Interactive Route Map

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hiking



If you're reading this you probably know that I'm out hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2650 mile hiking trail from the Mexican to the Canadian border. This is my attempt to update this blog with a degree of excitement. Truth is my days consist of getting up, eating, hiking, eating and sleeping.

I've been out here since June 2nd. I've hiked about 450 miles thus far. I am sunburnt. My feet have huge blisters that are turning into callouss. My body's still adapting to the 25+ mile days. For the most oart, I am happy.

The past few days I've been hiking on the outskirts of the Mohave desert; along aqueducts, wind farms, and an occasional mountain or two. A rattlesnake or a bobcat sighting will enthrall me for a minute or two before I "keep on keepin' on. "

I stayed and met all the major trail angels along the PCT, the people I've been reading and hearing about for years now. Ziggy and the Bear, the Saufleys of Agua Dulce, the Anderson's of Casa de Luna. You've all been amazing and I can't explain how comfortable you guys make us feel in your homes.

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Yesterday I accidentally stepped on the head of a horned frog (actually a lizard i believe) when it ran out in front of my feet. It's eyes bulged out and blood trickled out. It was still moving and I knew I had to kill it. I staked it with my hiking pole and then stomped it out. Over and over. I wanted to end its misery quickly, yet somehow lost control of myself and only stopped when its intestines were on one side of the trail and its tail on the other. I was pretty hysterical at that point; I guess frogs and toads hold a special place in my heart. Even with the sun never surrendering to the seldom cloud the rest of the day had sort of a gloom over it that I just couldn't shake. I didn't muster the appetite for supper that night either.

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The wind has been relentless. You give up at some point to the 40-50mph gusts and just let them have at you. In a way it makes you feel powerful against the elements. I entered the blissful state of "no mind" throughout the day as well. Energy from within swept over me and nothing but the present moment mattered. A state of no pain, no worry and no stress. I was hiking and could feel the Joshua trees. Not just see then, but feel them. I got a rhythm going and was at peace with everything, even the fire ants biting my already sore and sunburnt skin. (It was Hike Naked Day. I do not recommend hiking naked in the desert if you want to sleep that night.) I stopped cutting switchbacks and felt so close to the trail. I often try to prolong these moments by just focusing on the present moment but the "feelings" always find a way back in.

I have 150 miles of hiking left before I hit Kennedy Meadows, the entrance into the sierras, the end to a very long section of trail, & the start of thunderstorms & 10,000 foot mountains.

I'd rather be nowhere else right now though then on the trail in the desert, in my super comfy sleeping bag, watching the stars and eating a poptart.

- BrokenToe.
Photos are public on Facebook:

Facebook.com/wojplata


*Disclaimer: I wasn't high when writing this.