wholeheartedly, but for the sierras, I’m going to try my damnedest to focus on what is in front of me. Have you confronted your darkness out here? If so, what brings you peace?


/////

Here's what Butterscotch said:

5/24/2022 - Butterscotch’s entry

How to begin. I guess at the beginning. Loo, I can’t believe we met you on day 1. Maybe the first person RR and I met in our journey? I’ve thought recently about the twists and turns this trail has provided for all of us.


Recently, my mind has been much less consumed by thoughts of: what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Should I stay on trail? I think I’ve moved back to a mindset of joy and excitement for what’s to come. Was it just the desert? Was it the month mark? Was is the drama? Guess I won’t really know. In the end though, I don’t think I could’ve dreamed a better crew than us 4.


Often on trail, I find my mind thinking about people who are gone. People who aren’t with me. Experiences past and experiences yet to come. Do I need to be more present? Or is that that only way to get through an experience this utterly insane? Loo, I wish your journal was magic like HP and could answer my questions.


Seems like this has turned into my musings of my trail experience. So far, loo, you’ve been a large part of the journey. I’m so excited to keep hiking all 4 together. I’m most excited to see how all of us grow / change, and observe how we already have.


I deeply appreciate the friendships I've made on trail, and while i don't want to think about post trail just yet, i'm curious to see how the friendships grow or change.

 

Day 60 - May 25, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Kennedy Meadows - 702.2

End: so many stars - 715.0

Miles: 12.8

Ascent: 2977 | Descent: 599

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 😐



I nearly fell asleep just now with my head out the door of my tent looking up at the stars and searching for one’s that shoot. I think it’s a true testament of caring for someone when your wishes are for them. Mine was for RR, to cure his depression.


Mostly good day today. The highlights were talking to my dad and RR's parents, swimming in the river, the insane meadow at sunset, and good dinner talks with michael. I need to start using his first name.

Low points were not seeing mags at all, a wobbly bear canister, hitting my knee on a fallen down tree, and that’s about it, I guess. Also my Spotify music won’t shuffle songs.


RR and I talked about wanting to make the best of it here. Just enjoying each other’s company while we can. But a part of me thinks we’re toxic. Too similar. Also if he tells me I fucked up by hooking up with BS one more god damn time, i'm going to lose it. But that’s probably me self sabotaging. I wish he were sleeping in my tent. Or that I was brave enough to cowboy next to him in bear country. V sleepy. Waking up around 6. We got to camp pretty late, the sun had already set, and we ate dinner a half mile from camp (bear country). RR asked me what critique I would give him, some constructive criticism, and I said that you miss 100% of the chances you don't take. I prefaced this with my own tune, telling him that I also hesitate, but at the end of the day, life's a little easier when there's no gray area, when you're out of the weird limbo phase, and you get an answer.

I love the sierras. So thankful to be here with the stars and the good smelling trees. I love it. All of it. V thankful.





 

Day 61 - May 26, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: so many stars - 715.0

End: incredible sunset - 732.6

Miles: 17.6

Ascent: 3640 | Descent: 2354

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


I hiked mostly alone today. Braided RR's hair at the first water source by the bridge with all the birds. Magical. So damn pretty. Coughing a lot. Elevation probably. My music won’t shuffle on Spotify so mainly doing Apple Music atm. Sitting on a log as I write this first bit at 10 a. Nearly drank a bug in my tea this morning. So happy to be out here surrounded by giant sequoias. The sky is so blue!!

Here’s what I listened to today: Fleet foxes, bright eyes, explosions in the sky, secret life of Walter Mitty soundtrack, and a little bit of the hobbit. V different from the desert, where I strictly listened to Goth Babe and Sylvan Esso. More dancing, back then.

I struggled with the ascents. and my vape died. And nothing really happened between me and RR. I thought a little bit about Italy and the shame and what kind of person I’ve been in the last few years. I thought about how it’s coming close to sara and korinas one year anniversary, and that I don’t really care, like it doesn't bother me. So much has changed since then. I thought about the hike sara and I did to moro rock, and sequoias, and my happy place. And that RR is starting to point out the little sounds I make, and how that reminds me of Emma. And how long ago that was.


the sunset tonight was beautiful. Pink and insane clouds and mountains as far as you can see. And I’m happy to be here. This is what it’s all about. my knees are doing much better, and I’m taking it slower. The less mileage is def helpful. We’re going to be smoking a cig on Whitney in less than 72 hours and that makes me happy nervous for some reason.

RR gave me a cig. I guess I’m quitting cause my vape is dead. or dying. And I want to call grandma and I want to leave a voice message for sara and I want to share the beauty of all of this but at the end of the day I have myself and my trail family.

Rose: blue skies. Big trees. Solitude.

Thorn: elevation and smoker lungs





 

Day 62 - May 27, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: incredible sunset - 732.6

End: chicken spring lake - 750.8

Miles: 18.2

Ascent: 3541 | Descent: 1962

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 😐


Today was fucking hard. My lungs and legs do not like 11000 feet. Brutal. I don’t know how I’m going to do Whitney.

Got out of camp and hiked a little with Northman. Saw some insane jet planes. Hiked to the first water source which was a .5 mi walk but northman and I stayed along the trail cause we had enough water. Realized I left the pipe back at camp :/ dogfoot’s pipe.

Updated Northman on some stuff, smoked a cigarette, and the boys came back. Hiked some more to the lunch spot, was just gonna blast the 5 miles or so but had to poo (my 11th!) and then couldn’t find my pack coming back on trail so waisted literally twenty minutes just walking back and forth. Like my watch says I did 21.7 miles.

