What Zero’s are For

Monday May 2nd, 2016 9:07pm, at my Mom’s house in Twin Oaks, Ca.

I should be getting into bed right now, but instead I am sitting at the kitchen table at my Mom’s house, eating (what a surprise) the most insane Chocolate Mousse Cake and having a glass of wine, afer eating a dinner that I can really say I was in LOVE with, all made on the BBQ grill ouside: Salmon, Portobello Mushroom, Corn on the Cobb and Pasilla Peppers all drizzled with a touch of Olive Oil, Sea Salt and fresh lemon. Ah-Mazing!

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I spent an hour and a half writing a blog earlier this afternoon which subsequently got completely erased with just the touch of my hand. I don’t know how this works, but it is real, and so I am attempting to re-write this blog, which I do not have any hopes of it turning out the same as before. Ha! It’s something to laugh at, I suppose.

I left off at the wind farms in Mojave last Thursday, where I slept behind a large sage bush to get out of the wind. I failed to mention what I ate for dinner that night, which was one of my home-made, dehydrated meals: quinoa, black beans, purple cabbage and peppers, to which I added coconut oil and sea salt. Indeed delicious and nutritious!

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How I cherish the ability to eat in my tent! Gone are those days starting tomorrow when we enter the lower end of “bear country”.  But before I get to that, here is a summary of the past three days:

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Friday, I was tired, probably from doing 24 miles the day before, and probably also from all the wind. I stopped mid morning to stretch my tight body and take a break from the still intensely blowing wind, by taking refuge behind a JuniperTree and doing some Yoga.

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To my great surprise, Coyote and Wylie appeared out of nowhere and joined us on the morning hike! It was great to re-unite with them and hear about their recent adventures, since we parted ways all the way back in Bid Bear on that fateful snowy day when Coyote bestowed the name Mary Poppins to me.

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The afternoon required that we take on a bit of a climb, nothing crazy, just a big change from the flat ground we had been walking on for the past two days. Since I was feeling tired and deided to honor that, I took it a little more slowly and found myself walking solo through these dry, spartan, barren, and did I mention dry ? hills. As I approached a long descent into a gully I heard a voice from afar, it’s source which I finally located, was coming from across a giant ravine, where the trail first dropped into and then ascended in giant switchbacks across the way. If you look verrrrrry carefully, you can see a hiker on the trail in the bottom left switchback of the photo here, that is Wildfire:

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On the way up that climb myself, I ran into some shady characters:

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This horney toad is for you Dad:

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….and when I finally made it to the top of the climb, there was a great campsite complete with a Trail Magic water cache, chairs and an unofficial trail register, not to mention all my hiker friends taking a break. Jupka with a three pound bag of M & M’s sat leisurely in one of the chairs, reading, as if he had been there all day.

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We were then 5 hikers, including me, along with Wildfire, Camel Back, Kathy and Jubka, with Adventure Chicken and MP3 on the road taking care of some medical things and doleing out trail magic. I invited everyone in our group to join me at my Mom’s house for the following two days for some rest and relaxation. Two days is a lot for hikers to take off trail, but sometimes I think it is really worth it, and we definitely took full advantage of the gifts offered by our gracious hosts.

We made it to Tehachapi on Saturday by noon where my Mom and Todd picked us up and took us to tow, first straight to Starbucks, then Puzza and finally the dupermarket. There is nothing quite like having your Mom or Dad meet you out on trail and swoop you up, up and off to the land of comfort, love, food and safety.

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Out on trail we sacrifice these things every day, and while we get used to it, we learn a much deeper appreciation for these basic, yet completely essential things. I felt excited and honored to share my “home” with my new friends, so off we went into the hills of the Paiute Mountains.

Over these past two days, We had a blast, soaking our aching muscles in the warmth of the hot tub:

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and warming our hearts by the fire:

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going for a horseback ride that got cut short by a big thunderstorm:

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and scouting around the land nearby for old sacred sites of the Native Americans where they ground acorns into rocks at gossip circles or painted the story of creation on their cave ceilings:

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We clambored over anciant rocks on the hillside as the sun set:

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and we shared many a wonderful meals, which nourished body and soul:

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It’s been a fantastic couple of days “off trail” and I want to say a heartfelt “Thank You” to Jeannie and Todd for hosting us, for letting us take over your home and turn it into our own hiker heaven. We are all refreshed, well-fed, rested, “clean” and dare I say: READY to get back on the PCT and continue the journey. This hike is truly a microcosm of life, you attract what you put out, you give and you receive, you suffer and you smile, you make friends and you leave one another, and hopefully you re-unite,  but the Trail and the Universe always provide exactly what you can handle and what you need. At the end of the day, every day, I know I can say, we are all so blessed to just BE on this journey, and with open hearts we press on to see what awaits us next, for we still have over 2,000 miles to go!
“Happy Trails” from Mary Poppins~

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