- April 2012 (10)
- April 2013 (2)
- August 2011 (9)
- August 2012 (4)
- December 2011 (4)
- February 2012 (4)
- February 2013 (1)
- Gear (10)
- Gowns & Alterations – kinda stuff (16)
- January 2012 (4)
- January 2013 (6)
- July 2011 (2)
- July 2012 (6)
- June 2011 (4)
- June 2012 (9)
- March 2012 (1)
- March 2013 (4)
- May 2011 (1)
- May 2012 (16)
- May 2013 (3)
- November 2011 (5)
- October 2011 (4)
- Photography & Art – kinda stuff (2)
- September 2012 (1)
- Training & Hiking – kinda stuff (8)
- Uncategorized (55)
- What's goin' on in my life-kinda stuff (16)
- You might wanna read this – kinda stuff (10)
Hiking26 on Twitter
Monthly Archives: April 2012
Shannon and I spent our Freshman year in High School together, and the reunion was an unexpected and wonderful moment. I’ve had a lot of fun with this gown.
I have a few more things to say but I was just informed my ride to the Post Office is leaving, so I’ll have to play catch up (as I always do)…
Thursday April 26 – 2:p.m. – Awaiting my ride (a sweet ’75 VW Bus driven by the infamous Sugar Mama Patti Cakes) to Kick Off, a last minute realization that I needed to meet her 5 miles down the road from the Trail Angel’s house I was staying at left me in a rush and panic to get moving fast. Ziggy, a kind and sweet woman of about 70 or so told me to leave behind what I needed, I could pick it up when K/O is over. Had I known I needed to be down at the highway, I’d have hitched a ride with her to Cabazone earlier in the day. No big deal, I just need to get moving. Shortly after leaving and about to head in the wrong direction, a truck pulled up, inside was Ziggy waving a Post Office Pick Up slip – She’d found a reason to drive into town and of course, give me a ride.
In turn Ziggy asked me to say hello to several well known people in the PCT world. I pulled out my paper and pen and made the short list. Next I asked her to make a list of things I could do around the house, as ‘The Bear’ her ‘other half’ at 80 years old, sprained his ankle earlier in the week. 6 weeks off his foot while the heaviest of hiker traffic was about to hit the ‘Hiker Oasis’. She said I made them smile, and that was enough….
Is there so little kindness in the world, that just rying to help out makes people smile? I’m glad I can help…
April 26-29th – Lake Morena State Park – 20 PCT Miles from the Mexico border. ADZPCTKO “Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off” – a place where present and past thru-hikers come together to learn about water and trail hazards, Poodle Dog Bush, Lime Disease from Ticks, Test out lightweight gear and tents, and so much more. A weekend of PCT Commaradary.
- April 29 – Right now – While sittin here, the guy next to me is bouncing between journalling and working on his blisters. He, like me, hadn’t ever experienced blistering while hiking. He’s hiked the entire AT and never had one. Now he’s in the same position I was in… Well, he’s in the preventative stages, I didn’t quite take the proper care. He’s threaded a needle, now it’s run through the blister so the puncture won’t close up. A drainage port of sorts…. Yet he’s having a problem with it. Tying the knot so it’s in a loop is too tricky for him in the position he’s in, with the one little light we have shining out here.
So I pass on a little bit of hiker friendly. I’m tying the knot of a thread running out someone I’ve barely said a dozen words to’s blistered foot. Why? Because we’re hikers, and that’s what we do.
April 27th – Mid Day – “Hey Ron ! I have an idea…..” Shrek pulls up along side of me as I walk back to the campground. Shrek is a Trail Angel in the Cascade Locks area, he, like all of us, is a character and kind as can be. ” There’s a Railway Museum down in Campo that I want to go check out. I did some work on one of the cars down there, and I thought, since your name is ‘Train’ you might want to take a dress photo on an actual train.”
