Post Script: Overdue Thank You’s

I should have written this post months ago.

I have always been terrible at thank-you’s.  If you’ve ever sent me a gift or a kind message and I didn’t respond or send you a thank-you card, well, I apologize.   I appreciate every single one even if I am too scatter-brained to acknowledge your thoughtfulness.  And I promise to make my southern mama proud of my efforts in the future.

Continue reading “Post Script: Overdue Thank You’s”

Day 168: Toward The End

Date: September 29, 2017
Miles: 1127.2 – 1153.8

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

I had a wistfully emotional day.  The gray, cloudy sky matched my mood – it too seemed wistful, but not sad, about the end of this trek.  I like to imagine that the dusky hills and valleys of the Granite Chief wilderness felt the same.  An aching, ‘I have to say goodbye for now, but maybe I will see you again’ kind of way.   Continue reading “Day 168: Toward The End”

Day 167: Almost Done

Date: September 28, 2017
Miles: 1103.4 – 1127.2

It’s my second to last full day on trail. This adventure will be over soon and I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. All day I vacillated between impatience to get back to the creature comforts of home and family, and my desire to stay out in the elements I’ve become accustomed to – dirt, mountains, sun, wind, valleys, trees, stars.  Will I be able to slide easily back into a society obsessed with material things?  Will I feel like a weathered square peg trying to shove itself into a plastic round hole?  I don’t know. Continue reading “Day 167: Almost Done”

Day 164: Miles Of Mokelumne

Date: September 25, 2017
Miles: 1044.2 – 1069.7

“God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.” ~ John Muir

I slept in until 7 this morning, which is a rarity on trail. It was freezing cold, but better than yesterday. I felt pretty sluggish all morning and since I left camp later than the boys did, I didn’t catch up with JD and Fluff for lunch. At least I thought I hadn’t. Continue reading “Day 164: Miles Of Mokelumne”

Day 163: What Are You Looking At, Cow?

Date: September 24, 2017
Miles: 1023.2 – 1044.2

“The sincere friends of this world are as ship lights in the stormiest of nights.” ~ Giotto di Bondone

Last night’s temperatures tested the capabilities of my sleeping pad and quilt, and also my tolerance for discomfort. It must have been in the teens since I woke up every half an hour with some cold body part or another. When I finally dared to venture out of my quilt at 6:30, I found that a pair of my socks, my gaiters and my shoes had all been turned to blocks of ice. Continue reading “Day 163: What Are You Looking At, Cow?”

Days 161 & 162: From Cold To Warm To Cold Again

Dates: September 22 & 23, 2017
Miles: 1016.9 – 1023.2

We woke up at the pack station warm, if not totally dried out yet.  Luckily for us, JD’s sister Mandi came to pick us up and take us to a family cabin in the town of Arnold a couple hours away.  There  we were able to spread out and get everything really dry.  Mandi made us a bunch of food for dinner and breakfast the next morning, and gave us a ride back to the trailhead at Sonora Pass.  She basically saved our butts.  THANK YOU, MANDI! Continue reading “Days 161 & 162: From Cold To Warm To Cold Again”

Day 160: Icicles On Eyelashes

Date: September 21, 2017
Miles: 1005.9 – 1016.9 + 9 mile road walk to Kennedy Meadows North.

“It’s a winter wonderland!” ~ Seinfeld

Any gratitude that I had last night evaporated immediately when I woke up at 11 pm to the realization that so much rainwater had collected under my tent that it had turned into a waterbed. Water was splashing up underneath the vestibules of my tent and everything inside was damp, including me. I tried to go back to sleep, but instead laid awake for an hour feeling the clammy wetness of my quilt and wishing for the heavy rain to stop. I finally fell asleep, but woke up again at 2 am when Fluffy began yelling at me to get up because my tent was collapsing under the weight of the snow that had started. I instantly figured out that I was not just having a dream that someone was slapping me in the face with wet cuben fiber, it was actually happening. Continue reading “Day 160: Icicles On Eyelashes”