Day 2: What’s In A Trail Name?

Date: April 11, 2017
Miles: 11.4 – 20

Trail Name ~ A nickname adopted by or given to a hiker, usually by other hikers. 

After a fairly decent night of sleep, under a really bright full moon and the headlamps of a few night hikers, we all woke up early hoping to hit the upcoming climb out of Hauser Canyon before the day got really warm.

I took off first but I was soon passed by Skye…she’s a speed demon and I’m more of a medium but steady kind of hiker. I soon came up on Goliath and Skywalker (both trail names…I have an easier time remembering those than I do real names for some reason), who were both from Arizona and had met on the Arizona trail. I followed them down the hill to Hauser creek, and took a snack break before heading up the 1000 plus feet out of the canyon. The elevation gain occurs over a couple miles, and a few people had mentioned that it was a tough, hot climb…I strapped my umbrella to my pack (with Jake’s help, since the way I did it caused the umbrella to keep sliding down onto my head and then sideways), drank a bunch of water, and made my way up the hill, slow and steady. Turns out it wasn’t that bad.

There’s a tiny little trail in there somewhere…

Beyond the top of the hill, there was a great view of Lake Morena and the campground at which we would be spending the night.

On my way to a shower and a cheeseburger!

When I got there, I dropped my pack at the PCT hiker’s campsite and headed down the street to get a bacon cheeseburger at Oak Shores Grocery, which was all I had been thinking about for about three miles. Apparently, no matter what kind of burger anyone ordered there that evening, they got a cheeseburger with mustard and mayo, but whatever…it was still pretty good.
I headed back to camp, took a shower, rinsed the dirt out of my clothes, made a second dinner, and then hung out with the other hikers that rolled in. Jake had arrived as well, and said that he was able to follow my footprints along the trail because the tread on my shoes looks like a peanut in the dirt, so ‘Peanut’ became my trail name.

 One of a pair of women from Norway said that her trail name was Donkey because she wasn’t a very fast hiker, but she was sure that she would get faster soon, so we renamed her Seabiscuit as motivation. And Jake got the name McGuyver because of all the tweaks he made to his gear and to my umbrella. It was pretty fun watching people get used to the beginnings of their on-trail personas.

Tomorrow I’ll head out of Lake Morena. McGuyver and Skye are both taking “zero” days and staying in the campground one more night. Hopefully I’ll see them again soon.

A decidedly un-Peanut shaped track…
So much better than cous-cous.
Just a few more miles!

5 Replies to “Day 2: What’s In A Trail Name?”

  1. Peanut!?! I love it!
    I also love how organically a Trail name happens.. it’s all so magical.
    Your writing is awesome! I’m feeling the warm dusty trails as you describe them, the friendly interactions, the chilly fingertips..
    what an awesome opportunity!

  2. I had to read through this twice, didn’t catch your name the first time. I like the connection, Peanut it is 🙂

  3. Your photos are beautiful and posts so inspiring and exciting. One question though. If you come across someone else on the PCT with the nickname Peanut is it a fight to the death? Can there only be one Peanut?

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