Day 147 – Last Marker

It’s been about two weeks of weird anxiety of an evening – thinking I’m gonna go to sleep and then something’s gonna happen in the middle of the night. A grizzly is gonna slash into my tent and eat me, or I’m gonna get hypothermia in my -3F bag, or a coyote is gonna tear my face off as I get up to pee – whatever it is, it means I’m not gonna finish my hike. And whatever form it takes, I’m super over it. Luckily, I wake up feeling super refreshed– although it is midnight, so I don’t know that I’m gonna get that far right now. Oh well. Continue reading

Day 146 – Frogger

In the middle of the night, the boys all come home, chuckling cackling howling whooping. I’m affectionately annoyed; “Thus, though we cannot make our sun / Stand still, yet we will make him run”1 and all that, but also I was trying to sleep. I knew it was coming, it was one of the reasons I stayed up as late as I already did, but alas. Here I am. Awake, with a loud sleeping pad2. The next thing I know, though, my alarm’s going off and it’s around 5:50. Well then. Good morning, I suppose. Continue reading

Day 145 – Stuck in the Sunshine

I’m up early this morning, but there’s literally no rush; the bus to Stehekin isn’t supposed to arrive until 9:15, from what I can tell, although it leaves Stehekin Landing at 8:15. So I get comfy on my sleeping pad, look at maps, plan out the next four days. Even with the lower mileage of the past section, it looks like it’s only going to be four more days on trail. Wow. All this time, and I’m down to four more days. Better make the best of it.  Continue reading

Interlude: Well, That Happened.

It seems that Donald Trump was just sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Well then.

I’ve seen a lot of posts to the tune of “this can’t be happening”/”this can’t be real”/”this must be a bad dream” after the election and in the weeks since, particularly given the influx of cabinet appointments of people who are either unqualified or have incredible conflicts of interest.

Y’all. This is happening. This is real. This is not a bad dream.

But you’re right in feeling that something’s not right. It’s not right that Congress has made it easier to transfer public lands to states, and easier for states to sell those public lands to private interests. It’s not right that Congress wants to make it harder for federal agencies to do anything about climate change or to classify species as endangered, regardless of what scientists have to say about either matter. It’s not right that Congress wants to gut the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and make it harder for similar laws – that protect all of us and our public spaces – to get on the books. As people who enjoy our outdoor public spaces, none of this should feel right.

But as today and tomorrow are days of action around the country, today I’m going to focus on concrete action. Here are some things you can do to try to protect our wild spaces:

Continue reading

Day 122 – Poisonous and Venomous

I wake several times in the night to particularly loud droplets splattering on my rain fly and the snores of my compatriots. Once, I even think I hear something moving out there, and when I fall back asleep I continue a murder mystery dream I’ve been having on and off again on trail where my two next door neighbors die and I look culpable. I wake up at 6 and peer out, happy to hear Zippee’s call and Sleepy’s response about the dark and the cold and the wet. We hold out as long as we can before it starts to get ridiculous, and I’m out and moving by 7:45. Continue reading

Day 97 – Harshing the Vibe

I’m pretty sure my sleep is the inverse of my sleep in Mount Shasta. I have to pee in the middle of the night, but I don’t want to get up, and then I realize that I, in fact, have to get up if I don’t want to pee in my bag. It’s the first time I’ve had to get up to pee in the night in 97 days, and I feel like it’s the end of an era. I’m a little worried that whatever it was that roared earlier is going to come for the tender flesh of my ass, but I make it back into my tent with ass intact. I do have nightmares for the rest of the evening, though, and by the time I wake up, I’m pretty sure I’ve had fewer than four hours of restful sleep. Nrrf. Still, I’m moving by 6. Continue reading

Day 92 – The Kindness of Strangers

This morning, it’s a little bit of sleeping in – the plan isn’t to make miles so much as it is to make sure Pineapple and I get our Burney resupply done. We’re about 3 miles out from Highway 89 – supposedly the less-populated of the two roads into Burney – and I’m anxious to get there already, since I’m pretty worried about getting a hitch. Hopefully it goes smoother than I think it will. Hopefully. Continue reading

Interlude: Late Nights, Long Days

I’ll admit that I kind of avoided talking about election season while it was going on. It was hard for me to keep up, honestly – I was kind of dealing with my own shit, dealing with the slow, inexorable decline of my endorphins, my dopamine, my seratonin, as I started to spend my days hunched in front of a computer instead of confidently striding down a trail. I mean, I kept up as best as I could while taking care of myself, but truth be told that was hardly better than it was while I was on the trail. I’d come into the living room to Spesh watching The Daily Show or @midnight and I’d get a few pieces here and there. I’d get on the book of many faces and see various articles that people had posted. That sort of thing. I didn’t hear much outside of my algorithm-induced echo chamber, but I knew, despite what I was hearing, that we were staring down the barrel of a potential Trump presidency. Continue reading