Upcoming slideshows

Hi everyone! Many of you know that I will be giving a presentation of my PCT adventure to the members of the Coachella Valley Hiking Club next week, and many of you are attending, because I invited you personally or you are involved with the hiking club. I am super excited and can’t wait to see all of you and share a bit more of my trip with you all. I am doing a practice run of it tomorrow night for a small group of you, as well, and I can’t wait. There is so much to share, so I will do my best to have a balanced presentation of gear, favorites, pictures, maps and logistics, PCT thru-hiker sub-culture, etc. If there is any specific topic you would like me spend time on, please let me know.

For those of you who aren’t attending that one for whatever reason, but would like to see my slideshow in the future, I will most likely be doing 2 more up in the high desert. There is potential to do one for the JT library, and one for the Mojave Desert Land Trust and its members/donors. These are NOT guaranteed yet, so I will post dates once they are.

If you are interested in either of those, PLEASE contact me as soon as possible. I would also be up for doing more, if any other groups are interested. Just let me know.

Thanks again for being interested in my adventure. I do miss the beautiful scenery and love sharing it still with people.

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My completion medal gift from the PCTA!

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Article 3 of 3! Looks even cooler in print :) Hi Desert Star

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Another article about my hike :) Hi Desert Star

Just wanted to share another article that was published about my hike on the PCT this year.  http://www.hidesertstar.com/news/article_304cf8c4-4c2b-11e3-80cc-001a4bcf887a.html
This is our local, small, hometown paper, and the third of which I had articles come from. This is the last one! Enjoy. The only thing they missed, is a big THANK YOU to all the trail angels, and good samaritans who provided amenities and kindness along the way, as well as the PCTA. But, the thank you is here 🙂

Again, as I mentioned before I will be re-organizing the blog so that posts are in chronological order, and its easier to read. I have been pretty busy this last week, as I started my new job at Nomand Ventures, and went through a medical ordeal from which I am still dealing with. I had to have a biopsy on some tissues on my cervix (a yearly procedure I have had to do since last year), and there were complications that led to unstoppable bleeding. So, long story short, I had to get stitches on my cervix, and I am still healing and not back to normal. So I haven’t wanted (or been able) to do a lot other than the necessary. No fun. It sucks not being able to do my normal everday routine, and carrying around extra anxiety. I have my post-op appt on Monday, so I will find out how it all went and see if I can get back to real living. 

 

Oh, I also got a fancy completion medal from the PCTA, for thru-hiking this year. I love it! The only medal I have ever earned! I cant wait to display it on our wall with some maps of my favorite areas along the trail, and the newspaper articles from the end. Picture to come

Again, thank you all for reading and being a part of my life 🙂 

 

Jamie

So

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Almost a month back home

Well, almost a month has passed since I ended the trail (this weekend will be one month). It is still surprising to me how fast time goes by. In some ways I feel like it was yesterday that I stepped into Canada, but in others, it feels like a lifetime ago. For instance, I quickly got out of my 25+ mi/day hiking shape. I have gone jogging a few times around the house, and cannot go for long without my joints aching. I also pretty much went straight from strenuous exercise to very little. I wanted to rest and be lazy when I returned home, and although I have enjoyed it, I probably shouldn’t have started the ‘recovery’ period that way, because I lost a lot of my cardiovascular capacity, and lifting weights is much harder. 

I went on a 3 mile hike this morning, up Ryan Mtn. in JTNP, and it felt really good, although still slight soreness in the knees, and I was sweating and panting heavily. It was the first real hike since the trail. Being alone, I can go as fast as I want. The hike I did with Phillip and Frazier in Zion was leisurely, and I didn’t get my sweat on. We have walked around our neighborhood almost nightly, walking the dogs, but that is NOT the same.

