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July 20, 2022

Meadow in Yosemite Wilderness to Tenaya Lake: Woke up early and walked alongside the meadow. We lounged around in Tuolumne Meadows for a couple of hours as we ate ice cream and chips. BD and I shared headphones as we switched between our favorite hiking songs. He showed me “Weight of Love” by The Black Keys while I showed him “Bad Touch” by Bloodhound Gang. We summited Cathedral Pass which was challenging since we had a food coma and were climbing in the heat of the day. We called it Fucker Hill #2. Bubbly had BD and I take a photo together at the top. He placed his hand on my lower back...

July 19, 2022

Gladys Lake to Meadow in Yosemite Wilderness: We left before 5am to go over Island and Donahue Pass. We lounged around at the top of Donahue and watched the raindrops fall upon the snow melted lake. BD made a snow cone with his Gatorade electrolytes. We took a celebratory photo, this time of our bare butts. Despite getting the perception of a fairytale trail romance with BD, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something felt off emotionally open my part. I developed feelings for someone who I knew wasn’t the one and I started to experience a sense of overwhelm. I have always been a hopeless...

July 18, 2022

Mammoth to Gladys Lake (x-rated): Before we left the motel, I attempted to glue my HOKA’s back together, even though they were way past their use. I felt I could push them another 100 miles or so. I enjoyed following BD’s footprints. There was something so magical about prints being left on the rocky sand, as if stamped into the earth for a temporary amount of time… only to be wiped away by another’s or swept away by the elements. I felt inspired to keep the shoes I trekked with for they told a story of what once was. These shoes would tell a story of when I once fell in love on the JMT....

July 17, 2022

Bridge Creek to Mammoth Lakes: BD, Bubbly and I played pinecone baseball as we waited for Jif to make it down from the mountain. Polka dancing with BD followed. I expressed deep joy and laughter as we twirled around in the dirt. We made it down to the trailhead and hitched in separate groups to make it into Mammoth. First thing we did was get a pint of ice cream at Vons. There were several other thru-hikers there, so we hung out as we shared snacks and stories. Bubbles and Jif ordered a pizza and ate it on the curb. We waited for the free trolley to pick us up and drop us off at Motel 6....

July 16, 2022

VVR to Bridge Creek: Got all packed up to get a ferry ride out of VVR and back on trail. I forgot something at the cabin and walked upon Bubbly furiously peeing beside the stairs. With a toothbrush hanging from her mouth, she shouts, “Hey, friend!” Hiker trash at its finest. As we waited for our shuttle ride, I became mesmerized by watching the way BD played the guitar. My eyes followed the movement of his fingers as they danced between the strings... my heart followed. To me, he was like the Charlie Chaplin of the music industry. He did everything on his own. He wrote his own music,...

July 15, 2022

(x-rated): The morning started with me asking Mo when he got his shit together in life. He pondered and said he would let me know when he did. We ordered breakfast and my tramily would scream out all of our trail names when our food came out. Most obnoxious was Mo as he cupped his hands to his mouth and yelled, “BD!!!!”, followed by everyone in the crowd yelling, “BD!!!!” To top it off, he would add, “HE GOT THAT B-D!!!!” It brought me to tears from laughing so hard because only we knew what it meant. After breakfast, BD joined me in the hammock. He used my thigh as a table to write in...

July 14, 2022

Bear Ridge Trail to Vermillion Valley Resort: We took the Bear Ridge Trail down to the road and got picked up by a shuttle driver volunteer who drove us to Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). A gem in the middle of the woods; the place was the definition of a hiker’s haven. It sported a sign on the cabin door that read HIKERS! Please Loiter. They had hiker boxes that were the size of large treasure chests. They offered a space called Mushroom City for those who wanted to set up their tents for free. The employees would ring a bell to signal that it was time to eat and everyone would gather...

July 13, 2022

Muir Trail Ranch to Bear Ridge Trail: Woke up to several kisses by BD; he whispered, “Happy Birthday” in my ear as I stretched out with a smile. I put on my bright green knee high socks to start off the day and we celebrated by summiting Seldon Pass. It felt like a slow ascent, but I got to see my tramily at the top as they lifted me up in their arms for a celebratory photo! What more could I ask for during my birthday than to be with the ones I love, doing something I love. A southbound hiker came over the pass and said our entire group had really loving and exciting energy. We seem to...

July 12, 2022

Evolution Lake to Muir Trail Ranch: Went back to the rock where Peter and I made love and saw blood splatters scattered throughout; smiled at the thought of last night’s play time. Started making my way down to Muir Trail Ranch (MTR) and got offered fresh banana bread from a couple of day hikers. Section hikers always seem to have the best goodies. About an hour later, Mo ran into me while I was having a break by the river. He was inordinately excited to tell me that he came up with a trail name for Peter. With a grin on his face he says, “Bloody Dick.” I started laughing so hard while...

