Week 4


Mileage: 11
Miles: 275-285.7

Wonderful sleep on the top bunk, most of which was on my back. Side sleeping has always been my game, but apparently I'm crossing over to the world of back sleepers. Hopped out of bed and went downstairs for a spectacular meal of masterfully boiled eggs and croissants....these guys at the Hostel are really sweet and really did put in a lot of effort to make us comfortable and happy.
              The vibe was frantic in the old lodge while hikers were running around preparing themselves for the ride out to the trail. We had slack-packed the day before so we offered to be the pack transporters for the people that were slack-packing to where we were starting for the day. The road was rough, the mini-van was tough, and the driver was skilled. One of the owners of the hostel, James, gave us and all of the packs a ride to the trail up a dirt road he had never been on before. This hostel has only been open a month or so and they are really making an impression on us thru-hikers, love those guys.
              After the crew caught up with us we all trickled out on to the trail to begin the marvelous dance of figuring eachother's paces out. I hiked with Lost N Found for a bit and we discussed healthy communication techniques. His achilles' tendon was hurting him so his pace was a little hard to hang with for too long. Unfortunately, we heard that he had to come off the trail later because his Achilles hurt so bad. He is resting in Big Bear now and we hope to see him after a quick recovery soon!
              Most of the day was spent by myself with wandering day dreams and jammy pack tunes to keep me company. I loved the time to myself and spent it in deep thought about the cosmos most of the time. It was only a few hours, but it felt so good to be reunited with Glitter Bug at the end of the day, it felt like days since I had seen her. She stayed behind with the girls and chatted most of the day.
              When we all reached camp we were left with Side Show, The Bird, Auto, Gadget, That Guy, Camelita, and Shuffle. It's a wonderful crew and we love spending time with them all. It feels good to be with a tribe after lots of time with just the three of us. Glitter Bug and I discussed our anxiety over the slower pace of this group and alternative plans for if we want to return to our normal pace. We aren't in any rush, but we do, ultimately, want to get to Canada before the snow starts to fall so we have to keep that in mind when setting our over all pace. As long as the smiles keep shinin, all will work out fine.
 It was another amazing day to be alive and living the dream!
Weather: perfect!
Soundtrack: Boombox delight!
Discomforts: my heal hurts! The shoes help though
Gratitudes: an amazing, strong partner. A resilient body. Good hiker trash friends.

Miles: 20
Milage: 286-306
Ah, the beautiful sound of water!!! We woke up to the sound of water flowing, birds chirping and the sun shining, it was glorious.
The crew all camped together last night so we all gathered this morning and discussed our plan for the day. Some are nursing injuries so they had a later start. Bird took a spill yesterday, rolling his ankle and messing up his knee, while Sideshow is taking it easy with a hurt achilles. So, Boombox and I headed out for the day and planned to meet everyone a bit later.
We hiked along a stream for a bit and then along the Mojave River. It is so amazing to be around water after being in the desert for a while. The rocks around the river are unbelievable, and there are so many perfect swimming holes. We stopped for a bit under one of the bridges and cooled off in the water.
Before side hilling to our final destination tonight, we crossed a "seasonal stream" that was dry. Luckily, or unluckily, we didn't have to go on an adventure to climb down the cliffs to the river to get some water because we walked a bit further and found another stream.
We saw Auto and That Guy a few hours ago and it seems like the crew is a bit behind us again but we shall carry on tomorrow! We only have enough food for 4 days of hiking to Wrightwood.
Boombox and I had a sweet night camped up on a hill with the river in the distance and moon shining bright above us, things are goooood.

Weather: beautiful! 80s and sunny
Wildlife: rattle snake, other snakes, lizards
News: we passed the 300 mile mark today!
Discomforts: nothing! Seth's foot is better with his new shoes.
Mistakes: kicking a huge pinecone like a soccer ball= big bruise on my foot :(
Soundtrack: playlist shuffle.....


