I almost forgot the token video! Get out your violin. My food is in a tree.

Prepare for the most pathetic 1:27 minutes of my hike. I forgot I had filmed it until today and about died watching how whiny, cold, and wet I was…and obviously wanted my coffee.

I knew I was safe and ok, but geeeesh. Give that girl some cheese.

Rest of days: 11-24

I know, I know…I got way behind in my post-toe-drama. And honestly I loved being off-grid.

The toe-visit: My beastie retrieved me after two days of trying to heal on my own, dragged me kicking and screaming out of the woods (cough *cabin*) to Valley Urgent Care, where I tried to convince a PA that I was perfectly sane, duct tape was acceptable medical care, and could he please just save my toes. He had a PA student with him who failed to see any humor in my hilarity. So when he decide to cauterize through my-infected detached toenails hanging on by skin only- I was confused, but figured he was the pro, not me. I asked if he was going to knock me out and he actually laughed.  THAT WAS NOT A JOKE THAT TIME! Geesh.  Anyhow, no sedative, NO anesthetic, topical or local. Nope, None.

*warning, I’m going to cuss*

He burned through my first toenail into my oozing swollen toe, and I almost threw up it hurt so bad. I pulled my foot back, and the PA assistant, a pasty blonde girl/kid that wouldn’t crack a smile, looked over and said in the most condescending voice: “You shouldn’t move your foot back, it can get burned worse”.

Now…have you seen the Exorcist? You know when her head turns all the way around and a demon voice comes out…ok, so normally super-nice, funny, perky me did just that that. “Did you SERIOUSLY just FUCKING say that to ME?! You don’t talk to people like that!!”

She did not make eye contact with me for the rest of the visit. I did apologize on the way out for swearing, but did remind her empathy can go a long way.

Now that I am already in semi-shock, he did another toenail, the bad one, and tried to make me feel better by giving me the cauterizing weapon, I mean tool. Just for the record, my Dad (72) wanted it to work on nano-particles or something so I gave it to him.

I was given antibiotics and told to not let anything touch my toes until they were healed.

Me ” But, I want to finish hiking”

Him ” As long as nothing touches your toes”

Me ” So wrap them in duct-tape?”

Him looking at me blankly ” No, that would be touching them”.

Me ” What about hiking sandals”

Him  *glowers a little*

Me ” Listen, I am fine with the pain, just tell me what to do to not lose my toes”

Him ” Stop doing surgery on the trail with duct tape”

Me “I’m going to go buy sandals then”

Good day to you. And I went and bought some Tevas!!

After two/ten days on antibiotics, I packed everything back up and went back up into the woods. I knew I couldn’t hike much, but I could still commune with nature and make fires. I dragged my beastie up with me, and we actually ran into some hikers we had previously met who were skirting some health conditions and weather/trail concerns. I spent a few nights by myself and near the end of my trip with my toes as healed as they were going to get before I left, I went back onto the PCT and completed another small section I had intended to cover.

During conversations with other hikers, it came up (when I had to take my meds with green fuzzy water) that I have a (non dramatic) heart condition that makes my heart beat fast if I don’t stay drugged up every 8 hours. So my trail name became ” Hummingbird”. It was funny because the next day when I went into convalescent care in the cabin, my friend pointed out the hummingbird stained glass over the sink. Haha, nice.  Now of course I was anti-trail-name, but when you are with a group of people all making fun of your own experience and they give you a trail name, it is bonding and sweet. I will totally dump it next year for a non congenital-defected trail-name, LOLOLOL.

In summary for this year’s attempt, my first and definitely not my last:

I had the time of my life. I cannot WAIT to go again and complete all of section B at least, and maybe with a Fellowship, er…I mean some hiker buddies (at least to meet up and camp and be scared of bears together).  I did exactly what I set out to do, and learned what I needed to learn. I have a lot of adjustments to make in gear and preparation for next time. Let the countdown begin, again.

Saying goodbye to the mountains I walked through.

My Beastie who became a trail angel to many!

Beastie and I decided after a few drinks to roast baby Goudas. They melt.

Dammit. Can’t get enough of this. I’m in love with this trail.

When you forget your trekking pole.

What DEET does to Big Agnes 😦

Room with a view.

Medicine for my toes. Oral dose.

My very own cauterization tool.




A mini-sappy-awwww update

In countdown mode and my last full day at work. One of my many blessings is that in 30 days I will come back to a life and a job I love. I’m not trying to escape anything, I’m just taking breather. A few close colleagues surprised me today with a gift, and unless they ever check this will not know how much it truly means. Thank you isn’t enough. Here is what they gave me:

  1. Curiosity and encouragement and of course advice on staying warm. ❤
  2. Nutrition-I had to promise to wait to eat it till I’m on the trail, hehe.
  3. Someone obviously researched hiker food! Stuff so nice I wouldn’t even buy it for myself.
  4. A pretty bag with my name, handmade-which always makes me happy.
  5. Post-its I will carry with me as reminders.