July 11, 2022

Middle Fork Kings River to Evolution Lake: Today was Funky Chicken’s birthday! We celebrated the beginning of her twenties by summiting Muir Pass! There were still some patches of snow during the climb so it was fun to watch my tramily get a taste of the experience. We surprised Funky by singing happy birthday as she walked into the hut. Afterwards, we lifted her up in our arms for a celebratory tramily photo. On the way down, I spent a lot of time hitting on all the cute thru-hiker boys. I forgot to bring my lip balm so I used Mo’s, unbeknownst to me that it turned my lips a shade of...

July 10, 2022

South Fork Kings River to Middle Fork Kings River: Today, we summited Mather Pass; I couldn’t believe how different the experience was this time through. In 2019, I experienced a near death experience going up that pass. I had followed a path of footsteps on the snow that took a “shortcut” by cutting off all the switchbacks. The only option was to vertically rock scramble jagged boulders with the weight of our 60+ pound packs. I remember shaking and crying as I held eye contact with my boyfriend at the time. Frozen in place after getting a glimpse below at what looked like the face of our...

July 9, 2022

Suspension Bridge to South Fork Kings River: Woke up early to start our ascent up Pinchot Pass. After we summited, we made it down to Lake Marjorie and my tramily bathed in the alpine lake while I went to explore the surrounding area barefoot. I climbed atop a rocky hill, with a stellar view of the northern lakes up ahead. The visual of rippling water sent me into a contemplative state while the chilled wind blew on my cheeks. When I came back to my tramily, Mo was sprawled out on a rock enjoying the sun’s rays. We relaxed for a bit longer and then continued down the pass. I met an older...

July 8, 2022

Vidette Meadow to Suspension Bridge: Today we summited Glen Pass. The climb was harder than Forester, although less strenuous in elevation. We snapped our tramily photo and CTM made fun of me for hitting on the hott thru-hiker guys on top of the summit. I denied it and she goes, “You asked them to give you a slice of their salami and did full-blown yoga stretches in front of them… I have never in my life seen you stretch.” Later, we skinny dipped in Rae Lakes and struck up a conversation with a hiker named Mr. Tidy. A rainbow streak formed over the lake for the rest of our lunch break, so...

July 7, 2022

Tyndall Creek to Vidette Meadow: We woke up early and began our ascent up Forester Pass, the high point of the PCT. I truly could not believe that I hiked the same section a few years back. Back then, I woke up at midnight to ford two rivers chest deep. When the sun began to rise, all I saw was fields upon fields of snow. I sat on top of an exposed boulder tip to put on my crampons. I grabbed my ice axe and proceeded to make a vertical ascent up Forester, dismissing all of the switchbacks. I was so cold and physically exhausted but had to keep moving since I was wet from the river fords....

July 6, 2022

Rock Creek Camp to Tyndall Creek: Woke up at dawn to a plethora of tents surrounding me. Felt happy to be with my tramily. Did my urine therapy routine and took supplements to help ease the apparent effects of altitude. Mo, Funky and I filtered some water and started our ascent toward Bighorn Plateau. About a mile into the climb, I saw a blanket of pinecones, so I figured it would be a great spot to take a break. Mo enjoyed a cup of joe on a down tree while I starfished on top of the cones to re-ground. I continued on and caught up with CTM. She got really excited to walk upon a dead tree...

July 5, 2022 (Part 2)

On self-worth, break ups and dating: As we drove up the mountain to Cottonwood Pass, my mind became flushed with nostalgic memories of the PCT. It was 2019 and my boyfriend at the time flew out to do the Sierra section with me. We were in an unhealthy relationship and I felt so scared to even entertain the idea that maybe it didn’t have to be so hard. An obscure remembrance of the girl I once was: unsure, insecure, weak in my boundaries, self-conscious. After the PCT, we broke up in a quite traumatic way. It happened to be the most painful heartbreak I apparently went through. It felt as...

July 5, 2022

Cottonwood Pass Trailhead to Rock Creek Camp: We woke up early and had a scheduled shuttle ride to go up the mountain to Cottonwood Pass Trailhead. Our shuttle driver asked us what made us want to do the JMT, so we shared how we met, along with our own personal aspirations. She said we were an unusual group. We hung out at Chicken Spring Lake as we sun-bathed and teased Jif for packing out a giant rod of salami. Mo dipped his feet in the water and shouted, “Did you guys see these alpine crabs?” Cool Trail Mom (CTM) yelled back, “On your dick?!” It was in that moment that I felt a sense of...

July 4, 2022

Directly after the Lithuanian Polka Dance Festival performance, I went to change out of my wardrobe and got a ride to the airport. I flew to LAX, slept on the airport floor and hitched out early in the morning towards Lone Pine. A woman pulled over when I was hitching in Mojave and was worried for my safety so she gave me some money. Shortly after, I got picked up by a sweet girl in her early 30s named Mochi. She was an avid mountain biker/rock climber and was driving around looking for places to climb. She used to invite people to join but they would always fall through on plans, so she...