Miles 109-178

After a long drive to North County to pick up my new travelin’ flute, we headed east back to Warner Springs so that I could continue right where I had left off the week before. My legs always start to whine a little bit when they know I’m getting back on the trail, but it doesn’t take long for them to get back into the groove. On the way to the trail head I saw lots of other hikers along the road which pleased me because I knew I wouldn’t be alone. Not sure why but knowing people are behind you and ahead of you gives you a sense of peace of mind. When I’m not sure if anyone is around I feel alone and vulnerable – which is something I should probably overcome. I came into this independently and did not expect to be relying on the safety of having others around, although it is nice. On this whole trip so far I have not spent a single night alone on the trail… I’d actually like to have the opportunity to do that, but it hasn’t arisen. Anyway, so we picked up a couple hikers and drove them to the community center so they didn’t have to walk on the nasty asphalt (which I’ve learned is very painful for thru-hiking feet). I hit the trail and saw some familiar faces on the way but happily hiked along by myself. I started out real strong but started to teeter off on the uphill into the foothills of the San Jacinto mountains. It was exposed, very little shade and once again I have the urgency to always keep going – which really tires me out by the end of the day. I am still developing an efficient process for each day – get up early, eat, pack and hit the trail before the sun hits it first (very hard for me – I take forever to do everything). Then, taking well-deserved rests throughout the day, feeding myself when I am hungry, and taking care of hot spots on my feet before they become blisters. I have managed that pretty well as I only have had 2 so far! It’s all a learning process and I’m sure I will get it down in time – especially now that beginning next week I will be on the trail for the rest of the summer, none of this escaping back to home weekly. Finally I am really “kicking off” and gettin the hell outta here! Anyway, I’m having trouble sticking to one line of thought – so I hiked all that day till I was pooped and stayed at Trail Angel Mikes cabin with lots of other hikers where we were fed and slept comfortably in cots. A storm was brewing the next day and after hiking all day, had to run for shelter around 4pm because it was raining buckets and lots of thunder and lightening – it was sooo cool! I was so content and warm inside my lovely tent. I really like it in there, sometimes I’m like… a bed? Well, I think I’d rather sleep on the ground in my tent. 🙂 The days are still long. I hike about 15-20 miles a day and I am still hiking through hot, exposed, desert-like hills. I am very excited to get into some mountains with trees! I did get a little break in Idyllwild where I camped with other hikers and ran into more familiar faces. On Saturday, my love Brian drove up and got us a cabin to stay in and we spent the day enjoying the town together before he drove me home on Sunday afternoon. Here are some photo’s of where I have been thus far…

IMG_0389 IMG_0398 IMG_0401 IMG_0402 IMG_0408 IMG_0410 IMG_0414 IMG_0422 IMG_0426 IMG_0440 IMG_0441 IMG_0443 IMG_0445 IMG_0472 IMG_0474 IMG_0479 IMG_0484 IMG_0486 IMG_0489 IMG_0507 IMG_0529

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