I forget how much elevation gain there is (I think maybe only 2000 ft?) but I got to the top in 29 minutes! Pretty good, I’d say. I definitely needed to do that. I have been sick the last week with a slight respiratory cold (nothing too bad though) so my lungs were a bit out of shape. I think I should go into the park every day and do some sort of hike. It really is my sport of choice, and what makes me the happiest 🙂 I also met a nice older couple at the top, who actually knew Frazier from Whitewater. Small world! They were very nice, and of course, as we got to talking, the trail came up. They were really interested it and thought it was a really awesome thing to be able to do. They asked me all kinds of questions, and it turns out they knew a lot of the trail and other people who had done it. They are avid hikers themselves, and live in Palm Springs. 

I have been getting ready this week to have our first yard sale this weekend. When Frazier moved us into the new house here in Jtree this summer, he filled up the patio room entirely with old junk that we don’t need anymore, and asked me to organize a yard sale. So, I am making signs, and flyers and will get to laying it outside on tables tonight and tomorrow. We hope to make a bit of extra cash from it, since we are living off of 1 income at the moment. The rest we will donate to the local thrift stores. I am excited, and it should be a fun learning process. 

I start part time work at the local outdoor shop in town, Nomad Ventures, next month, which I am happy for. I am also studying for the CBEST test, so that I can apply with the local school districts to be an emergency substitute teacher. These are things that I know will not be long-term jobs, but things to help me prepare for my next move before we have kids. We want to start trying next year sometime. Our goal this year is to get all of our finances in check and have some savings for kids, travel, and retirement.

Oh, I am also getting a bike! Frazier had this old bike hanging out in the garage, that just needed some tuning up, so he took it to the bike shop to get fixed, and we will get it back tomorrow. He already has his own bike, so he has started to ride it down to work. Then we can start exercising together on the bikes, instead of having to run in the evenings. I really don’t like running all that much…I am excited to go riding in the national park too.

Well, thats it for now. Hope everyone reading is doing well, and if I haven’t come to see you yet, I will! I miss all of you!

PS. I have finished the pictures for a slideshow, and will be posting a link to see it on Flickr. Then I will post the informational one, without pictures.

 

Love, Jamie

 

Posted in PCT2013: Home after the trail | 2 Comments

Readjustment to ‘normal’ life and…I made the news!

Hello All,
Well, it has been 2 and a half weeks since I have been home, and it has definitely been a bit hard re-adjusting. At first, I didn’t think anything would feel different, and that going right back into the swing of home life would be fine, without bumps. BUT, there are a few. For one, my body has responded by being very stiff and achy, and I am more tired than I was on the trail. I think after about the 5th day, my body realized we weren’t just taking a break, and we wouldn’t be hiking anymore (well, not 25 miles a day), so it started to decompress, and to show me what I had done to it. Frazier and I went for a run a couple of days after returning home, and it was rough for me! my knees were not having it. They would not let me go very fast, and I was kind of limping along. It was a weird sensation, because I wanted to go faster, to get my sweat on, since I am in great shape cardiovasculary, and I couldn’t because of my joints. I was really disappointed, and it does not feel good to think that I may need some time before I can go into a sport at full capacity again. So, I have been doing yoga, relaxing, taking epsom salt baths, and not running. It is slowly getting better. I also went back to the chiropractor (I had been going regularly before the trek) to get adjusted since I also got a headache the other day; something I have not had in 6 months.

I also have had to get used to daily life activities again: Cooking, cleaning, driving a car, taking care of pets, paying bills, paying time to family members. None of this is hard or bad by any means, but I haven’t really done them in 6 months. So, it’s a bit slow-going. But its AMAZING! I got to come home to a wonderful home, my amazing and loving husband, our beloved pets, my parents and best friends. What a lucky gal I am. OH and the job offer to work at Nomad Ventures pretty much the day I returned home. I already miss the trail, but that is to be expected. It was so beautiful out there 🙂

But all is well, and I am really enjoying our new home here in Jtree, and getting it nested. I decided to apply for a part-time job at our local outdoor gear shop, and I got the job! Hooray!! I know I definitely need to have a job, although it does not need to be full-time right away.

I feel like I am already getting out of shape, and it makes me mad that it hurts to go workout. Even on our short daily walks, I am slower than normal, and stiff when going downhill. I hope that it just means I am healing from the trek, and it will eventually be back to normal. In the meantime, I can do yoga, at the very least. I would LOVE to start swimming, but there is nowhere to swim here in Jtree. I also want to start playing tennis. Soon!

