It’s official. My trail name is Otherworld. The past week has been both amazing and challenging. I skipped about 200 miles from Idyllwild to Agua Dulce to make it to the Sierra’s on time since I repeatedly had to get off the trail for school. I began last thursday afternoon one week ago in a hot, deserty, small town with huge, loud electricity things that made me feel like I was going to get cancer if I stood beneath them for too long. That evening turned out to be so much more beautiful than I expected. I climbed with other hikers as the sun began setting. The hills were multi-colored due to recent fires. The colors of the sun setting, the yellow grasses, and the matilijah poppies were out of this world. I hiked into the night and camped by myself near a water cache. The trail lead me through, around, up, and down beautiful chaparral covered hills in the Angeles National Forest. I saw deer, lizards, snakes, and brightly colored birds. I hiked mostly alone but made friends at water caches and in camp. As I descended out of the forest back down onto the desert floor, the land opened up into a big tan landscape covered in thousands of eery windmills. Now I’ve been hiking through those windmills for 4 days and the wind in the valley got up to 60 miles per hour, and I felt straight out of a movie, with my clothes blowing back, my body leaning forward against the wind, and just being totally thrown around with every step I took. I am in Mojave now and am greatful for a motel room that keeps the wind out. My body is not very happy with the trail food, but it will have to get used to it. My feet are okay, but these new shoes are too small now that my feet have been swelling and the insoles I had in them caused serious blisters on my toes and in my arch so I’ve been hiking without them… I’m in town now and have lots of errands to run. I wouldn’t say Mojave is a very wonderful place, but at least I get a break before the long trek to Kennedy Meadows, 144 miles which will take me approximately 8-9 days. I’m hiking 17-20 miles a day and I am doing well. I am challenged and at times I yell at the wind, but the wind always wins. I’m getting into my groove and I’m feeling good. I will update when I get to Kennedy Meadows in a week and a half. Peace!