Here’s a little tidbit you should know. There are two different kinds of PCTers – section hikers, those that hike sections of the PCT a little bit at a time, and then thru hikers, those that are hiking from the Mexico border in Campo all the way to the Washington/Canada border. PCTers also get dubbed trail names – these names are bestowed upon hikers usually because of some quirk or story they have to share. For instance, we met a hiker on this trip and her trail name was “Bacon Bit” for the reason that she had been a vegetarian for 15 years prior to starting her hike on the PCT and now eats meet and has found a great appreciate for bacon.
My trail name is “Poser.” And there’s a story behind that. This was not my first rodeo, I had been on trips in the past, but as my knowledge about gear has grown I have traded out old gear for new. I have been acquiring gear over the past couple years, but recently had a birthday where I was given some money toward gear at REI. So a few weekends ago my dad and I went to REI in Eastlake and I loaded up (it was REI’s big anniversary sale and all) – we’re talking black diamond trekking poles, Marmot floppy hat, Injinji socks, SteriPen (for treating water), hiking pants, shirt, and base layers. I had also returned my old pack (too heavy at base weight) and exchanged it for the GoLite Jam that I had yet to use. So here I am laying out all my gear (most of it still with tags on it) and I said, “Gosh I feel like such a Poser!”… and it stuck from there.
This trip I am hiking with my good friend Grant (trail name: Silly Chili), his dad, Dan (trail name: doesn’t really go by one) and Grant’s mom, Christy, (trail name: Rockin’). Rockin’ has been section hiking the PCT for the past couple of summers. This summer will be her third, and likely final summer on the PCT as she is planning on wrapping up the PCT sometime in August.
Sunday May 27, 2012. Starting at Inspiration Point (mile 369.5 – I think) to Mile 388 (I think).
Today started early. My alarm clock sounded at 4:20am. I politely pressed the snooze button. Nine minutes later I couldn’t put off the inevitable. I was up and getting all of my gear loaded. At 5:05am the Rosanders and I were leaving their Tehachapi home to embark on a new journey for me, but a rather routine one for them. We were driving into the Angeles National Forest to embark on a two day, 35 mile hike along part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). After what seemed like an eternity, but only three hours later we arrived at our first vehicle drop. We left my car there, which we will use to get back to Rosander’s car where we started our hike.
We started the hike with Silly Chili in the lead and me closely behind. Boy was that about to change. About an hour after our start we hit the trail head for Mt. Baden Powell. This lovely stretch of trial would guide is up about 3,000 feet in just under four miles. Silly and Dan were bombing up this trail like it was no big deal. I on the other hand was ready to throw in the towel at mile marker 2. Somehow I mustered the strength to summit the beast. The view from summit was incredible. It was well worth the journey up.
After eating lunch at the top of Baden Powell we began another leg of today’s journey. I can’t even tell you where or how far we went because it was just a series of up and downs; nothing too technical. We arrived at what initially we had planned for our campsite for the night. Little Jimmy camp ground - however it had been taken over by boy scouts on this Memorial Day weekend. At this point we’d hiked about 15 or 16 miles. Please know that my longest mileage in a single day up until this point was right around 13 miles. So my body was getting tired. I had formed two lovely blisters and my knees were screaming “mercy!” We decided to hike 2 miles down to highway 2, the second time we’d crossed her today.
It is important to interject here that as we continued hiking we came around a corner and there was a bear on the trail about 60-70 feet in front of us! My first actual wild bear citing. It was just drinking from a little stream that passed over the trail. It looked at us for a few moments and then headed up the mountain. Apparently, it was just a youngster, but it looked big enough to me.
The plan was to hike from a trailhead parking lot to the next flat area we found off trail. Well about 2 miles later and another 1000 feet of elevation we finally found one. Well… Silly and Dan found it. My sorry rear end was dragging up this last section something fierce. However, POSER DID IT! HE SUCCEEDED IN COMPLETING HIS FIRST SECTION OF THE PCT!!!!
My body is aching but I’m joyful that I have the opportunity to join Dan, Rockin, and Silly on this adventure. Tomorrow we’ve got about 15 miles back to my car; 4 of which will be on the road due to part of the trial being closed off to protect an endangered frog.
Lately, words cannot express the thought process my mind has been on lately. So many changes, so many prayers, and so many laughs, and a few tears. I recently moved back to Riverside after spending a year in North-Central California. I made some long lasting friendships up there and poured myself into the ministry I was involved in. Leaving was not easy, but I know this is the plan the Lord has for me.