Today was a really great Saturday, for several reasons. We slept in, in our beautiful huge new bedroom, and then made our morning coffee before heading down to the local community farmer’s market. While getting ready, I got a text from my cousin Les, who lives in Riverside. He told me that I made page A2 of todays Press Enterprise paper. He said it was a wonderful article, and that he was super proud of me and very happy for me. I immediately got excited because I thought the article was going to be online only. Woo hoo! Thanks to my mom, who had me submit an article giving thanks to those who support the trail and its hikers. I did that, and it turned into a huge article focused on me as a solo hiker. Not what we expected, but it turned out to be a great article that I am happy about. I really just want to use my experience to share with others and to help/benefit others seeking the same things. So, we went and purchased a few copies of the paper for friends and family, and then went to go see our friend and roommate Andy play with his band at the Joshua Tree Roots music festival. Andy was super thoughtful, and actually got us both free tickets to the festival, so we could enjoy without paying. WOO HOO!! They were phenomenal, and it was great to go out to a community event with desert loving folks.

Thanks again for reading. I think I am going to keep the blog going, as long as I have useful reflections about my experience to share, which I think I will for a while. Here is a link to that article I am in: http://blog.pe.com/environment/2013/10/11/hiking-woman-finds-her-way-on-pacific-crest-trail/

Posted in PCT2013: Home after the trail | 4 Comments

New pages to the blog..CHECK ‘EM OUT!!

Hi all—I added a page of trail photos (from end to beginning), and a page with my final gear list attached. Feel free to ask questions, leave comments 🙂 You know I love them. Also, you can click on each individual photo to make it appear larger. Enjoy!

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Stehekin!

Friday 9/21 mile 2558 – 2580 equals 22 miles! Stehekin! Oh my God! I am in Stehekin! I am in a hotel room at the Stekehin Lodge right now. Just showered after a pretty great meal at the landing here. The town is so amazing! It’s small, remote, right on Lake Chelan. Only a few things have here – a ranch /lodge. organic farm, post office, bakery, school and lodge/hotel with public landing, phone, etc. No TV or phones in the rooms though! Boo. Can’t call Frazier to let him know I’m here. But tomorrow is zero day because of the post office hours (tomorrow is Sunday) so maybe I will call him then. Four more hiking days! Woo hoo! I really can’t believe I am here.

Okay, details about the day. I woke up to rain again but it really wasn’t that bad. So, I packed up. Started hiking in the rain. Again, my feet got instantly wet, instantly freezing. But nothing too bad. I thought the morning was really easy and by lunchtime I had done 12 miles.

– Trail rain alongside the south trail around the South Agnes Creek most of the day – so beautiful

– downhill most of the day

– Cedar Camp for lunch

– Astrid and Isram reunion – YAY!

– Hiked the last 9 miles with them, really fast, too fast really because my feet and legs hurt very bad and were really numb

– arrived at High Bridge (North Cascades Natnl Park!) At 4:40 p.m. Stehekin!

– Reunited with another hiker, Skip. Hadn’t seen him since Etna.

So happy to be around friends again. Especially for this last trail town stop. Wow. We are also excited to have made it here. This is it. Now I start to think about the end. Theoretically, it’s only four hiking days away. This day of next week, the trail journey will have ended. Oh my God! Anyway, this is so glorious and magical and everything I imagined it to be and better. I am in love. It feels like a magical fairytale, and I am in a dream. It’s green, lush, welcoming and beautiful. It’s a very small town on one side of Lake Chelan, a large mountain lake, blue as my down puffy:)   And today was mostly blue skies with a few clouds but no rain! Yes. We took the N Cascades NP red shuttle bus from High Bridge into town. They stopped at the ranch first, then the bakery/post office, then the landing. Got a room to share with Skip at the landing since they were very pricey! Yikes! But really nice. No phones, TV or Wi-Fi though. Ate dinner (pretty good not great) at the landing, also not cheap. Great large room. Very sore and achy though: (. Tomorrow is a mandatory zero due to the post office. Will leave here Monday midmorning. 

