Saturday, September 10, 2016

Day 130- Something New

Sept 09, 2016
FS Road 68(2184.6) to Unpaved Jeep Rd(2212.6) 28 Miles 
Total up/down: +4,688/-3,190 feet

I'm not exactly sure when I lost my will to get up early. It seems like every morning I'm getting up later. I can't even blame it on not hearing my alarm go off. I heard it alright, I just didn't care. I had planned on hiking thirty-two miles today, but since I didn't leave camp until seven-thirty I knew that that wasn't going to happen. I have done the math and as long as I average nineteen miles per day I will finish by October third. I would like to finish before then, but the third is my finish no later than date. Maybe that has something to do with my later starts. It could also have something to do with the later sunrises. When I wake up at five-thirty it is still dark out, so I go back to sleep. It has been nice the last few days. I haven't felt rushed, like I have to make miles. I have a looser daily plan every day, which means I can take more breaks and I'm enjoying myself more. 

Soon after leaving camp this morning I had a great view of the Cascades. It was also the first time in almost a week that the sun was shining early and the sky was clear instead of foggy. 
Clear skies 

I hiked 4.6 miles before taking my first break. I stopped at mile 2,189.2. This was a significant point for me. Last year it took me 167 days to hike from Georgia to Maine, a total of 2,189.2 miles. I took one extra step after reaching that point. I have now hiked more miles continuously than I ever had before. It was an emotional moment for me. I loved my time on the Appalachian Trail! Looking back on the experience it is easy to gloss over the difficult moments and only remember the good parts. People always ask me what trail I like better. I'm never quite sure how to answer that. Both trails are amazing and have good and bad points. If I was forced to pick one over the other though, I think I'd have to say the AT. I compare the AT to a first love. It is hard to beat first love. It always holds a special place in your heart. Although the views on the PCT are much better. I had planned on making a mile marker for 2,189.2, but in the moment I forgot. 
View of Mount Hood from 2,189.4 

I spent most of the day thinking about my time on the AT. A random day hiker asked me a few days ago what I have learned about myself while thruhiking? I wasn't sure how to respond. After thinking about it for a few days I have come up with a few things. First of all, I am way tougher than I had ever thought. When I am exhausted and my feet are killing me, I some how find a way to keep going. I have learned that it is ok to fail, as long as I have tried my best that is all that matters. I set daily goals for myself and I don't always achieve those goals, but as long as I tried my hardest then that is ok. I have struggled with self confidence for my entire life. When I'm hiking I feel like I am the best version of myself and that gives me confidence. I'm beginning to learn that not everybody is going to like me and want to be my friend and that is ok. I'm still working on being patient and learning to let things go. Hopefully in the next 437 miles I can have that perfected. 

Just before crossing another major milestone, the 2,200 mile mark, I got my first glimpse of Mount Adams. She is another impressive mountain. Immediately after seeing Mount Adams I could see Mount Saint Helens. Most people don't realize that Mount Saint Helens erupted twice in a short period of time. The first and bigger eruption was on May 18, 1980. The second and much smaller eruption occurred on July 22, 1980, the day that I was born. This piece of trivia has always stayed with me. Out of all of Washington's mountains I was the most excited about seeing this one. I hope that in the next few days I will be even closer and have a better view. 
Mount Adams 
Mount Saint Helens

The first half of my day was all about big mountains, but the second half was all about lakes. Shortly after seeing Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Saint Helens in rapid succession I hit the 2,200 mile mark. The marker was already made, but it was hard to see. It blended in with its surroundings too much to get a good picture. I added a little Yoda magic to it, but because of the lighting it still didn't photograph well. 
Hard to see(first time seeing a 2,200 marker)
Yodafied... A new milestone(I've never hiked this far before) 
.3 miles later was a better one 

The next six miles contained a few beautiful lakes. Unfortunately, it was just breezy enough that couldn't go for a swim. The temperature has been dropping by five o'clock and I didn't want to get soaking wet and be cold all night. I did however take a nice long break next to both lakes. 
Blue Lake
Bear Lake

