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Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report

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Offline sydneybvk

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Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« on: December 08, 2017, 11:42:27 AM »
Sorry itís taken me so long to post this! Iím making it concise, so if you have any questions feel free to ask!

11/18 - I got to the visitors center and registered/for my permit. I felt like the lady helping me was trying to discourage me from doing it. I was pretty upset and that point, especially because I felt I was being judged as silly and incapable to do it alone because of my gender. Iím not certain thatís why, but thatís what i thought at least. My friends also commented on how unfriendly she was to me. I had planned on 8L of water,  but after her discouraging comments, decided on 10....

11-19 - I got started with my heavy ass pack and the trail up pinnacles was just fine, as usual. I didnít have any problems until the juniper canyon trail. It was very overgrown and there were lots of loose rocks, which made the descent a bit difficult. I get my ankle a few times, but nothing too serious. I didnít get water at the creek because I didnít want to get off course and walk even more. The sun started getting hot and i was seeing what seemed like the mountain s moving. I lost a water bottle and half the water in it wen going to sit down in the shade. At that point, I was hot, irritated, and my legs were battered (or so I thought) from all the spines and pokey plants. Isst down to listen to some Randy Rogers and cool down. A few minutes later, the first people I had seen in hours passed my by. They were also doing the trail, but in two days - wtf!! Their presence motivated me to keep going all the way to the Dodson, which wasnít too far off. It was about 4:30 when I decided to pitch my tent somewhere in the desert, but low and behold, a wind storm came my way, making my tent pitching impossible!!! I was pissed, to say the least. I grabbed all my stuff and went to the bear box at the juniper canyon/Dodson intersection because I thought the few trees there would shelter me from the wind. Nope. I assembled my tent as best as i could, in quite a mood, and went inside, ready to quit. I didnít leave my tent once that night, although I did poke my head out to shout obscenities at the wind. I was so miserable that I decided to turn around the next morning.

11/20 - I packed up my gear, ate a sad oatmeal, watched the beautiful sky, and turned back around to go up the juniper (which I was dreading after the descent from the day before). Then I ran into a lovey group from Houston, and we laughed about the wind and how we suffered the night before. I decided then to tag along with them and continue the trail. Day two was the easiest I thought. There was a lot of up and down, basically all day, but I liked it the most. Probably because of my company and hot ramen for lunch. It did feel like a very long day however. We met a few people along the way, and after hours and hours, we got to the ranch. My Houston friends departed because one of them was not in a shape to continue, so I tagged along with another group of people I met. We camped along the dry creek bed, this time with no horrible wind storm. I had a snickers bar, washed my face, and got Into bed. By this point, i smelled so bad that o couldnít even keep my face tucked inside my mummy bag hahah! (No deodorant, same coutfit for the three days)....my toenails were black and In so much pain, as well as my hip flexor and knee,  but I was glad to not have quit after all.

11/21 - this last day felt I credibly hard. It was probably because my body was more exhausted than it had ever been, and any body part that had hurt the day before was in even more pain. We saw a lot of bear scat on the trail, which was difficult to follow because it was in a washed out creek with gravel that felt as heavy on the feet  as walking in sand. The hardest part was the ascent. Man, it felt like it was never going to end. But it did, and I could have cried with relief when I hit the Laguna meadows trailhead! The remaining three miles were down hill, and all I could think about were the burger and wings I was going to eat at the restaurant. I made it down, exhilarated and exhausted, after being miserable for two days. And I got myself my burger, wings, fries, and a salad! I stank so badly though that people stood far behind me in line at the store hahah! And unfortunately, the rude lady that discouraged me wasnít st the office for me to say ďI told you soĒ to!

It was definitely much much harder than I had anticipated, and I didnít need as much water as I had taken because there were plenty of leftover jugs in the bear boxes. And I took way more food than I even wanted to eat. Also, next time Iím going to just stuff my tent and sleeping bag I to my pack instead of having them neatly stored in their stuff sacks. I think itíll save room in my pack, which will help me pack it better and keep me from looking like a hobo (see pictures below lol!). I was also the only one that packed out an empty water container from the bearboxes. Maybe next time Iíll leave it in there like the others. I just didnít want to mess with my trail karma by breaking the rules!!
Like I said, let me know if you have questions!

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Offline dprather

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 11:59:03 AM »
 :great: :great: :great: :great: :great:WAY TO GO :great: :great: :great: :great: :great:

Did I mention  :great: :great: :great: :great: :great:??!!??

Did I mention AWESOME!!??!!

Your experiences at the front-end desk are typical.  I have come to the conclusion that they do want to discourage the "discouragable" so that they don't have to go out and scrape defeated backpackers off of the trail.

The "psychology" of your first day also seems typical.  It is HARD, we do not like hard, and when we get to what we do not like, we tend to want to quit.  There are also inevitable unanticipated problems like your wind storm.   

The "psychology" of a solo trip is also interesting isn't it?  There is no one along to help keep your spirits up and to re-frame your stinkin' thinkin'.  I think  the biggest challenge of a solo trip is yourself.

I'm so glad you happened upon a group to tag along with, two groups actually.

And I am so glad YOU DID IT! 

Ask yourself this question: how many other people have gone out, overcome the challenges, and hauled it back in in good order as you have done?  The answer is that only a very tiny portion of all of the people now living ever do anything as tough as you just did. 

Please accept my congratulations on one heck of an OML.

And the next time anyone gives you the impression that, because of your sex, you are in any way less capable, just remember your triumphal days on the OML when you kicked butt and took names. :celebrate:
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 01:59:16 PM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 05:47:12 PM »
BRAVO!!


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Offline rocketman

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 06:07:57 PM »
^^^^What they said^^^^

Bravo and Congratulations!
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline iCe

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 06:24:52 PM »
That was absolutely wonderful to read. Well done and congratulations!

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 06:59:54 PM »
Explanation in the Ranger's daily log beside your permit:  "She was warned.  She was given an explanation.  Nevertheless, she persisted." 
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline sleepy

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 09:24:22 PM »
Way to persist
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline sydneybvk

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 07:58:12 AM »
Thanks for your enthusiasm and support yíall!! Iím not ready to get back out there yet - still healing my knee and hip,  but I definitely will! 💪🏼 Just noticed all the typos from writing it on my iPhone. And that the pictures didnít post! 😱

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 03:34:26 PM »
Great job.

Sent from flat land


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Offline nuggetf5

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Re: Female solo hiker 11-19/21 trip report
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 07:25:48 PM »
I really enjoyed reading that. There are always challenges on a long hike but you met and conquered. Congratulations on finishing! I'm going to guess the sheer challenge and completing it will be a memory you'll never forget.
Mandolin Cafe
Since 1995

 


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