I braided RR's hair after lunch and gave Northman the rest of my ramen that I couldn’t eat. RR wouldn’t accept it. But the braid was nice and it was our first little physical touch of the day. No photo :/


we hiked out of the lunch spot (Diaz creek), RR and I being the last ones from our group there. He went on ahead, but I’ve been really slow today so it took me some time to catch up. Listened to some hozier today, rostram, Gregory alan isokav, and the hobbit. RR took a break a couple miles out and I joined him. He asked if I turned it off (my feelings) and I said no, I’ve thought about it, but they’re still there, I’m just pushing less. Cause tbh I’ve really enjoyed hiking relatively alone the last few days esp in the sierras but I do miss him. Crave him. He said the same thing. That he thought about it last night or this morning. Prob cause I’ve been being a little weird. Cause I want nothing more than to kiss him. To cuddle against him when it’s cold or share my god damn tent with him. Anyways. He kissed me on the cheek and went on his way. Both of us agreeing to keep it up.

God I’m so tired. I don’t want to write more. But here we go.


Around 430 p i saw RR again and I join him. We share some of my almond butter. And I rested my head on his shoulders and rubbed his back and it feels totally normal. I told him about my plan with my dad, bringing the car up and going on a road trip to Montana. I hope it happens. I want him in my passenger seat. And our music taste might clash but we’d put the seats down in the back and keep each other warm on cold nights. We stood up to leave and he kissed my cheek and i his and then he picked me up in a hug. I told him about David (blackbird) and Carly (jukebox) moving in together. I think it gave him some hope.


Sky was not as blue today. Trees were fucking cool, esp the meadow leading into the lake where we are camping.


Frogs are ribbing. I’m freezing. Love you. Love being here even when my body doesn’t work as I want it to. Goodnight and sweet dreams.




 

Day 63 - May 28, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: chicken spring lake - 750.8

End: Crabtree ranger station - 766.3

Miles: 15.5

Ascent: 2459 | Descent: 3223

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

woke up this morning with the puffiest of Puffy faces. Eyes swollen, couldn’t see. BS laughed and I didn’t want to show RR cause he wouldn’t find me attractive anymore. Had some breakfast and tea by some rocks near our campsite. But had a morning cigarette first.





I was the second to leave camp in the morning, mainly because it was so cold that I couldn’t feel my feet. But the views! Found a nice log to sit on with a Mountain View and heard “sarah!” It was BS, some thirty feet from me. We chilled for a bit together and I’m just waiting for him to ask about RR.


Had lunch with RR and Northman. Ran into BS for a min but he shortly left. I made myself some shin ramen, RR made potatoes, Northman made a wrap and left pretty quickly as I was halfway through RR's braid. He took a pic.


I went to pack up my bag and RR mentioned how close BS and his friendship was to ending. And I teared up. Maybe because I’ve been there, and my friendship didn’t last, and it’s almost the one year anniversary of that. He and I laid on the ground for a bit, cuddling and kissing heads and hands.

We got to walking around 2 and immediately saw some deer. Magical. RR was so happy and feeling alive and I loved to see it. After the initial ascent, we took a little break. I decide to ask questions about Alexandria. What she does or where she lives or what color hair does she have or how tall she is. RR said nope to all except three: where would you move to (Vermont), is she funny (yes), and have you met her parents (yes). But I got a confirmation that my dad's cooler than her's.

RR then went on this daydream rant. And there's a lot here that's just for us. So, consider most of this redacted. RR says he’s not moving to LA. And I say he’d prob like silverlake. He says he wants to do fire. And I tell him that the people who love him don’t want him to do it. But I get it, I guess. It makes life worth living for a little bit. And he told me about this daydream. Post trail....REDACTED


We hike some more. He goes on ahead. I end up throwing up in the meadow before the last little climb (764.9). It was windy. RR said if I hear cracking or snapping, that means a tree is going to fall. But i'm still queasy, and at this point, maybe i wouldn't mind getting smushed by a tree. I think it’s fine, my nausea. I climb a little more. there’s a beautiful windy hike down with Whitney in the background, and who do I see but RR. So I yell out his name. And I rush down, which isn’t smart. There’s a weird archaic gate and after that I start to get altitude sickness a mile from camp. RR stays with me, makes sure I adjust every hundred feet. My lips are blue. I can't hold a water bottle. And he makes me sit on a rock, even though we are .3 away from camp. I just want to be in my tent, I told him. But he assesses me.


I got all sassy when RR asked me questions (president, date, birthday) that were vague and said “is that all you know about me?” So then he asked me my dads name and moms name and where I live.


We finally got to camp and I put my bag down and dry heaved.


Literally had candy for dinner. Couldn't stomach anything else. The boys are going up to Whitney tmrw morning and I’m taking my first trail zero. I am utterly heartbroken I won’t be doing Whitney. I've been dreaming about this for so many years. The first of many heartbreaks, i suppose.




 

Day 64 - May 29, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Crabtree ranger station - 766.3

End: Crabtree ranger station - 766.3

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 😐


Took my first trail zero. While the boys summited Whitney for sunrise, i slept. I woke up with a puffy face and spent my time making food at 9 am and found the toilet where I took a peaceful poo. I worried about the boys dying up there and BS coming down to tell me that RR died and I’d have a meltdown. But that’s anxiety for you. So I make my mac and cheese and watch fleabag in my tent and put a tampon in cause I started my period today.


The boys come down at 11 am or so, and they’re fucking elated. And it feels so good to see them so happy. We all eat some lunch together and take a bit of some edibles. I took a little bite out of my melted pack. Pilgrim invited himself into our trail family so my long siestas with RR are prob over for the next few days. Sad. Over lunch, Pilgrim said that there were a bunch of rescue helicopters that landed yesterday, right where we were eating. Hope everyone is ok.