Mileage: 20
Miles: 306-326
              Oh what a day! We woke up to the sounds of a desert swamp with smiles on our faces. We are hiking down the deep creek canyon and there is so much life! It's amazing how much water is in this canyon in the middle of the desert. The creek we camped next too has lots of frogs and crickets and birds that create an orchestra of beautiful desert music once the winds die down. We packed up quick and hit the trail with our pal Gadget, then we ate a wonderful breakfast under the rainbow bridge by deep creek.
              A few short miles later and we were at the deep creek hot springs. We heard that the weekend attracts a lot of partying peeps around this hot springs so we steered clear of it the night before. We stopped in to check it out and it was beautiful. All the ragers from the night before had mostly cleared out already so we hung around and chatted with a few mellow heads. We had read a forest service advisory that the hot springs had parasites and potentially meningitis!!! YIPES! And even though the people we chatted with had been soaking in the springs for 5 years without any problems, we decided there would be other hot springs further down the trail.
              Our pace was quick and light in the later part of the morning and we made it to our lunch spot after exiting the canyon. The afternoon was mostly spent perfecting my pole dancing moves and levitating over the manzanita. The playlist was HOT and we crushed the 7 miles to the road before the trail climbed up to silver wood lake.
              We talked to a local earlier in the day and she recommended that we go eat at the sushi/Korean resteraunt by silver wood lake. We smiled and nodded all the while thinking you would have to be nuts to eat at a sushi resteraunt out here in the middle of nowhere! Why is there a sushi resteraunt out here any way? Gadget talked about the idea the rest of the day and by the time we hit the road, Glitter Bug and I were convinced. I don't think I have made such a great decision in my life!
              We got a ride within 10 minutes with a guy that drove some turbo something or other and before we knew it we were sipping sake and eating sushi and Korean BBQ. We got a huge spread and the food was amazing! We were so suprised at how good it all was, it was literaly the only establishment for miles and miles. The sushi chef has apprently been in the sushi business for over 30 years and they get fresh fish twice a weeks from LA. This one is going to be remembered. As Gadget always says "smiles before miles".
              We got a ride within a few seconds with some friendly folks that work around big bear at a youth camp and we smashed the last 4 miles to camp while run-hiking from the swarms of nats that were surrounding the lake. We camped at a boat- camp that had no trail to it. We had to bush wack down to it and it was lovely. We camped right on the water and fell asleep to the sounds of big fish jumping. We love our friend Gadget and we are so grateful for his inspiration! Another great day!

Weather: beautiful
Food: what!?!! Sushi and Korean BBQ
Soundtrack: BOOMbox delight
Thoughts: pole dancing while hiking is the next transcendental practice of our era. Sometimes I get into these trances while hiking where my legs become one block of dead weight and it almost feels as though my upper body is detached, floating weightless an separate from my lower half. In these moments my legs go on working without my mind propelling them or my effort, they are their own seperatded machine. That is where the magic and glory of pole dancing takes place. Without havin to focus on my step my upper body is free to get down with the groove of my tunes. Love it!