I pondered it, and figured, “what the hell”…. My love of trains is simple…. I want one to live in. Caboose, Club Car… I don’t care, I just think it’d be cool, and plenty big for me… But it’s just a dream. SHrek’s involvement in volunteering through the years allowed us to walk through train cars that are behind the scenes and off limits. Walking through such untouched history was fantastic. So many aspects of these cars in the last stages of decay, yet beautiful all the same.
As time grew short I found the spot I wanted a photo. The problem; the families entering and exiting the building ahead. But quick as a flash, I had the camera set up, the dress out, on and up to the train… Snap Snap Snap… Ten shots. I hope one turned out… It looks like it did! now get me out of this gown and let’s get out of here…. Just that fast.
April 29 – early Morning – I’m not at liberty to tell the tale. But four men sitting together. One telling a tale of love lost and found long ago. Tears streaming from his eyes in an unexpected display, honoring and reliving a pinacle moment…. More than one cried. I didn’t notice that my eyes had welled up until the tear reached my cheek.
April 26-29 – ProDeal, a documentary film maker, keeps going back to what I first had told him, and continued to repeat… He doesn’t think the story is necessarily in the dresses, it’s in that which I keep explaining when I hold up my thumb and forefinger. “But it’s just little me. With Issues”
April 27 – Condor. Jester. Half Mile. GottaGo. ProDeal. – Gods to me…. and they all signed my gown, and some of them even wanted to hang. =-)
APril 28 – 8 p.m. Overwhelming sense of loneliness. Why does this keep creeping up? It’s time to get back to the trail.
April 29th – 6:30 a.m. Up and out for breakfast, but first – The campground is half empty. More than a hundred thru-hikers, all starting here, have left the boundary of the campground to the trail beside… the trail of the Pacific Crest. They march forward as a man stands under a tree in the dew covered grass, overlooking a glistening field. From here he plays his bagpipes into the crisp morning air.
Just prior to leaving for the border, I received and shared with you a nomination for the Contemporary NW Art Exhibition Awards. I pondered over what to do with this nomination, as there wouldn’t be a huge rush or pressure while I was hiking the PCT, but there were a few other issues surrounding my decision and ability to accept.
I was concerned accepting the Nomination would turn the hike into work. I’ve never considered myself an artist until the later months of this project, when my focus was fully on the hike, and less on the photography. I’ve always intended to get an art shot of each gown on the trail, but the incredible amount of energy it takes to hike quickly left me drained of the ability to be able to put too much in the photo process until I strengthen by body a bit, which could take a month or two on the trail.
The pressure mounted in Idyllwild last week. April 25 was my deadline, I needed to have a resume, Artist Statement, and 20 photos to submit. All of these were in a box with my computer at a Trail Angel’s house on the other side of the mountain. I arrived just in time to accept the nomination, but it would have taken all of my time to resize the photos and do what was necessary to submit, and in turn I woud have had to abandon uploading photos and such for the hike… yadda yadda yadda…
So, long story short. I’ve declined the nomination, and sent the Author a letter of appreciation. This way I can focus on the hike, and not have to worry about what might come, because all in all… I just don’t know what lies in my future… and I like it that way.
Some decisions are hard to make… I’m glad the trail is here to help.
Although I’ve read many accounts of the PCT Experience being more about the people you meet on the trail and the comaradary amongst hikers, I’m blown away by the complete inability to find alone time on this trail. Although it’s only been 3 weeks and 210 miles, I’ve found a pretty typical routine to be true. I hike later and press on, wake up to find those that camped behind me, yet early risers joining me as I’m hitting the trail in the morning. We leap frog all day long, and usually come to camp near water, where everyone else comes to rest. Taking a break on the trail allows those behind you to catch up, Arriving in camp often introduces unknown hikers, and trail towns are just like my home town – A new story of the trail with every person you meet.
It keeps me on my toes and enduces laughter, yet it leaves me anxious and aggrevated. I thought heading out 3 weeks before the big kickoff crowd would give me some time to get moving ahead of the pack. I’ve had a fantastic time with everyone, but it’s draining as well. I hope to find a good balance out here in time and distance. Eventually others will drop out, but those that I’ve met are moving on as I head to Kick-Off. So that means a whole new set of people to leap frog with as I return.