I laid in the sun for a while today. Just enjoyed the warmth and watching the clouds move. I daydreamed of RR. I’ve got it bad.


We all go back to our tents and I watch two more episodes of fleabag. Finished season 1. We have dinner together out in the meadow, dogfoot joins us. I braid his hair. RR tells pilgrim he’s from Miami and pilgrim says he doesn’t give off Miami vibes. “What about Vermont vibes?” I ask snidely. RR starts laughing. He whispers and asks if we can talk. After dinner, RR and I do a little photo shoot by the toilet, and I tell him I don’t want him to move to Vermont and that I guess I’m a little jealous.


After the photo shoot, RR reads my journal that I wrote in the sun about wanting to cuddle and feeling like a failure for not being able to do Whitney (I've typed it up below). and he tells me his summit story. About doing it for the people who can’t. I told BS something similar today, mostly about my cousin and my brother, both passed. And then I braid his hair, me in my tent and he just outside of it.



It’s going to be freezing tonight. Another night alone in my tent with a cold butt. Rethinking my EE quilt. 10º, my ass.


From the Journal:

Crabtree Meadows


I’m sitting in the meadow with a headache feeling like a failure. I wanted so badly to summit mt Whitney and at just 10,600 ft, I got altitude sickness. I’ve been higher… gorgonio was 11,500. But last night, RR had to basically drag me up the last 300 feet. They left at 1 A this morning to hike and came back around 11 A, looking alive. And I’m happy for them. But I’m sad I didn’t get to take a picture at the top. I’ve missed that HOLY SHIT feeling. The infinite feeling. Like at the top of half dome where life’s problems seemed less of an issue. just pure elation. gratitude. wonder. (daydreamy stuff about RR redacted, sry)




 

Day 65 - May 30, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Crabtree ranger station - 766.3

End: Tyndall creek - 774.7

Miles: 8.4

Ascent: 2090 | Descent: 1404

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Literally one of my favorite days of hiking ever. The views were insane. We took our time getting out of Crabtree, while also hoping pilgrim wouldn’t hike with us. RR and I both had dreams about each other, mine was him coming into my tent, his was us living in a house together with wood floors.

He told me this over lunch by 769.8, where I braided his hair and kissed his cheek and laid with him. We hiked out of there and he wanted to blast but I caught up with him a mile later or so, and he was adjusting his leggings.


I spent the rest of the day hiking alone, and my altitude sickness wasn’t nearly as bad. The view from bighorn plateau was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve only felt this alive with half dome. Ear to ear grin. took some photos. Felt infinite. But small.

Got to camp around 4 pm, cheesing hard. Ate with RR and BS. Northman showed up around 5. Trying v hard not to freeze tonight.

Waking up at two to do forester pass tomorrow.


Also, this is my first full day without nicotine since jan 2021





 

Day 66 - May 31, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Tyndall creek - 774.7

End: bullfrog lake mi 1.& - 788.5

Miles: 13.8

Ascent: 3038 | Descent: 3744

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


One of the greatest days on trail.


Woke up at 2 am to hit forester pass, packing up in the dark. We hiked along a stream of melted snow under a sea of stars, and ascended with the sun slowly lighting everything a nice pale pink. We walked along frozen wisps of snow, little waves, and I couldn't help but marvel at the view.


We started the last climb right after sunrise. I struggled a lot with this, as we got closer to 13,000 ft. My lips were blue, my heart rate was up, and I could feel it beat through my chest. I am so incredibly thankful for BS and RR who made sure I was doing ok and stayed with me the entire time. Also, thankful for such a low snow year, could not imagine this climb if it was covered in snow and ice.


I Braided RR's hair on the top. We took a group photo. There was a lot of snow coming down the backside of forester, nearly slipped a few times.



About a mile down, we all ate some food and took some edibles, and when they kicked in, so did the dancing. Just straight vibing. It lasted a while, and I took some portraits of the boys that are now lost in time (thanks, tuolamni post office :/ ) and we chilled in a spot by a river, watching a guy fish. I had another trail pooh! and took a lil nap.


The mosquitos are starting to get insane. Didn't even stop to filter water with the swarm around me. I wasn't looking forward to the intense climb up to the bullfrog lake junction, but it wasn't too bad. I waited for RR for a while at the junction, but after 40 minutes, I gave up and started to climb.


Bullfrog lake junction is absolutely insane. Favorite bit of trail to date. Alpine lakes and mountains and it just feels fake. It’s too beautiful.

Had dinner on the lake, gave Northman my leftovers.

Played Asshole / mvp of the week. I think mvp was BS and RR for making sure I don’t die. Asshole was altitude sickness.

Watched Top Gun in the tent with RR and Northman. Some post movie stuff with RR was a red flag, looking back.




 

Day 67 - June 1, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: bullfrog lake mi 1.& - 788.5

End: bishop - 788.5

Miles: 0.0 (11.4 miles, just not on the PCT)

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙁


We started the morning watching the sun rise over the lake. Northman and I took photos, and I felt the gratitude, but I also felt used from the night before. I had received some messages on my garmin from my mom, telling me to be careful, and not to do whitney. But i shrugged that off, since I didn't do whitney anyways.


RR and I had a moment this morning and I told him that I feel like the power is off, and I don’t have a right to talk to BS about my feelings for RR. I left camp feeling weird cause it seems like RR gets to have his pleasure and secrets and I’m just along for the ride. He caught up with me and apologized along the switchbacks up Kearsarge.