I have been down in Riverside for 2 weeks and I have moved into my new apartment with 2 of my best friends, searched for, interviewed for, and started a new job. I have also started class at CBU for my Masters in Counseling Psychology. Talk about a whirlwind time.
Wednesday, I was made aware that some AMAZING friends of mine are enduring an extremely hard trial in their lives. Katie and Noah are two of the most God-fearing, warm-hearted people I know. On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Katie was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. In just the few days that have passed since finding out this breathtaking news, God has opened doors and brought many people to their knees in awe of His majesty. Most recently Katie was welcomed with red-carpet treatment to the Medical Center at Stanford University. Today she is enduring a biopsy to see what stage the cancer is at. I ask that you please join with me in praying for this amazing woman and her family.
Just when you think you have everything figured it out, it can change in a heartbeat. Don’t take anything for granted. Love.
Checkout this link to read more about Katie and Noah. Please join me in praying for them as well.
I cannot believe these two amazing people are getting marred in 2 days!
Good Morning Friends and Family,
I pray that this Thanksgiving Holiday finds you all blessed abundantly. I know for many, however, this Holiday season has been plagued by plenty of hurt and despair. Some of you have lost family members unexpectedly, been diagnosed with life threatening illness, or have found yourself struggling to stay afloat in a sinking economy.
For many, we are definitely experiencing a time of trial and tribulation that is far beyond many of us have ever had to endure before. That reminds me of one of my favorite passages in Scripture. It’s found in James chapter 1, verses 2-4. “Count it all joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you many be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Now many of you will read this and think to yourself, “I’ve read that a thousand times, and as inspiring as it may be, it does’t actually work that way.” However, I am choosing to stand before you today to tell you otherwise. We are all in place where we are meeting these trials, and this is when we need a Lord and Savior most. This world is temporary and that is a lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way over the past year. My Aunt, who I would venture to say was nothing shy of a hero in my life, was diagnosed with cancer last year on December 18, she lost her battle with cancer on December 22, just four short days later. Her death ROCKED my world. One day she was here and the next she was gone.
You see, we need to put our faith and our hope in Jesus Christ. He is the same from the beginning of time to the end. We can chose to accept Him and spend eternity in Heaven with Him. That is a free gift. Our sin will keep us from the Lord, unless we ask for forgiveness and accept Christ is our Lord and Savior. He died an awful death on the Cross in our place. It is my prayer this Holiday season that you will reach out to the Lord and seek a comfort and unconditional Love that only He can bring.
Give thanks for all that you have been blessed with. If for any reason you feel that you don’t have anything to be thankful I would like to challenge you in that. Be thankful for the breath you are breathing and for knowing that you are loved.
It’s kind of crazy to think about how short our life is. Another crazy thing to think about is the fact that this life is not our own. We are simply on borrowed time on Earth. Lately, I don’t know why, there has been a lot of hurt, anguish, despair, and sadness all mixed with hope and optimism. So much has been happening that I honestly don’t know which direction to turn. I could go on for hours about everything that has been added to the list over the years, but especially recently, however I will spare you from all of that.
I was feeling really bitter about a lot of things today when a friend of mine pointed something out. She gave me some verses to read in Ruth.
"And the women said, "Is this Naomi?"She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?"
You see, Naomi had gone through so much in her life already. Her husband and both of her sons had died within a ten year time frame. In the above Scripture, she is in despair and she is bitter towards God. However, throughout the rest of Ruth there is a beautiful story of restoration. The culmination of Naomi’s story comes about in 4:14…
Then the women (Ruth) said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!”
Even during times we cannot understand the Lord’s plan, He is there. He has means of restoring and redeeming His children. Believe me, I know it is hard to find comfort during difficult times, but God is there.
I am back up in Tuolumne from a quick visit to Riverside. I wish that I could say the visit was just to visit close friends and others that are close to me, however, it was a little bit more pressing than that. My good friend’s father was diagnosed with stage IV Esophageal Cancer that has metastasized and is now in his liver and bones. My goal in going down to Riverside was to spend time with Kyle and hopefully help take his mind off of things. However, I think it was more that Kyle helped take my mind off of things more than vice versa. The faith that Kyle and his family have in the Lord has not been shaken by the latest turn of events. I admire them for that and found myself encouraged immensely. Mark endured his first Chemo treatment yesterday and has already shown signs of improvement. Whether that is the Chemo or our prayers being answered, or a combination of both, we are thankful nonetheless. Please continue to join us in our prayer efforts and support for this family. Thank you.
Kyle with his family. May 2010.