Miles: 21 
Milage: 326-347

Sleeping near the lake last night was so great!! I awoke to the bright orange sunrise reflecting on the lake while fish jumped around like crazy. Most mornings we aren't able to see the sunrise because it's behind mountains but this morning was perfect! 
It was a bit of a slow morning but once we had our breakfast stop we were able to get in the groove. 
Boombox and I hiked a bit of the day alone for the first time in a while which was nice. The morning started in green lush terrain by the lake and went back into super dry desert as the day went on. 
We've been hearing about a McDonalds in the middle of no where and today we reached it...Most hikers stop in Cajon Pass and load up McDonalds before the ascent to Wrightwood. Seth and I have not had McDonalds or any fast food for many years and we were fighting internal battles about going today after hiking 16 miles in extreme heat in the desert. We could smell the food from a half mile away and then we saw the billboard "Quench Your Thirst $.99 32 oz soda".... After a discussion about food ethics, I was the one that was pushing for us to go there and just get a damn Reese's McFlurry. I mean, really!!! It was hot and I had been dreaming about ice cream for a while. 
So into McDs we went. We saw so many of our stinky hiker friends in there eating feasts. We enjoyed our mcFlurrys and quickly left. 
After getting some snacks, we headed out to hike about 5 more miles. About .25 miles in, after walking through a tunnel, we came aross some trail magic! 30 Pack and Outburst dropped off some cold Keystones for hikers to enjoy. 
5 miles in and we were ready to set up camp. Gadget, Liz, Jay, Windsong, and Pinecone all camped near us. The sun was setting, the moon was bright and we were excited to cowboy camp and play cards with Windsong and Pinecone. I won the game and happily went to sleep. 
Weather: hot 
Soundtrack: playlist shuffle........
Discomforts: nothing 
Mistakes: eating McDonalds McFlurry, made my stomach upset! Too much dairy or something. :(
News: Boombox is perfecting his (trekking) pole dancing and it's hilarious. 

Mileage: 20
Miles: 347-367
              We woke up in a sandy wash about five miles past Cajon Pass. The climb started right off the bat as we began our ascent for the day. This climb has been all the buzz for the last couple days on the trail and we have been anticipating it with excitement. The trail was very moderately graded, as always, and it felt great to work the climbing muscles. After our energy bomb of a breakfast, the pace quickened and it felt as if we were levitating above the trail and the earth sped along on it's rotation below us, all we had to do was turn this way and that to follow the trail. We had to cautiously maneuver our way through some Poodle Dog Bush that was crowding the trail through a burn section. It was a meticulous, delicate dance of dodging the sticky poisonous plant. We managed to make it through the mile section without brushing it....I hope. Apparently Poodle Dog Bush causes extremely bad itchy blisters that can easily get infected. Yuck!
            Once we began to feel the fatigue from the depletion of calories and our steps began to make contact with the sandy soil once more, we were in need of a break. Just in time we turn a corner and there is a red truck with a shade tent set up next to it and all of our friends relaxing in comfy camp chairs. We were greeted by Band Aide with cold beers and candy bars and we sank into the shade with grateful sighs from our bodies. Band Aide kept feeding us goodies and making sure our beer hand was never empty. Hot dogs and burgers were grilled, the burgers and hotdogs were quickly devoured, shade was enjoyed, songs were sung, and smiles were smiled. THANK YOU BAND AIDE!!!
              Before we could have too many  beers we decided to move on another 10 miles for camp. Pinecone walked with Glitter Bug and I the rest of the day and we were joined by her partner, Wind Song, down the trail. What wonderful ladies and wonderful convos on the last leg of our hike for the day. We dry-shredded the slopes of some closed ski resort on our decent to camp. I had a lot of thoughts about our current fast food situation in our country that is slowly spreading like a disease around the world. I formulated and wrote a little rant about the fast food industry and other concerns before I went to bed.
              Gadget decided to push the last couple miles to the highway and hitch into wrightwood because he left his pants behind at the last campsite. He ended up walked most of the five miles down the highway to wrightwood....big day for him. He left me his pad since mine has holes and is getting fixed right now, THANK YOU GO GO GADGET! What an amazing day full of friends and great memories! 
Gratitude: trail friends and trail talks. Trail angels and trail magic! 
Soundtrack: still trying to finish the Boombox playlist...it's very long.