As I said, my mom had messaged me on the garmin about a girl who died on Whitney but didn’t say when. After I got over kearsarge pass, i got service and got all the messages from Sofia and the fam. Carolyn Shanks' friend died on Whitney a few days ago. On saturday. Altitude sickness. Sofia was texting me that she loved me, and my parents were texting me to be safe, and I felt sick to my stomach. I ran into straps and aqua man on the way down. They were heading back to trail. I told them this and they told me about a woman who died of a heart attack on forester the same day (I later found out that it was the same woman, that Maddie died on forester pass after doing whitney). They were there. They saw a former doctor try to resuscitate her. We cried together. And we held space. and we had many moments of silence. And we tried to break the heartbreak by talking up town food, but the tears still came. And I realized I could have died. She had collapsed .1 miles from the top of the pass, the same spot I was having issues at. I thought about this for the rest of the trail down.

I got a hitch into independence from manatees dad, a nice older gentleman with a truck and sweet, encouraging words. Met with the boys. Told them the above.


We got on the bus at noon after nearly missing it for a shoddy hitch. I called Jeff and mom. Talked to grandma. Talked to dad.


We got to town and I was still off. Still on my mind about my near death, and about the loss of a hiker I didn't know, but a friend of a friend, and a sister on the PCT. We ran into caulder, the ranger who checked our permits a couple days ago. She asked about the death. I told her.


We're staying in Bishop, at the east side hostel. It's lovely. We took showers and I listened to runnner. And I spoke on the phone with samira for an hour. She’s getting a divorce. And I looked up Alexandra, and she’s really fucking cool, and I think I’m going to give up on RR. Let him be happy and depressed in Vermont with an artist girlfriend who weaves and does aerial and has a septum. Fucking original. Bet she skates too. Bitch. Cool ass bitch.

I talked to Northman for a while. A did a little doodle of him. It’s great.




we ate bbq by the way. I was too skinny in the mirror after a shower. All the ribs. No Bueno.


We all watched top gun maverick . Fucking fantastic. And it sucks sitting next to Road Runner and seeing how happy he is in the theatre and wanting this to be normal life where I can hold his hand and take joy in his joy but lucky fucking Alexandra.


But the movie was a distraction from the deaths. And that was appreciated. uncle Dave got me some altitude sickness medicine. And I can’t sleep cause idk if I want to talk to Butterscotch tomorrow anymore. I’m sure it’s less messy with Alexandra. and this is me self sabotaging. Giving up a little blessed future because someone else seems like they’d be cooler. A better catch. Curly hair and a septum and tattoos and an artist and a long cv.

And I hear RR breathing on the bunk bed over and I want to lay next to him. And I want to leave this hot hostel and smoke a cigarette and go for a run. and I want to leave trail. I want to live. I don’t want to die trying to climb a mountain. and it seems like a hug from my niece and a bite of Dad’s curry is the best thing in the world. and I want the easy way out. but I won’t. It wouldn’t even be a so close moment. Just what a quitter says. fuck. FUCK. I want to fucking yell. Jesus.



From the journal: this week has seen many ups and downs. the last few days have been some of the most beautiful miles I’ve ever hiked (766 - bullfrog lakes / Kearsarge pass). But finding out about Maddie dying destroyed me. And we held space for a person who wanted to feel alive, who wanted to experience the excitement on trail, to truly live. I hiked into the base of Whitney on Sunday, not knowing any of this. And it was brutal. My lips were blue, I threw up, I kept dry heaving, and I was lethargic. RR stayed with me and I just felt like a fucking loser. I felt like a bad thru hiker. So when we did forester pass at dawn, and the same thing happened, I felt worse. like my body was betraying me. RR and BS gave each other a look a few hundred feet from the top of forester, and I apologized for going slow, but it was a look of concern. So today when I found out that a PCT hiker died, it hit me that that could have been me. We’re all out here with one goal, to reach Canada, and she will never reach the northern terminus. We promise our families that we’ll be safe on the snow and crossing rivers but we don’t let it cross our minds that our bodies could fail us. We want to live so badly that it kills us. And it breaks my heart. rest in peace to Maddie, I will be thinking of you with every step.




 

Day 68 - June 2, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: east side gallery and bivy - 788.5

End: east side gallery and bivy - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


I told the trail family in the morning that I'm having doubts about continuing the hike. I do not want to die.


We took a zero today. I went to a bookstore with RR, and we had a date that wasn't a date. And I dropped some film off to get developed, and went to the art store to paint, because that usually calms me down. I chilled on the hammock, called my family.








 

Day 69 - June 3, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: east side gallery and bivy - 788.5

End: east side gallery and bivy - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙁


A lot of people reached out to me today. Sofia leggio apologized for how she reacted towards the tail end of our friendship. Jan reached out. I talked to Butterscotch about my feelings for Road runner. It didn’t go well. he said he doesn’t want to be a third wheel more than he already is. But he doesn’t want to be a grinch. Idk I don’t feel like hiking tomorrow. I feel like crying and going home. Like giving up. I’m scared re: elevation. And I want a cig.


RR and I went to the bookstore. We walked around town. I ended up going for a bike ride after dinner. And that helped clear my head. I’ve missed speed. BS and I made dinner for everyone and it was a good time to be back in the kitchen listening to Italian cooking music and chopping up shallots. It was the queen's jubilee, so Dimsum got a group of hikers together to make british flags. It was lovely seeing her, beast, pixar, and lizard king.