Saturday 9/22

– bakery stop (ate three large pastries YUM and coffee)

– garden stop

– the landing for laundry, sorting, resting, call people etc.

Posted in PCT 2013: Washington | 2 Comments

Leaving Frazier, and Enroute to Stehekin

Tuesday 9/17 mile 2472 – 2486 equals 14 miles

(Nero at Skycommish Barney the Dinsmore’s)

Camping at Lake Janice.  Pretty hard day for me mentally and emotionally. It is 9:30 p.m. I am in my tent safe and sound and surprisingly dry and fairly warm. Today, Frazier left to go back home after a three day visit with me on the trail. He hiked from Snoqualmie to Hwy 2, Stevens Pass, where we got a ride into the town of Barny where trail angels the Dinsmore’s live for PCT hikers. He did amazingly well despite being out of shape and straight off the couch. The first day off we did 22 miles, the second day 26 miles, and the third day 22 miles, and today 4 and a half miles into town. By day two evening he was really sore, mainly his Achilles tendons, so he was suffering for the third day and today. We had a great time though together and I am really sad to be alone again. It is always so hard for me to leave him at the trailhead and continue hiking. This one is especially hard because I know my last leg of this journey is going to be tough, constant rain, potential cold weather, and very extreme strenuous terrain lie ahead. But I have only 193 miles left of this trail so I should be done in about 10 to 12 days. Wow! So crazy to be here. I feel scared and lonely, no other hikers around me, and that I will be tested. I am just learning how to deal with wet weather hiking. But I know I can do this and will be okay.

Wednesday 9/18 mile 2486 – 2509 equals 23 miles 

I’m camping in a meadow by Indian Creek trailhead. Most of today was miserable and I was really sad and unhappy. It rained the majority of the day with a small break around 3 PM, thankfully. It was wet and pretty cold all morning and my feet were as cold as ice and it hurt to walk because they were so numb. I hate this shitty weather – being wet and cold sucks and I can’t see any of the beauty around me because of the fog and clouds. I did not want to be here today and wanted to quit. I cried several times on the trail and felt sick of this. This isn’t fun anymore, but I need to finish it. So close and only less than 200 miles to go. It can’t come any quicker. I need to finish it. I really pray for the weather to break tomorrow at least just for one day. I just have to get to stay ahead to mile 2580, so two more nights three more days.. I want to be done already. I really miss my Frazier too. I hope he is doing okay. Lake Sally Ann:  very pretty! Great camping there but I got there too early:(.  Ran into Bristlecone and Überbitch. They were camping tent Sally Ann Lake doing only 20 miles per day:(.  Still alone, I entered Glacier Peak wilderness.  

Thursday 9/19 mile mile 2509 – 2535.5 equals 26 1/2 miles.

What a day! It is 8:47 PM and I got to a campsite just as the last light of the day was gone, thank God! I originally planned to camp at the bottom of the canyon at Mill Creek because I figured there must be a campsite there, being as there wasn’t one for the last 3 miles — but there wasn’t! And there wasn’t any good access to the semi-silty water either. It was 7:30 when I arrived there, close to dark, so I immediately became pissed and then a bit scared. Fuck. What do I do now? The next 5 miles are steep switchbacks and it looks like there won’t be in a place to camp until mile 2540! Ughhh! This means I have to scramble to get some water which I did though slippery logs, brush and stinging nettle! Almost fell on my ass just trying to get to the water. Got my 3 Liters and hurried to start climbing the switchbacks in search for a flat place to pitch my tent. I was praying there would be something before the next water, five more miles away, because if not, I’d be hiking till 10 PM! Not ideal. So, I pushed on with an extra heavy pack. I went up about five switchbacks and finally saw something. A flat spot where the trail broke into two. Whew! Just big enough for my tent, no extra space to spare and right next to the trail. But whatever, it works! Thank you! So happy I’m not still hiking. Whew. I am pretty scared to hike at night here, especially alone. And I was sore, tired, and hungry as usual. So here I am safe and sound. Oh, and it’s not raining! Woo hoo! It was actually cloud free and sunny all day! A dry out day. What a difference a day makes. And it couldn’t have been on a better day to get clear.