Milage: 2
Miles: 367-369 --- nearo into Wrightwood

Two miles felt like a nice morning stroll this morning! The wind also blew me off the mountain but besides that, it was wonderful.
Boombox and I got to Inspiration Point at about 745 am. Shortly after, Flash, Roadkill, The Monster, Shrek, Pinecone, Windsong, and Buttons all joined us in the highway pull off to wait for a ride. The road was dead and all I could think about was the supposed phenomanial breakfast at the Evergreen cafe which was 6 miles down the road in Wrightwood. Finally, Mermaid was getting dropped off at the trail and 6 of us were able to catch a ride with her husband, Johnny, down to Wrightwood.
Town days are always so interesting. I get anxious thinking about everything I have to do. go to grocery store to resupply. Go to Post Office. Find a place to shower. Do laundry. So much to do and so little time. While eating breakfast, I started to think about everything that needs to get done and got antsy to finish up and get it done.
Once I showered I felt like a new person. Seriously. Who knew that showers could be so magical?
Resupplying in Wrightwood was a mistake... we heard it was a great place to shop at so we didnt send a box. Shopping for 4.5 worth of food was $109!!!! are you kidding??!?! And we even got super cheap shitty food. 
We lined up a ride with a man named Hal that we met at the store. Our plan was to leave at 530 and hike a few miles. But, of course, we got sucked into the town and ended up enjoying a lovely night at the cafe and then the Mexican restaurant with our friends Tracks, Pinecone and Windsong. Worth it.

Weather: beautiful
food: breakfast at the Evergreen- biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, french toast. Pizza at the Yodler! Margaritas at the Mexican place... delicious. 

Mileage: 19
              We got out of wrightwood in good time after our sleep at the summer camp. Coffee in the morning was wonderful and the hitch was easy. We got a ride from a retired gas station owner who was on her way to go on a hike with friends. She was a sweet lady and we ended up seeing her on the trail later.
              As we approached the saddle where the trail began its ascent up Baden-Powell, we could see a LA sheriff's helicopter circling around the peak an a few cop cars in the parking lot. Our imaginations began to run wild as we quickened our step to find out what was happening. We found out that a hiker that we had met the day before that goes  by the name of Shrek has been missing since 7:30 PM last night! Paha had seen him and they were going to meet at a trail junction just up the trail. When Paha got there, only Shrek's pack remained. Paha waited by the pack all night and there was still no sign of him the next morning. The police were called early this morning and they have been searching for him ever since. We talked to the police and to Paha once we ascended to his location and there were many different concerns and guesses as to what happened to him. Shrek is known as being kind of a crazy guy on trail so my guess is that he just went for a stroll and didn't want any of his gear any more. He did leave his cell phone in a hiker box in Wrightwood and is somewhat of a minimalist. We hope he is safe and we are thinking positive thoughts!
              The climb up Baden-Powell was very enjoyable. I was able to tap into a great rhythm with my breath and my step and we made it to the top in no time. I love the meditation of hiking up peaks. We had a good conversation with a retired grocery store manager about food politics and discussed Shrek's whereabouts. After lunch on the peak we hiked with Sparkle Plenty and The Flash until we reach a beautiful camp on the ridge over looking LA. Before we hit camp I almost passed out from lack of calories, I need to remember to eat constantly. We played FYB with Sparkle Plenty and The Flash after a fine dinner complete with boxes wine and a stunning sunset. Sparkle Plenty and The Flash are  great company and we look forward to seeing them on our journey North. 
              Cascade (thermarest) sent me a replacement pad and I used it for the first time tonight.....it has a hole! Hahahah! Oh well, I will try to patch it tomorrow. What a beautiful life!

Food: rice jambalaya with jerky and mashed potatoes......not the best, but it felt good to eat anything. And the wine made it all good.
No music today
Feeling fortunate for the life we lead. 