Tonight was the third night in a row that I've had to dry camp. I carried 3 liters for almost six miles. By the time I called it quits for the day my back and shoulders were very sore. Just before making it into camp I got an even closer view of Mt. Adams. I am super close to her now. I was hoping to find a place to camp where I could see the mountain, but the only place that fit the bill was right next to a paved road and trailhead. I try not to camp too close to where random, non thruhikers congregate. I know that tomorrow I'll have more views of it. 
Mt. Adams, again 

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
— Winston Churchill


  1. Your question "when did I lose my will to get up early?" I believe it was July 22nd 1980.

  2. I'm sorry you didn't make a marker for 2189.2. But that may have confuse the newbies. Could see the first 2200 mile marker much better after it was Yodafied. It looked like a beautiful day for a hike and reflections. You are stronger than you think and this hike will make you even more so. Beautiful mountains on a clear day. I received a note fro Evac and Outro the past couple of days. Outro thinks you're a Badass because she hasn't catch up to you. But, I think she may be able to and you can finish together. Get on up and get these last miles done. Missing my beach partner this year!! LY

  3. You're an amazing lady Yoda! Such an inspiration to us all with all your interesting stories and perseverance! Carry on Yoda!!

  4. Being in the outdoors provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect about life and reconnect with who really are. It takes a special person to be a long distance hiker and at the same time truly appreciate the experience. Your blogs have been a delight to read and its been wonderful to be able to follow your journey.

  5. Mt. Rainier will pop up any time now! Enjoy Southern Washington :)

  6. Mt. Rainier will pop up any time now! Enjoy Southern Washington :)

  7. Goals are good targets, 'specially when everything in the environment of the challenge is known. One of the first things a thruhiker learns is that the environment can change in a heartbeat and not always for the better. So you're assessment about doing your best is dead on. The proof is where you are thus far in this amount of time. You have provided an adventure for your fans that most of us could never have otherwise. Probably not one of your original goals but a super big success anyway. And Outro is right, you are Badass. Keep kickin' Far Walker.

    Double G

  8. Congrats on your mileage!
    I agree with the above writer....your blogs about your hikes have impacted so many people....some like me have never met you.....but you have given us so much through your writing, and photos.
    I like reading about your self reflection on the trail. My impression of you is of a very strong, brave, self confident person with admirable charachter. Hike on Yoda! Our positive thoughts are out there with you.
    On a side note...when I saw the Bridge of Gods I remembered it from the end of Wild(I could hear Simon &Garfunkel singing) I guess I didn't know Cheryl didn't complete the trail.
    Can someone tell me what the end of the PCT is? Must you summit a mountain like Katadhin on the AT?
    Sorry I used up so much space :)
    Stay safe and healthy.
    Kathy in NH

  9. I like your thoughts on the AT being like a first love. During the AT you loved those times when you could see the sky...seems on the PCT it is almost constant sky views, so I wondered if the PCT would be more special to you. The "first love" concept explains it well....And, that is what you do...your writing style almost makes our feet hurt. I got a little verklempt with the 2189.2, and DARN IT, I find myself having a second breakfast way too often because of you!
    This has been a wonderful journey. Thank you for taking us along.
    Chris Nashville

  10. Way to go Yoda! What a memorable birthday. Hey mom, how crazy would it be to get transported back to that day and have someone whisper in your ear that your tiny little baby girl would someday be seeing that volcano mountain in person as a pct thru hiker!
    You certainly possess great inner strength Yoda as well as obvious bodily strength, intelligence and stamina. Enjoy your day! Thanks for sharing your hike with us.

  11. Spiders and nasty hotel proprietors ohmy Learning about yourself and letting go
    Shake it off miss Y shake it off.

  12. So basically your birth caused an earthquake! Congrats on passing the AT mile mark, woohoo! And by reading, the PCT seems harder and more intimidating to me.

  13. So glad you use your time communing with nature to self-reflect. Your reflections say a lot about who you are, which is an amazing person. You might possibly be losing motivation because your body is just worn out. You are really pushing it. I am curious about Anonoymous's question as well. Keep on Trekkin ' Yoda. You're almost there.

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