Keep hiking!

Wolfman ends all of his comments on my blog with two simple words, ‘Keep hiking’. For the first 12 miles this morning I thought about this brief statement and realised it answers all of my daily questions and concerns. How will I reach the water source by lunchtime? Keep hiking. How will I make it to the post office before the weekend? Keep hiking. How will I make it all the way to Canada? You guessed it, keep hiking!

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This morning when I woke up, I was covered in so much dirt and looked so thin that I could have been mistaken for one on the orphans from the movie Oliver Twist. The hot, dry and dusty stretch with no water meant the dirt had just caked on, and as I sit here writing this from my tent this evening, I’m looking at my filthy feet and limbs thinking nothing much has changed.

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I struggled with my alarm AGAIN this morning and am unimpressed with my failing discipline to get up in the mornings. I guess I should be going to bed MUCH earlier, hopefully I’ll find the right balance again soon. I left camp just after 7am and made good miles this morning while the sun was low and mainly hidden behind the clouds. I was so determined not to stop I tried out the pee break with pack still on manoeuvre which Ladybug said took her some time to master on the trail. I’d say it was successful, but I’m not completely convinced it saved me that much time.

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The trail went through a huge paddock and when I arrived at the first of many gates to pass through, there was a note left by another hiker saying ‘Beware big rattler at gate’. I scoped out the area and couldn’t see any sign of it, but it was only another half an hour down the trail that I came across my own giant rattler. I’m going to have to find myself a new camera operator as the following video shows no sign of the snake, except for the noise of its rattle, however it does focus on some lovely green shrubbery for the majority.

After getting psyched out I decided to bush whack around the trail and ended up getting caught up in the most scratchy bushes imaginable. I actually did a lot more damage to myself than the snake was likely to do from a distance.

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I bumped into Bill again this morning who had 8 miles to hike before hitching into Burney, so I shamelessly asked if he had any additional food at his disposal. This was firstly because I didn’t feel like digging into the bottom of my pack, and secondly because I think I may have eaten a little too much when I had a minor breakdown the other morning. He offered me a packet of crackers and two foil pockets of tuna. The combination was fantastic and I polished off both tuna packs during our 15 minute break.

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I was technically still within the 30 mile stretch with no water (if the cache hadn’t been there), until I reached the reservoir. There was a hole in the water pipe creating a small fountain which I ran under a few times before heading down to the canal for lunch and a break in the shade.

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I wanted to jump into the water and scrub off my filth except there were a few people fishing that I didn’t want to disturb, so I limited the bath to my feet who are suffering the dreaded ol’ blisters again because of the heat. When I left the canal at 13:30 it was stinking hot again. Luckily there was more tree cover than on the ridge, but it didn’t dampen the humidity in the air. Then just before crossing the highway to Burney I saw the best sign of the entire day…

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The mile on the other side of the highway seemed to go forever, and just when I’d almost convinced myself that it must have been an old sign, there it was! There was a register, a camera for self portraits, a cooler full of sodas, water and chocolate, garbage bins, reclining chairs AND phone signal, what more could you ask for?

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I sat in the recliner drinking soda for close to an hour when a golf cart like vehicle showed up and a man and his dog got out. I knew before he introduced himself that he was the trail angel so I said ‘you must be Randy!’ He was indeed, and I told him how impeccable my timing at these caches has been, as I’ve had the chance to meet and thank most of the trail angels in person. He and his wife check on the cache more than once a day and for the lucky hikers coming through this weekend, you may stumble upon a fry up if you’re lucky!

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We chatted while I indulged in my second soda, but as trail karma may have it (I guess it’s a one soda only limit), when I started hiking again my stomach didn’t agree with me. It may have also been the heat, but the last 6 miles to camp were a struggle.

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The campsite I was aiming for was teeming with people and young kids playing volleyball. My legs and feet were too tired to go any further, so I’m tucked away as far as possible from the mayhem and just finished off some dry cous cous and a spiced apple cider. It’s only 10pm, so once I brush my teeth and clean up dinner, I may be asleep before 11pm! Goodnight!

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17 thoughts on “Keep hiking!

  1. So many emotions, wow Muk Muk, thanks for an outstanding first half of the Adventure! I can’t wait to meet you somewhere in Washington, on some mountain pass or some section of the PCT! You my young lady are awesome! Oh yea, how are you going to get to Canada? You know it!

    Keep Hiking!

    • Anyone have a valid password for UB’s spot? I have tried both the new and old with no luck. I am heading up to the PCT on Monday and was going to try to meet him, but I am not sure where he is. Any help and I would be grateful.

  2. Hi Rozanne,

    So many scary experiences you must be getting fearless. You didn’t sound that worried about the rattler, which would have scared me to death. Can’t figure out exactly where you are but I know it is closer to Canada than Mexico so that is good. Great pics,

    Donna

  3. I’m enjoying your blog so much. I save your posts for breakfast so I can read them while sipping my morning coffee, wishing I was out there too. (Most of the time. Not in the waterless or cougar-filled sections.)

  4. Wow Muk Muk! Sounds like you’ve had a few challenges since I saw you in Sierra city. I’m glad you’re safe and still hiking. Girl you rock with your strength and determination! Happy and safe trails!

  5. It was kind of you not to jump in the river out of courtesy to the fishermen. That said, I’m an avid flyfisher, and had it been me at that hole, I wouldn’t have cared a whit! If you fish at a trail all rights to the water are up for negotiation! Now had you whipped out your rod and started casting… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hike on!

  6. Love your updates Muk Muk. I
    Look so forward to them. I read them aloud to my kids,and husband and sometimes our heads are all mashed together because we are all huddled around the IPad watching your latest video. I want to pass along your example of drive and dedication to my kids, and hope to excite them about their own goals in life. Thank you for sharing with us. Greatly appreciated. Stay safe, and YES…Keep on keep in’ on.

    • Wow Nina thank you for this comment. Reading it this afternoon kept me inspired to push to 24 miles! I’m so glad you’re reading it to your kids and I’m able to inspire them through this journey. Thank you!

  7. To the Muk. Thanks so much. I’m 55 work in a cubicle farm and dream of the PCT. I cried a couple times reading your blog because sometime, with a little help from God, I think it may happen before I’m too old. Keep on Truck’n!
    There’s only 2 good (IMO) PCT blogs this year. toots magoots & YOU!

  8. Hi darling, not such a nice encounter with the rattle snake, you got such a scratch to avoid it. Great of trying a new technique of having a pee with your backpack on. Lucky that you didn’t fall over and would have felt like a turtle on its back with arms and legs sprawling around, good balance avoided that. A pity of not having a swim, you were very considerate, but you were spoiled when arriving at Wild Bird Cache, how good was that. I love that photo with your shadow. Keep hiking darling, love Mutti xxoo

  9. Wow your moving so fast, glad to see things are going better along the trail (except for
    the snake on the trail, and no water and no food etc.etc.)
    All of us Tahoe Trampers ladies have been worried about you, but looks like your
    doing great!!! Keep on Trucking and if you get in a jam or need supply box
    shipped ahead or anything we can help with, let me know.
    Ann

  10. I discovered your blog from Trail Designs (got my photo posted eight below yours ๐Ÿ™‚ and was mesmerized by your rattlesnake video. Could hear it loud and clear, and your apprehension was palatable. Yeow. Sorry you get injured in the end. I once came across a rattler in the mountains of Southern California–at night with no moon–and I had nothing but the light from the screen of my smart phone (no flash LED back then). By the way, my friend Swiss Army is a ways behind you, in the neighborhood of Mt. Shasta. Great blog. Love your videos.

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