Rant on Ronald

       I hope that none of my friends feel attacked or judged by all of this. These are my feelings and thoughts concerning a fucked up industry. Also, I feel guilt over  MY choice to spend my money at a fast food establishment. This is me mainly processing my own regrets along with shedding some light on the ugliness of some of the companies in our marketplace. I love you all!  Cheers
              Ok, we did it! We committed foodie sin.....we ate at McDonalds! We only ate a McFlurry, but I still feel disgusting. Because of my shame I feel inclined to rant about the fast food industry. If you still partake in the eating of these foul substances, I urge you to stop immediately! 
             I am going to risk sounding like a real asshole in the hopes to inspire someone to think twice about buying their next mcnasty whatever. The pioson that these companies such as Mcdonalds, Burger King, KFC, Wendy's ect try to call food is disgusting! Everything about these enterprises is unhealthy. It's unhealthy for us as individuals, it's unhealthy to our economy, it's unhealthy to our farmers, to the people that work for them, and most importantly, it's unhealthy for our planet. 
              Everything from how the food is grown, where it is grown, how it is processed, and how it is sold is unbeneficial to the world at large. Nothing is localized, all the food is grown by under appreciated and under payed farmers that grow with nasty pesticides and fertilizers. After the food is grown and harvested, it is then transported to a processing plant that is most likely a long drive away from where it is grown. Then it is processed to the point of barely resembling food. After it is turned into a trade marked formula it is then shipped again to all the establishments around the world (that are inevitably shutting down local business that sell the food of the local culture) to be sold at such low prices (but because it is cut with so many super cheap, subsidized fillers it still turns a mighty large profit) that those less fortunate are tricked into thinking that this  is all they can afford. 
              PLEASE! If you can't afford an education, (which is understandable given the current state of our education system) go to your local library and educate yourself on basic nutrition. This shit is literally poison! Try cutting fast food out of your diet for a year and substitute it with whole foods. Try a diet of mostly fresh vegitables, cut your meat intake in half and only eat lean, free range, LOCAL and humanely raised meat. Cut your dairy in half, eat more whole grains and plant proteins! Drink more water. Exercise! 
              I know I might sound like a hipocrite seeing how I said I just ate at McDonalds and that's fine, but do something for yourself and try a diet without this pioson in it. I am blown away at how the thru-hiker community is ok with eating this garbage. Please believe me when I say that I am not judging you if you eat this shit, I'm just trying to get a rant off my chest and hopefully inspire someone out there. I love all my hiker trash friends, it is no reflection of your character if you partake in eating fast food.
              Our loudest voice in this current paradigm is with our dollar. Every time we purchase something at one of these fast food establishments we are saying "I am ok with everything that you do as a company. I am ok with how you treat my planet and it's people." FUCK THAT! 
We can make a difference by making healthy, informed, sustainable choices with where we spend our money. Buy local, eat organic, support small farmers, and if buying imported goods, follow the frog and buy fair trade! This is the path to a healthier planet and healthier people.
              This doesn't end at our food! This spreads to all the products we buy. Be responsible consumers. Research the companies you buy from to see where they source their material and their labor. There is a lot of fucked up things happening around the world surrounding our gizmos and gadgets that we buy. Lots of child slavery and awful compensation for labor. Do the research, buy local whenever possible! 
              I recognize that I am far from perfect in all of these areas, but it starts with the intention and the refining and tuning of our habits. We can make a difference! I would love to hear about more American made ultralight gear that sources their materials sustainably. I'm wearing a Mountain Hardwear hiking shirt right now that very well could have been made by a 12 year old girl in china. Why do we support companies that have these practices? It's cheap sure, but in the long run we pay the price as a global community. We pay the price with the harm we do to our planet and it's inhabitants. I am calling out to all conpanies in the outdoor industry that are creating positive change! I want to know about campanies that are trying to make a difference not just a dollar.
Rant over.....
P.S.......someone called me "the ultimate doucher machine" in response to this post and told me I should end my corporate sponsorship now. I thought I made it clear that I do not think that I am a shining example of what a perfect consumer should be, I am aware of the faults in the system and I am actively trying to change my ways. I am not trying to be on some high horse, just expressi my thoughts on the subject. This is also a spewing of emotions hence why I call it a rant. I'm not sure what corporate sponsorship this person is talking about....keen is giving us some socks, but I am not advertising for them or posting anything about them on our blog, except for this I guess hahaha. Furthermore, being a doucher can be a good thing. I am cleaning out the old ways in my life to create space for clean, healthy growth. Sweet


Week 3


Milage: 24
Miles: 187-211 


Woahh, why did we choose today to hike 24 miles in the heat?!

