mile 683.4 to mile 702.2
Arriving at Kennedy Meadows today was an important milestone on my journey so far. This is the start of the Sierra and end of Southern California. I'm so excited to have made it here. I was nearly skipping down the trail today with joy. Being here I truly feel like a PCT hiker. I feel like I belong, that I've found my community, and that I'm well on my way to Canada.
|Beautiful even through the burn area.|
The desert was a good teacher and provided challenges that drew me to long distance hiking. I never knew what to expect so I had to learn to adapt. It was hard, but the good kind of hard that makes you feel alive. Hiking through SoCal provided me with a feeling of confidence and accomplishment.
My hiking mentor Stacy told me that the two main environmental challenges in SoCal would be water and blisters. This was so true! The lack of water made me constantly think about water, plan our days around water, hope for water, sometimes feel more thirsty than I ever have before, and I ended up walking further than I thought my legs could carry me because I knew I needed to get to the next water. It really gave me a totally deep appreciation for water and what in means.
|Slow trickle of water at the spring.|
|Changing my socks mid-day.|
One time Blue Yonder, MeToo and I were having a rough time hiking a rocky steep road late in the day. It felt miserable at first, but it was also an opportunity to turn our attitudes around. Blue Yonder started playing music and we danced up that road to "rock lobster" by the B52's. And now whenever we have a nasty rocky road walk, we dance through it and laugh at the "rock lobster roads." What a life lesson!
I've also learned how things just seem to always work out ok. Because out here they do. I am the type of person that likes to control thing and not take chances. But out here on the PCT, I learn to go with the flow and trust that I will be ok. I'm trying to remember this when my anxiety about the Sierras starts to get overwhelming. I'm scared about the snow, about being cold and crossing over the high passes. I remind myself that everything I've done has prepared me for this. That I am in the best shape now, mentally and physically. That it will be OK.