It’s not a complaint, just an observation. I’ve had a FANTASTIC time hiking with Wendy & Matt, Neil was FANTASTIC, and One-Ton left a legend behind that won’t soon pass. WHen I’m hiking with others, I laugh and take breaks. When I’m hiking alone I find myself engrossed in thought and reliving my past. The emotional roller coaster that I’ve been on since the day one is welcome and a clear view of what the next 2400+ miles holds for me… My eyes have watered up over thoughts of inadequacy, friends lost – both recently and past, Sunsets that wow me, happiness for no apparent reason… how the list goes on… But I hope to find more peace than I’ve experienced this far, but there’s plenty of time ahead…
Once again I’m off trail…. If you’re doing the math, I took a day and a half off @ mile 109.6 when I went back to Julian and stayed an extra day to wait out a storm… and I’m glad I did, it was nasty. Then, on day 12 (Wed 4/18) @ mile 168.6, myself and two other hikers found the snow to be too daunting in an area PRIOR to what was rumored to be too dangerous to pass. That turned out to be a 14 mile detour to the amazingly cute town of Idyllwild. The campground was Cheap @ $3/day, and right in the middle of town, but the food, even at the deli counter, was expensive. Eating in trail towns suppliments the calories burned on the trail, but quickly drains the bank acct… I’ll have to be better about money mgmt.
Right now I’m typing this from Palm Springs and have completed 210 miles of the PCT. Tomorrow I head back to the Trail Angels, Ziggy and the Bear’s house, where ‘Sugar Mama Patti Cakes’ will pick me up in style in her VW Bus and we’ll head on down to Lake Morena Camp Ground ( Mile 20 on the PCT ) for ADZPCTKO….
Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off - This is where some 475+ current and past PCT Thru-Hikers will come together to learn tips, talk to gear companies that will be set up there, get water reports and detours (from past year fires, etc), and EAT. We’re all going to be crammed into the campground, and I imagine it’s going to be quite the Circus…. And guess who’ll be the Freak Show Center of Attention…. ???? Surely not the guy in the wedding gown…. Oy. I’ll be wearing the gown I began in (the original dumpster gown) and intend to have everyone sign the train.
I have spent the last week fighting with myself about a backing out at the last minute… For one, I just want to HIKE !!! Two, it’s going to be insanely crowded and that’s NOT what I came out here for, but I’m also pretty darn social and there will be lots that I can learn, if I can focus long enough to hear. Focus… it’s a word I use, but have absolutely no control over utilizing…. I’m guessing I’ll walk away w/o any further knowledge, but at least I’ll say I went.
There’s something REALLY AMAZING about being able to say I scaled an entire mountain range (San Jacinto’s), and I’m one of the few that have done it since the storm two weeks ago…. So maybe I deserve a few days off, but it’s not an easy decision to make. Many people ended up getting turned down for KickOff once they reached campground capacity, so I’ll go and enjoy myself for all it’s worth…
SO…. once again, I’m off trail, and will not return until, what I expect to be Monday @ the 210 mile marker, where I forge on in Gown No.3 – ‘Shannon’s Gown’. It has the longest Train of all of them, and is quite heavy, so it’s going a short 60 miles to Big Bear Lake with me, but this is nestled in another mountain range, so it’s not going to be any easier, especially as I continue to cross desert heat before I begin climbing.
I just wanted to explain the down time, in case you’re wondering why I’m always stopping. Service is TERRIBLE when I’m out of towns, so I don’t get to update as often as I had hoped, although I do get a photo texted to my WONDERFUL Sister Anna, as well as a report, so she can pass it on to you. I’m incredibly lucky to have someone like her to help me out, and I’m so glad she’s a part of this… So, if you would, thank her next time she updates on Facebook….
More to come, Hoping to get more photos and videos uploaded to my Flickr Acct before I leave for KickOff….
Thanks again for paying attention, as well as supporting me, and don’t forget, you can help out by spreading the word, or buying a T-shirt … It all helps and is INCREDIBLY Appreciated. =-)