It was a beautiful morning with some amazing views coming off the mountain. We lost about 6500ft in elevation. As the crow flies, it was about 4 miles to the bottom but it took us 20 miles to get to the bottom with all the switchbacks!!
Boombox, Fish and I had a nice day filled with heat, thirst, music and dancing. The heat pushed our limits right before we reached the 200 mark. We were desperate for shade and found a huge boulder to climb under for a bit of a rest and lunch. It's crazy how fast our blood sugar can drop and how exhausted we get with the heat, but after our break we were rejuvenated!! 

We got to the bottom and there was trail magic! Tarzan was there with a big shade shelter, fresh veggies and snacks! It was amazing. Thank you Tarzan!

After the trail magic we made the push across the desert to Ziggy and the Bears. Right when we got there we were treated with a big bowl of ice cream, heavennnnn!!!!
P.S. (From Boombox) I tried my Azblaster for the first time. An Azblaster is basically just a plastic squeeze bottle used to clean my butt after pooping. Azblaster is the trail name of a guy who is trying to get TP out of the backcountry. The Azblaster worked great! I thought it might be messy and gross, but it's a very clean and refreshing experience. I am a full blown convert.....no more TP for me!

Weather: 105F
Soundtrack: string cheese, yeasayer 
Discomforts: heat!
Food: fresh veggies!!!!!!!


Mileage: 9.2
Miles: 210.8-220

              A long hot day at Ziggy and the Bear's house. We slept in the backyard of Ziggy and The Bear's house last night, which is covered in carpet and car ports for shade. There were a lot of hikers strewn about the yard and the sleeping was very comfy. Ziggy put out a breakfast of cereal, juice, and coffee at around 5 am for those who were pushing off to avoid the heat. We slept in with the plan of taking a break for the hotter part of the day and leaving in the evening.
              The heat came on quick and by 8 o'clock we were shirtless and sweating. Most of the day was spent chasing shade around the backyard and lazily organizing our pack with all our new food from our resupply box. I was very cranky all day because of my discomfort with the heat and nothing to do. I sometimes felt trapped in that little back yard and that I was slowly being roasted for some giant's meal. 
              What Ziggy and The Bear provide is a crutial point to get out of the heat, shower, have boxes sent, and catch up with all your hiker friends. They are incredibly sweet people and extremely generous for all that they provide for hikers. There has been talk from them about not being able to do what they do any longer because of an increase in hikers and a decrease in donations. They are seniors with a low, fixed income and they work very hard every day to make us thru-hikers comfy. I hope the community can show some love and give what they can.
              We tried to help as much as we could while we were there. Glitter Bug helped Ziggy organize all of the hiker resupply boxes as well as register new hiker arrivals and did laundry and dishes......what a sweetheart she is! I helped clean up the backyard, swept, and helped Matt with a plumbing project. I am so fortunate to be on this adventure with such A hard working, motivated, caring person like Glitter Bug, she's the best! And our new friend Matt is a wonderful, generous person as well, I love my hiker trash friends! 
              After restlessly waiting in the unbearable heat all day we finally decided to push off around 430 in the afternoon once we finished our yoga practice. Our friend Matt (formerly known as Fish) joined us again as we hit the trail. Glitter Bug lead the way for the first 5 miles and almost killed Matt and I. The name Dynama has been floating around for her because she packs a hell of a lot of power in a cute, small package. Our fresh resupply was sitting heavy on our back and we took the next 4ish miles pretty slow as the sun went down.
              Just before we reached camp for the night, Matt's headlamp scanned across two very large cat eyes. There is no telling weather it was a Cougar, but they were big! Glitter Bug got very nervous and we all made a lot of noise to make sure we scared it away. We found a nice sandy beach to set camp up on near Whitewater River. The three of us bonded over melted chocolate and by telling eachother our gratitudes, resentments, amends, and feelings for the day. It was a beautiful night with a sliver of a moon overhead. What a wonderful time to be alive!!!