Today was the first day of Glacier Peak wilderness! So gorgeous. It is just like what everyone says. Beautiful! Like the Sierras, only greener. Great valleys and meadows and I climbed 3 passes today – white pass with an extraordinary ridge line, red pass, and fire Creek Pass my favorite with the most beautiful canyon and like I have seen since the Sierras. Fire Creek Canyon and Mica lake. Now that I’ve had my camping scare, I wish I’d camped at Mica Lake, 4 miles back. But oh well. I had to keep moving. Even if it meant stinging nettle and more climbing. So pretty. The great shade of solid deep turquoise. Have to come back there someday. What else… Ran into a section on her named Scott.  Saw Caveman still sleeping in his tent on white Pass Ridge.  Saw a pika finally:). Dried everything out with the sunshine. Oh, fell off a slippery log crossing Chuck (?) River. Cut my finger and bruised my knee. Could have been a lot worse. Thank you again!  My feet still hurt, but nothing like before. Thank you again! Washington definitely feels really wild and rugged. But great trail so far. Lots of switchbacks. Super windy this a.m. Hope I see Caveman before Stehekin. Someone to hike with would be nice. But so far so good. I am chugging along. Soon I’ll be in Stehekin! Woo who!

Friday 9/20 – Yes! Another beautiful day of good weather:)  Sunshine and warmth. No rain! Clouds started to form up around 3 PM but then went away — it’s amazing how the absence of sun changes the entire mood and environment surrounding me.  I suddenly get anxious nervous and a little depressed when it gets gray. But I know it is inevitable in this part of the world at this time of the year, so I accept it, prepare for it and brave through it. Tomorrow night I get to the High Bridge campground, a back country camp in the North Cascades national Park! There, I will get access into the small town of Stehekin, 10 miles away via a shuttle bus,. I am really excited to get there. I have been daydreaming about Stehekin since I started researching the trail. They supposedly have a wonderful bakery and organic farm. I can’t believe I’m almost there! Today was only 23 miles, but man, they seemed long. I was pretty tired in the last half of the day but I am camping in a “real” site tonight thank goodness, with water nearby, even though it’s silty, which wasn’t noted in the maps: (. I got to camp early (Yay!) 6 PM. Started at 7:45 am. Last night was warm and no rain. The night before it was cold and I woke to frost everywhere, all over my tent, and frozen shoes! What a difference a day makes. Today I crossed one large, silty river, with a long new bridge over it. Two climbs today and one section of gorgeous, high country meadows and talus slopes and glacial streams. Lots of forest. Lots of silty water. Crossed a lot of downed trees, hit my head on one: (.  I’m okay though. Ran into two south bounders, George or “Fireman” and old acquaintance Nurse Betty. Both said the trail head is wonderful and nothing too crazy or impossible. So, I am more excited for the rest. But, more excited to hit that border and walk to Manning Park. I’m really proud of myself for getting here. No tears today:).  Although I would still love some more trail company. Third night of camping alone. Pretty much boring. Getting bored of all the things this entails anymore. The scenery and my determination to complete my goal or what drives me.  Sleep is sure nice too:). I hope tomorrow is nice. Love you all! Jamie

Posted in PCT 2013: Washington | Leave a comment

Thanks for all the comments

I just wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU to everyone who left me comments on my blog throughout the journey. Although I couldn’t respond to all of them, I read every single one as they came in, and they always made me so happy. It was a real treat to turn my phone on once in cell reception, and see a bunch of emails saying I had a new comment. They helped motivate me greatly to keep on going. Sometimes it was really hard being away from home and my loved ones, and hearing that you all were following me made me remember what a special thing it was that I was doing, and that sharing it was even more special. So, thank you. You all are wonderful and am grateful for your love and support. I am definitely starting to miss the adventure, although life is about making your own new adventure everyday, so that is what I am doing 🙂

Posted in PCT2013: Home after the trail | 1 Comment