I Want to Touch the Sky

And that’s why I’m celebrating turning 25 by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. You can read more about my adventures over on my Patreon.

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Found my Trail Family

I’ve decided to hike through the Sierras with Enterprise, Paint-peeler, 4-Mil, and Two-Shakes. I met these guys and Bandylegs, the girl they were traveling with, back around mile 144 at a water cache I’d happened to camp at. They then bought me a birthday milkshake and I proceeded to camp with them for 3 of the following 4 evenings.

I know people a week up and down the trail in each direction, and I’ve had the option to join several different trail families, but I’ve settled on traveling with these guys. I was wanting to hike the Sierras with Aardvark (who is called Grace in the normal world, she’s the one I started Trail with back on April 15), but I heard she went down to a doctor in Bakersfield, so I was afraid she’d not get here in time. I came back to the General Store to plan out logistics with the trail family I’ve now chosen to hike with, but then found out she apparently had just gone over to Grumpy Bear’s to find me. I’m hoping she’s planning to hike out tomorrow because then I’ll for sure see her, and can potentially still hike with her. In the meantime, I’m also hiking with some really rad people who I was lucky enough to meet 550ish miles ago.

Finances

www.patreon.com/posts/18867377

I have the opposite experience that most hikers do, thanks to Dave at the Bud Pharm I was able to find temporary work while my feet rested up. Also turned my cookie making prowess into $40 cash plus some other little things that’ll help upgrade my hike. Leaving town with more cash instead of less is a good feeling for sure. Just one more moment where the trail is teaching me that it provides. Just one more experience that makes me just that little bit more confident that of course I’ll make it to Canada.

Big Bear to Wrightwood, a Photo Essay

This was the longest stretch yet between resupplies, yet somehow I made it into Wrightwood with more food than I set out from  Big Bear with. Crazy huh? I got really lucky in the hiker boxes at the Cajon Pass Best Western – 5 whole Mountain House meals!!! That’s over $50 worth of food, and honestly those freeze dried meals are the easiest and tastiest food I get on the trail, so I appreciate them so much.

After walking a marathon into Big Bear and still feeling good, I decided pulling 20s on the regular shouldn’t be that far out of my reach right? I walked 20, then 22, then 20, then 18, then 24 miles to get here, and for the most part I’m feeling strong, but I do know I need to let my body rest after that. Especially after all the climbing that happened on that 24 mile day yesterday.

Luckily I’ve found a farm where I can stay for free, and potentially even work for a day or two. It would be nice to hit the trail again with enough money in my pocket to make sure I can buy my next pair of shoes (that’s not an urgent need though, these shoes I hiked out of Big Bear in are still practically brand new). I don’t want to stay too long because so many of my friends are leaving today, and it’ll be a lot of work to catch up again. If I can maintain these 20 mile days though, hopefully I’ll catch up by the time we get to the next resupply in Agua Dulce.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Huge shoutout to the woman who answered yes to backpacking as a honeymoon trip and then proceeded to raise me half in the woods. You taught me the fine art of the squat pee, which is of course very useful out here. You also made sure my wild backpacking ways were balanced out with theater- my other big passion, so kudos there as well.

You’re a big part of why I’m out here, and I know you wish you could be here too, so I hope you enjoy reading about it and seeing all my photos.

With love from the trails, happy Mother’s Day mom.

Glossary of Trail Speak

In case I start writing words that don’t make sense to you, here’s some of the lingo we use on trail:

thru-hiker: One who hikes the entire length of a trail

Section-hiker: One who hikes sections of a longer trail

Day-hiker: Strange beasts who exist in the woods but actually smell nice. Often yogi-ing has turned out well when encountering these people

Yogi-ing: Lightening the food load of those who carried more than they need – like yogi of yogi and boo-boo fame.

Trail family: a group who happen to be moving at the same pace who hike and camp together, and look out for one another as a family would.

Trail angel: a non-hiker who helps make a thru-hike possible by generously helping provide rides, snacks, drinks etc. They truly are angels.

Trail magic: the snacks, drinks, etc. left by trail angels. Magical moments unlooked for on the trail.

Hiker trash: another term for thru-hiker; we all end up looking and smelling homeless eventually, so this term refers to that phenomenon.

Big Thanks

This is a shoutout to trail angels Rick and Donna who let me sleep in their horse barn last night and then made sure I was well fed before driving me back to the trail this morning. It’s because of the generosity of folks like you guys that I’m able to be out here, so I want you to know how grateful I am.

Thanks,

-Gracetopher “McGuyver” Kirk

Happy Birthday

May 10, 1998 it was Mother’s Day, and to remind us all of that fact two little infants called Daisy and Jonah got to add to our mom’s mom credentials.

Now it’s May 10, 2018, and Daisy and Jonah finally graduate from their teenager selves to being 20-somethings. Or well, they’ll be 20-something’s next year, this year I get to call them 20-nothings because that’s what people called me 5 years ago. 20 years ago today a little 5-year-old me could hold both babies at once (under supervision of course), but now they’re both taller than me and that’s so unfair that I’m leaving civilization right now goodbye good riddance see you in 100 miles when I get to Wrightwood.