Weather: 110 F in the shade!!! 
Soundtrack: My Morning Jacket
Wildlife: maybe a cougar?! Or at least. Bobcat. Some weird skeletor spider 
Discomforts: my left foot is slowly deteriorating! Swollen big toe and my heal bone feels bruised. Glitter Bug' blisters are callusing over nicely and others are forming. 


Milage: 18.5
Miles: 220-238.5 

I was happy to wake up this morning... I definitely thought I was going to be a cougar's dinner last night. It was a super beautiful, warm morning down by Whitewater River. We got up a little earlier than normal to beat the heat and everyone else was already gone! People are getting up at 4am to hike and then they nap in the middle of the day. I can't get into the napping in the middle of the day thing, I'd much rather sleep until 530 and take little breaks through out the day as the heat doesn't bother me too much. 
       We took our first break after 6.5 miles and made a nice breakfast under a tree and I spilled my entire cup of coffee... It definitely was a sign for how the day was going to go. 
           It wasn't too hot or anything but my goodness, I didn't have any energy for hiking. We were alll so sluggish and could barely keep hiking. We took a long lunch break under a tree and that really made things worse.
         After a brutal push for the last 6 miles we finally got to a stream and a camp spot. There's a bush called poodle dog that can give you an awful, ichy rash and today was the first day we saw it, and we saw it everywhere for a few miles.  As soon as we got to camp we washed up (frantically because we were afraid we touched poodle bush), got in warm clothes and took some celebratory sips of our Eastside Distilling whiskey.  
           I'm reallllllllly missing my Portland friends right now as it's getting warmer there and everyone is doing cool things... I am so lucky to have such great people in my life but I sure do get sad when I miss them so much! 

Weather: 80s?
Food: oh my goshhh such a yummy dinner... Cous cous, sunflower seeds, raisins, brown sugar, soy sauce. 
Soundtrack: phish, shins, vibesquad
Discomforts: Seth's left foot needs to be amputated.  
Hiking buddy: Matt/fish


Mileage: 21
Miles: 238-259

              We woke up and everyone had already packed up and left to "beat the heat". Turns out it was a beautiful day with low temps and tons of sun! The hike was beautiful and easy as we coasted on good tunes and high vibes. The weather we have been hearing about started rolling in in the late afternoon with some cloud coverage and higher winds.
              We came upon our friend Ben taking a break in the afternoon and he casually asked us if we saw the lions and tigers and bears a little ways back. We laughed and shrugged it off as a poorly played joke. He then insisted that we walk a few hundred yards back and check it out. Willing to play the fool, we went back and were shocked to see two lions, a jaguar, and a bear in cages!!! It seemed very random to see such exotic animals in the middle of nowhere with no one watching over them. We learned later that the animals are owned by a couple production companies and they star in movies. Quite sad to see the neglect and tiny cages they live in, we had thoughts of setting them free! 
              We walked a little over 20 miles to a small campsite by the creek and an older hiker that we had been playing tag with all day had snagged the camp before we got there! Go-Go Gadget (aka Matt aka Fish) ran ahead and scouted out a beautiful camp on a point overlooking the expansive valley below. The views on this trail never disappoint! It seems as though we are walking in the clouds and keeping the earth in its rotation with our effortless steps. We set our tents up in precaution to the weather warnings and fell asleep after another wonderful meal with wonderful people. Next is Big Bear!!! FREEDOM!

Weather: wonderful
Food: beefy Mac 
Soundtrack: phish, on the go playlist
Discomforts: MY FOOT! Left heal and big toe. 