Before the bike ride, I called my parents. Voiced my anxieties. Considered having my dad pick me up. I ran into RR after the bike ride and he was all happy saying he probably gets to kiss me this week but I just started crying and told him how freaked I was. And we chatted for hours then got some carrot cake and I spent a good thirty minutes trying to get his piercing out. We moved to the back table near our room and cuddled a bit and talked about Marshall. So tired. Going to sleep. Starting trail tomorrow. Wish me life and luck





 

Day 70 - June 4, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: east side gallery and bivy - 788.5

End: - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🤬


Got to the trailhead. Threw up. Asked dad to pick me up. I love him. He drove 5 hours straight to independence. RR and I finally kissed. He leaned in first and I was like wtf are you doing but it finally happened I just wish it was for a positive reason instead of me leaving. Ran into The Italian at the trailhead while I was throwing up. I kept crying and didn't know what to do. Brain and heart want opposite things.


I got a ride down from this lovely lesbian couple.


I waited at the gas station in independence for 4 hours while my dad drove up. Talked to a guy who invited me to this outdoor rave thing, forget his name. My dad pulled up and a hiker hopped out, my dad's first hitch! He said he saw her trying to get a ride and thought of me, so he gave one to her. As soon as i put my stuff in the back of the car, i puked on the asphalt. It was downhill from there.


Spent the entire drive home either sleeping or throwing up. Got really bad. Almost had to go to the ER for dehydration.


 

Day 71 - June 5, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: home - 788.5

End: home - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 😐

Low energy today. Went to rei with mom. Able to keep food and liquids down. Still feel spacey.


 

Day 72 - June 6, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: home - 788.5

End: home - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂

Had lunch with Sofia. The boys made it over Pinchot pass.



 

Day 73 - June 7, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: home - 788.5

End: home - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂

Saw grandma, went to rei. saw my roommates



 

Day 74 - June 8, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: home - 788.5

End: home - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂

Took a nap today. The boys did Muir pass today and said it was beautiful but really hard. I went to Trader Joe’s. I'm getting a taste of post trail depression and I don't like it.



 

Day 75 - June 9, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: home - 788.5

End: home - 788.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂

Saw grandma Jeff and Johanna today. Went to rei and the dispensary. Had dinner with mom and Sofia at Mercado. I'm really bored. I want to be back on trail. mad FOMO.



 

Day 76 - June 10, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: home - 874.5

End: vermilion valley resort - 874.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

IM BACK ON TRAIL!!! And I saw my trail family today! Skipped a hundred miles


Dad and I left the house around 630, I slept some of the way but we def had an adventure and it was a good time driving up. He commented on how adventurous I am and I told him at one point I really wanted to be a skydiver.

The road up was tumultuous, potholes everywhere. but it was fun and we laughed and dad got to see the mountains.

we picked up a pct hiker named captain on the way to VVR, like with a mile left.


and I landed here and immediately saw twinkle toes. He was playing rumi with ballsack and duck.


Then beast and dimsum arrived with Pixar. And finally, the truck came by with road runner and butterscotch. And fuck my heart was going to burst. I hugged them and we hung out for a bit. Twinkle toes wanted to talk so we went on a little walk. He told me about ballsack and asked about butterscotch and I told him about Road runner. It was nice.

Came back and had dinner with dimsum beast and Pixar. Oh and road runner and I played against each other at the ping pong table and it’s foreplay. I won the first, he best me the second time and I won third. It reminded me of my parents in shaver lake and how competitive they are. In love.

I talked with him later, and asked if anything changed this week. He talked to butterscotch and we’re going to talk tomorrow. I updated him on being home and said if he were twinkle toes, we would have fucked by now.


I missed him. I want to kiss him. I spent most of my break daydreaming about the simplicity of cuddling and waking up with him. I hope we happen.




 

Day 77 - June 11, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: vermilion valley resort - 874.5

End: vermilion valley resort - 874.5

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Had a tough talk with Road Runner this morning about our talk last night, he felt like he wasn’t wanted. And I felt that too. But I was cruel saying if he were twinkle toes, we’d have already fucked. we had this convo by the rocks near the dry lakebed, same place twinkletoes and i talked. I apologized and then we made out a touch. He uses too much tongue and I really just wanna lay him down on a bed and kiss him how I want to kiss him. Slow and soft.


it feels weird with this being my tenth consecutive zero. Feels good to sleep in a tent again though. Weird ass dreams last night. Naked women at camp and mags and bathrooms.


Lunch was a burger. Couldn’t finish it and gave the rest to RR. The day was spent mainly playing ping pong and rumikub and horse. Im good at 2/3. Met jack, the son of the owner, and his cousin which starts with a b. Had all you can eat bbq but couldn’t even finish the plate.


RR and I sat on the swing for a bit and kissed. And laid in a hammock and kissed. and then tonight we made out by the bathroom.

Dry heaved a little today but mainly due to taking meds without food. hiking tomorrow. Either going to ferry if it’s early enough or hike out in the morning with the boys. 6.5 miles to the pct and gonna try another ten miles. need to make most of my miles before lunch.


Bought a copy of The Prophet. Been reading it a lot. it finds you when you need it.




 

Day 78 - June 12, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: vermilion valley resort - 874.5

End: fish. creek camp - 888.5

Miles: 14.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙁

Today was fucking hard.


Hung out with Road Runner in the morning, kissed a bit.


Was supposed to take the ferry today, got kicked off the truck for 9 A, and got on for 1030A, got to the “ferry” which was a dingy boat and they said conditions weren’t great so had to hike. Met accent in the bed of the truck and she remembered me from the butterscotch gang.


Decided to hike the Goodall pass after talking to accent. The ascent was pretty gradual but once i got to the top, I was fucked. Hip started hurting a couple miles in, and the only reason I chose to do Goodall was I thought it had less elevation but it’s actually more than silver pass.