Yeah, I have an excellent life, and excellent snacks. Excellent.






List of lists, logistics, and fooood.

Building the base calories. Or a pyramid.

I have my ticket, my dates, and transportation! I want to give a huge shout-out to my own personal Trail Angel Katrina: 35 years of friendship and didn’t even blink when I told her my drop-off was 85 miles away. She understands fully the desire to be lost in the woods.

The plan, Stan:  I am flying in to Medford on June 13th, and will spend a few days prepping my resupply boxes and grabbing the last few gear items, snacks, etc. I get to stay with my Dad and most likely drive him nuts with my excitement.  I plan to be on the ground running from Seiad Valley, California mid June, depending on schedules and then arrive at the Crater Lake endpoint 20 days later (ish). **List One-supply shopping in town

That has me doing 200 miles, including off-trail resupplies. OMGOMGOMG. I will add my resupply points and itinerary later, but I left it all upstairs and grabbed a glass of wine, so I cannot be bothered to go back up and get it right now. **List Two-maildrops, campsites


The food planning is hilarious. Since I am not spending 6 months out there or pushing 20 mile days, I am not worried about caloric deficit. Face it, I am not undernourished to begin with. I am setting my dailies for 2000 calories, and will adjust accordingly. If I drop a few pounds I will not lament. The expensive part is the dehydrated food, so I will stick to one food pack a day and augment the rest with the basic hiker fare: peanut butter, tortillas, tuna, meal bars, candy, granola bars, and anything else I remember from the endless lists of suggestions. I may never poop again. **List Three-meal plan by day

What is in a resupply box: Since I cannot carry 20 days worth of food, and there are no towns past Ashland that have a grocery store, I send a box to places wthat accept hiker maildrops. I will send food, coffee, hygiene stuff, and maps for the next section. My maps are laminated and a bit heavy. Thru hikers (who do all 2600+ miles) sent about a half-million of these boxes, and it is a crazy sight to see. I can’t wait.

Over the next few days there will be a VERY (inside) dry run of my gear and how to repack, and also test my water filter system. I will also explain pictorially  why I will not camp outside in Hawaii.



Life Happens Fast: Adjust Accordingly

First I was going to take the month of June and do Seiad Valley to Crater Lake, which gives me a good 200+ miles. I couldn’t quite figure out how to get from Medford (where I will fly into) to that far down, and I am not into hitching and Greyhound goes nowhere near it sooo, flash forward:

My Dad lives in Medford, and almost all of my friends from childhood, so I figure I will start near Ashland, continue to Crater Lake, and if I am making good time…schlep up to Diamond Lake.  I haven’t yet tried to rope my childhood best friend into picking me up, or perhaps meeting me and camping for a few nights at the end…but I will link her to this post and surprise her.

My timeline was the last week of May through June, but life has  lobbed a curve-ball in my direction, so I may need to adjust the timeline just slightly. I plan to go slow and enjoy

pricing vital gear

every detail. I am not trying to pound out miles, but instead give a good shakedown of my gear, make notes, befriend wild creatures, listen to my body, listen to the forest, and decide if my grand goal is to do the whole 2600 miles in the next few years. And of course overshare everything with photos and witty captions.


So if anyone is magically going to Seiad Valley in June from Southern Oregon, hit me up. I will also get the last few pieces of gear when I am in the valley. I am Amazon exhausted…a term I created, just now.


Breaking it Down-Feral vs Wild

Q: Have you seen that movie Wild?

A: Yes, yes I have. Since every time I mention hiking the PCT (starting years ago) I get asked that question, I figured I should go ahead and watch it. Loved the outdoor shots, but I do not have a sensational story or demons to wrestle with. I just look forward to taking a really long walk.

There, got that out of the way. Whew. Moving on.  For those of you who know me, I grew up in the woods and mountains, and for my friends and I this was out backyard and playground. We were feral, dirty, little wildlings that feared nothing and explored everything without the trepidation that hinders us as adults. The worse thing that ever happened was Poison Oak, and even then we wore it like a badge of honor; whose eyes were the puffiest and how many little girls can you fit into one oatmeal bath?

Fast forward to now, my life in Hawaii and as much as the ocean is my solace and home, I do long for the challenge, physical and mental, of being alone in the outdoors for a ridiculous amount of time.  Since I am not in a place right now to take six months of leave from my job, I have honed it down to one month and two trail sections. The following posts will detail plans and gear for  gear-junkies and fellow PCTers.  Unless of course I can figure out how to make fancy links.


So here is post #1, scattered and succinct. Had to start somewhere.

Terra (no trail name yet) <<<others have to pick that for you.