Milage: 7 
Miles: 259-266

Super fast paced morning to get to Big Bear for breakfast! We did about 7 miles in a little under 2 hours and it was worth it. We got a ride to Big Bear City and had a HUGE breakfast at Thelma's... Delicious. 
After getting a ride to a hostel and accessing the situation there, we decided to get a cabin and all chip in for that instead. So worth it! Once we got settled, it started snowing!!! Thank goodness we were in the cabin. 
We settled in the cabin and were surprised with a visit by our great friend Bryan!! It's been too long since we have celebrated with that amazing man! We endulged in Mexican food and got beers at the local brewery before getting into various shenanigans on our way home ( dance parties, hot tubs, etc). 
Big Bear Lake is a great town that is super friendly to hikers. Once again, we are surprised with the amount of PCT supporters!!!

Weather: cold, windy, SNOW
Soundtrack: probably phish (can't rember) 
Food: pancakes, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, Mexican food, ice cream brownie....... We need calories, right??


Mileage: 9.5
Miles: Big Bear Lake

              We slept in until 7 am and had a wonderful leisurely morning getting ready to "slack-pack" the ten miles from Van Dussen to highway 18. Slack-packing to some might be cheating, but we are writing our own rules and it just sounded really convenient. To slack-pack is to hike a section without your pack, but to be fair, we actually ran the majority of the miles and damn did it feel good.
              My spirit brother and freedom fighter, Bryan, gave us a ride to and from the trail heads and even handed us beer at the end as a part of the shuttle service! The whole day was a big slice of FREEDOM! We wanted a longer break in town, but we still wanted to cover some miles and stretch our legs a bit. Then, once we got back to the cabin all our friends that fell behind us for the last week showed up and we rejoiced! Bryan was itching to get back to the slopes and his double 
-wide free flyin lifestyle in Mammoth so he took off in the afternoon. Glitter Bug, Gadget, and I made a yummy stir fry for anyone that was interested in eating.
             After dinner there were games, drinking, sharing, caring, smiling, cuddling, new friendships, frisbee on the beach and late night hot tubbin. We stayed up super late, I think we made it to real midnight, which is 3 am in hiker- time. Once we destroyed a quick pint of ice-cream, we all drifted off into a wonderful sleep with peace in our minds and joy in our hearts. It feels good to be back with a large group of amazing people. We love our PCT FAMILY! 

P.S. We reunited with our BFFs, Lost.N.Found, and Sunshine as well as Camalita, Shuffle, Sideshow, That Guy, The Bird, Auto, Kodiak, and Papaya. What a wonderful crew... We are TEAM FREEDOM!!

Weather: sunshine! 
Food: the freshness! Stir-fried veggies with wild rice and sausage. Wilted kale and avocado salad, and pizza!
Soundtrack: downlink, muse, phish
My heal still hurts!!

Epsom salt foot soak


Miles: big bear lake

It's amazing what happens when a group is formed... We changed our schedule and decided to take a zero day so we could hang with the group and launch together tomorrow. 
The last two nights we stayed at Big Bear Frontier Lodge but tonight we are staying at the ITH Mountain Adventure Lodge Hostel for only $20 a night with breakfast, dinner, laundry and showers included. It's a super lovely place with a nice kitchen and  common room.  It's full of hiker trash lounging, packing up food, and catching up on their phones. Feels so good to be back with the main crew. 
We tried to take advantage of the actual zero day and not do too much. A few of us walked around town and got food at a yummy Indian place. After a while we all just hung out and waited for dinner to be served. 
We've met so many new hikers over the last few days. I love getting to know them and chatting about our lives and what brought us on the trail. We all tend to have a lot in common. 
After dinner we brought out games... Cards against humanity and Jenga entertained us for hours. 
I'm lllooovvvviiinnnn' this! 

Weather: 60s and sunny
Food: Indian food lunch and BBQ chicken dinner
Discomforts: we're feeling goooooood