I had told Road Runner we’d meet at a campground. But it was already getting late. I got to the top of the pass and it was so snowy and I was alone. Totally alone. Like a fucking idiot. I lost the trail at one point and fell into a river when the snow broke through, and lost my sit pad…. Just straight up not having a good time but also taking in the beauty. But the whole time i was thinking, wow I'm an idiot. I'm going to die out here. and it looks like it's going to rain. and it's getting dark...



Finally got over the pass and was filling up my water on a waterfall and I hear my name. I turn around and it’s Road runner. And I’m just so confused. And immediately, I thought, wow. He cares about me. And maybe I could love him. He hiked a mile up Goodall pass from the PCT to make sure I was ok.

We hiked to the pct junction and did a couple miles after that. I think this was when Northman got a concussion. His gator snagged on his shoe, he tripped and hit his head on his bear can. So we hiked to him and got to camp pretty late. RR checked in on him.


Also, the clouds were insane.



 

Day 79 - June 13, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: fish. creek camp - 888.5

End: - 900.8

Miles: 12.3

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


made it to 900 miles!! Slow day of hiking. Super hungry. Hung out with RR in the tent. Literally such a good day. Slow slow hiking and just enjoying it all


Really pretty meadows and lakes. We had lunch here and cloud watched for a long while





 

Day 80 - June 14, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: - 900.8

End: blue blaze to mammoth - 903.3

Miles: 2.5

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


Nearly into mammoth, blasted this morning - left 705 from camp after cuddling RR all night and made it to the trailhead at 917!!! 2 hours and 12 minutes to hike 6.5 miles. Nuts. Was greeted with a mimosa 🥰


haven’t kissed RR since this morning. And it sucks.


Got into town, met up with Butterscotch, had some carnitas rancheros at good life cafe, went to two different hardware stores for a battery for my camera, and chilled at mammoth roasters until vons, nearly kissed RR but didn’t. And then checked in. Took a shower, got some edibles. Big chilling.





We’re in the hot tub and I’m staring at the micro waves and florescent light with RR's foot shifting and I’m thinking about the hyper realistic photos at lacma or maybe the broad, and how I want to paint like that one day, I want have oils in my hand and a paintbrush and a stretched canvas


Mrs smith, my third grade teacher, reacted to my 900 and I told her I can’t believe she remembers me. This is what she said:


😊 Of course I remember you. Once my kid, always my kid. I'm impressed by your endeavor and by you. Hugs!


and I think of third grade sarah. 9 years old. And how I remember her stories about marbles in the toilet. And how much I loved to hear her stories, how comforting it was. To realize she had a life before this.



 

Day 81 - June 15, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: blue blaze to mammoth - 903.3

End: mammoth - 903.3

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂

Got a massage this morning, and racquel gave me 40 off for a total of 80 cause she's also a former hiker. Road Runner and I went shopping and got ice cream, and he said he likes me a lot, falling.


He talked to his dad and we chilled on the bench and made out a bit.

I FaceTimed my dad and RR came out to talk to him, we chatted about a road trip with my parents and RR; and my dad said to go out to dinner with all the boys and have some steak, and my dad would pay for it. So sweet


We found a scooter and Butterscotch took us out on a ride.



 

Day 82 - June 16, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: mammoth - 903.3

End: - 910.3

Miles: 7.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Went to a distillery in town, got free bourbon and two Smokey the pears. V drunk. With Northman and Road Runner. Fell asleep on the trolly. Kissed a bunch and started hiking around 4 pm. Some Good stuff happened. I did tell him while hiking that he needs to figure out what makes him happy instead of moving to wherever the girl he’s crushing on lives. Do things for himself.

Got attacked by mosquitos at the river crossing. Awful. They followed us for a mile. Made up camp by ourselves probably a mile back from Northman and further back from Butterscotch. Slept in the same tent.



 

Day 83 - June 17, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: - 910.3

End: Agnew campground - 915.0

Miles: 4.7

Ascent: 1053 | Descent: 394

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🤬


Bro. Morning started out great, slow morning with Road Runner kissing and shit. And then literally an hour in, I fell on my face. Bloody nose, possible concussion. This guy Both Worlds came up to me as I was lying on the ground in shock, he lifted me up by my pack and gave me napkins for the blood. He stayed with me for a bit until I said my friend was behind me and that I'd be ok, but thank you.




RR came upon me crying and bloody. My nose is fucked and glasses scratched and camera broken


he sat with me for a bit. We hiked some. He asked me questions re: concussion.

we got service. I told my family. RR told his parents. I told Butterscotch. We got to the parking lot and met up with a guy named Phil whose son Zach was a nurse and did the questioning. (Phil and his friends all do a camping trip together and have been for the last 40 years, it was inspiring)

we got a ride into town from Rick and Kim, a lovely couple out here fishing. Kim was really fucking cool.


We got into town, went to the distillery, I chatted to RR's mom for ten minutes about my mouth.

RR and I went back to the hotel, watched fleabag, took a shower together, pizza came, we fooled around a bit, ate pizza. Cuddled watched more fleabag in bed and later in the night after sleeping a bit.



 

Day 84 - June 18, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Agnew campground / Whitney - 915.0

End: Lee vining - 915.0

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙂


Road Runner and I got coffee in the village in the morning then took the bus up. We watched two episodes of fleabag

Got to Tuolumne Meadows and we were planning to hike four miles out to camp but got offered a ride to Lee vining by rev so we took it cause it was going to be 20° tonight.

Road Runner and I were in Tuolumne meadows, inside the store trying to plan where we were hiking next, when this older man named Rev came up to us - he did the trail in 2020. He offered us a ride down and I hopped in the front seat. We talked mostly about the trail. I asked him which part of the trail he learned the most about himself. He said Washington. RR asked how he felt at the northern terminus and he started tearing up. I touched his arm to console and asked about god. Rev was a blessing. He almost quit when he did the trail at Hart's pass, but his buddy pushed him on. He cried when he got to the northern terminus, and told us to keep pushing on. That he saw god in everything. It was a great conversation on the drive down, and gave us a lot to think about.

Got a hotel, got some tea and sandwiches on focaccia from the coffee shop. Cat Stevens is playing at this coffee shop. And we’re by mono lake. I’m thinking of Emma. But I’m making new memories. And things look different from the PCT angle. And in summer.


We laid in the sun and explored the upside house. Had banana muffins that reminded RR of his grandmother. Went back to the room chilled.

Watched some more fleabag. Had dinner at the gas station - mango taco was amazing.


Went back and stared at each other and kissed and finished fleabag. It was a nice day.




 

Day 85 - June 19, 2022

Location: High Sierra / yosemite backcountry

Start: Lee vining - 915.0

End: Yosemite valley - 915.0

Miles: 0.0

Ascent: 2204 | Descent: 4170

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Honestly today was so fucking nice. Started the morning cuddling with RR in Lee vining.We had breakfast and kept commenting on this weekend getaway of ours. Felt really good.


Then we took the bus which was 15 min late to Tuolumne Meadows - I fell asleep next to him on the bus.

We had coffee at the store and i sent a roll of film out from the post office (they ended up losing it, which i found out.a few weeks later, which sucks cause it was photos from bullfrog and forester pass.) Said bye to Beast and Dimsum, and started hiking around 1130 A, hiked for 8 hours until 730. Prob 16 or 17 miles hiking from eastern sierras to the west. It was so pretty. Lots of valleys and giant trees. And it feels good. I think esp after our conversation with rev, this had a lot of positive mental attitude.


We're heading to yosemite for Northman's birthday. I'm so excited for the boys to see it. We got to our campsite right before sunset and ate by the river. I'm getting real sick of ramen.




 

Day 86 - June 20, 2022

Location: High Sierra / yosemite backcountry

Start: Yosemite valley - 915.0

End: half dome - 915.0

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


Hiked half dome this morning. wrote the below at the top.


12 P-

It’s weird being here. I thought a lot about Caleb initially. Wrote his name in the sand like last time. Currently looking at el cap. Ate a buffalo chicken wrap.


I got my photo in the diving board and felt the difference. Lighter. Less weighed down by the heaviness of death, of rape, of getting fired. And I’m here with friends, but I kind of liked it more alone. The quiet. The solitude. The processing. The views are much better. No smoke. And don’t get me wrong, it’s less lonely with the boys. And I got a photo with Road Runner on the diving board. And it feels good to be here. Before the pct, this felt like my most major accomplishment. And now if kind of feels like an everyday thing. Just a normal day. I want to write a postcard to someone I care about. Because habits are hard to kill.


I ended up writing to Road Runner. Address is blank. I hid it in one of his books a couple months later.


Northman and I took turns sitting on the potato chip with a 3 thousand foot drop. Wild looking down. Insane. Feels infinite. There were climbers below. And I want to climb this someday.





 

Day 87 - June 21, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: half dome - 915.0

End: Yosemite - 915.0

Miles: 0.0

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Northman’s birthday! And Naked Hiking Day! Summer Solstice! Hiked down, tons of people. Tried being naked but there were way too many people. Slipped at one point. Stole kisses. Went to the bar and drank a blackberry bourbon smash. Saw el cap and thought a little about Emma. But damn it’s so pretty here. Drew a little picture in the Ahwahnee.


We went to camp four and tried to boulder some projects, including midnight lightning. We hung out in the meadow for awhile, Northman and I just staring, talking about climbing, about dreams of being the next Jimmy Chin.


We had pizza, waited forever for it. I ate a slice of pizza off the ground. The boys all finished their pies but i packed some out for tomorrow. We set up a campfire, and Road Runner and I walked off to do a little naked hike, since it was on my list of goals this year.



 

Day 88 - June 22, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: tuolumne Meadows - 942.5

End: great view, hard ground, mosquitos - 951.0

Miles: 8.5

Ascent: 1083 | Descent: 924

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


It was a weird start to the day with the bus in yosemite and I’m def about to start my period but I’m sitting with Tuolumne falls in front of me and I’m really fucking happy.


But I’ve been thinking about rose colored glasses and red flags looking like flags yet simultaneously thinking about fire seasons in Montana and the rest of the year in California.


I feel like crying, for joy or for sorrow, I’m not sure

I hiked alone for most of the day. There wasn’t enough food at the store for Northman to resupply, so he had to go down to Lee vining. Butterscotch and Road Runner got really high and I felt good after Yosemite so I blasted to the waterfalls to eat my leftover pizza. But then I thought some things I didn’t want to think. Like RR just liking me for pleasure. And being a vessel. And always being second to Butterscotch. And a future of that. And never getting Butterscotch's support. And this started on the bus. when initially, RR sat next to me. And then he moved. So I had this expectation that I would get to nap with my legs over his and hold his hand but that didn’t happen at all. When the bus ride was almost done, I moved to the three seater in the back, and rubbed his back. I don’t even know if we kissed today? Maybe in the morning. And idk he’s just always high. He’s been high since Kennedy. And that is a red flag to me. But, of course, I’ve gone max 2 days without nicotine, so i have my own vices.


So anyways. I got to the falls and was fucking beaming. I fucking love waterfalls. But my mood shifted when RR arrived. After the falls, the overcast playlist wasn’t cutting it so I switched to ear tingles, and that did it. I danced. We got to camp which has a beautiful view of the mountains. And RR and I didn’t touch or look at each other or kiss.


I'm in my tent now, it’s 740 p. I ate a slice of pizza. and I’m filling in the last few days. I’m a foot from RR's tent. And that’s the closest I’ll be.




 

Day 89 - June 23, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: great view, hard ground, mosquitos - 951.0

End: mosquito hell - 970.6

Miles: 19.6

Ascent: 4271 | Descent: 4177

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂

Woke up to rain pattering my tent, and I knew it’d be a good one. Granted, i hit the snooze like five times, but Road Runner and I got some alone time and it was nice to kiss him again. Sweet kisses. The hike so far has been lovely, I’m currently only about five away from where we camped but we passed a gorgeous meadow and everything is damp so it reminds me of Oregon and Washington. oh RR told me this morning that Butterscotch said he had two good options (me and alexandra), and while I don’t like being someone’s option, it’s nice to have BS's semi approval. RR lifted up my bug net to kiss me this morning and my mind went to a vail lmfao. So of course I imagined a first look at our wedding and having Butterscotch wear a dress to surprise him

the hike in the morning was so cruisey and good but fuck dude today was brutal. Views were amazing, the mountains incredible, the little time I spent with RR was really good. Ate pizza by the lake halfway through around 1245 and it fucking started hailing. My feet are killing me. Getting used to the miles again.

I loved the rain. Reminds me of Oregon or Washington. Super peaceful. Listened to the sierra club and book lovers and runner of roads. I have nasal drip currently. Or sinus drip, whatever it is. It’s activating my gag reflex. Haven’t gotten this since I was a kid. I feel like shit.


thankful for overcast and beautiful mountains and RR.

Not thankful for mosquitos and dry heaving.




 

Day 90 - June 24, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: mosquito hell - 970.6

End: Wilma lake - 986.9

Miles: 16.3

Ascent: 3992 | Descent: 4676

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🙂


Todays been different. An actual smiley face / semi frown face, and maybe that’s due to the conversation Road Runner and I had this morning, daydreaming of a future of travel and talking about kids. Or maybe cause this morning, he said, it’s just walking. And I needed that reminder. But I was happy finally. Happy to hike. And I told myself I’m good on the ascents, so I did them better. And granted I’m coughing up many lungs, and I feel like shit and won’t make it to the campsite tonight, but i feel better mentally than I have been the last couple of days.

Skinnny dipped at 974.8. My lungs ached. And there were hikers around but I didn’t care. I swan dove into that water and swam a bit, hoping I’d see RR. But haven’t seen him since this morning.



Tons of fucking mosquitos. Need to leave


Having lunch just before the big river crossing. Then it’s 2000 more ascent and descent.


Going to take a Benadryl tonight. I don’t know what this is but my throat tickles and sometimes I can’t breathe and then I dry heave. Maybe my tonsils? Or a cold? Upper respiratory infection?


Got to camp around 730. Ate a Twix in my tent cause the mosquitoes are the worst I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen RR since the big river crossing. Going to sleep. I think I heard him setting up his tent.


 

Day 91 - June 25, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: Wilma lake - 986.9

End: river - 1002.3

Miles: 15.4

Ascent: 1946 | Descent: 1293

Sleep: Tent

Mood: 🤬

Today was the hardest day of hiking I’ve ever had. I think I have COVID. And my body is so weak that it gets winded on the flat bits. It rained a bunch. We siestad around 994 when it started raining and Road Runner and I ran into Butterscotch and he was just laying on the ground and was like, I think this is COVID.


So I texted Wendy. Basically said I don’t know what to do. She and Jeff are coming up tomorrow, they’re bringing COVID tests and food and antiviral and booked a room for us. And I’m so fucking thankful.


I want to get off trail. My fucking handkerchief still has blood on it from my fall a week ago. And it’s been a fucking hard month. I’m at my breaking point. Maybe I’ll skip NorCal and just hike Oregon and Washington. I want to see tunnel falls.

Cant fucking breathe. Stressed about tomorrow and doing sonora pass. Started my period. Congested AF. daydreaming about spending the summer with RR tho. Do our own bit of traveling. It’ll be weird not seeing these guys every single day. But we met day one and 90 days later, we hit a thousand together. And that’s pretty fucking special. Grateful for them.

Rose: a thousand miles by Vanessa Carlton

Thorn: COVID? My body?




 

Day 92 - June 26, 2022

Location: High Sierra

Start: river - 1002.3

End: sonora pass - 1016.9

Miles: 14.6

Sleep: Building

Mood: 🙁


Today was so hard. In so many ways. I had to stop every mile or so because I was so tired. When we got to the base of Sonora, Road Runner made a little snow ball for me and wrote my name. The hike up sonora wasn't as bad as i thought it would be, just wanted to get to safety. To a road.


When we got to the top, finally got service. And RR told me the bad news. That Roe v Wade got overturned. I cried. I called billy. I called my dad. The views were so pretty though. And I felt grateful, if not exhausted.





I blasted to the bottom of the trail. And when I got there, dropped my pack. The dayhiking couple across the street clapped for me and I just lost it. I started sobbing. Butterscotch landed then, and we had a long hug. Just kept saying that was the hardest thing I've ever done. The dayhiking couple gave us some snacks (apricots and banana bread).


Aunty Wendy picked us up. She had intense masks and face shields and a whole set up. So thankful for her. We got to the motel in Bridgeport and took our tests.


Butterscotch and I tested positive. Road runner did not. Talked to Jeff and Wendy for a bit outside. They got us food t