Day 51 – June 29

(Whoops) another zero in mammoth – 

I took three busses all the way back to Red’s Meadow, to get back to the trail. When I arrived, Happy Snatch and Not Sorry we’re waiting for the bus to get INTO Mammoth. 

It didn’t take much, but Happy Snatch convinced me to go with them. I ended up going with, and almost puked from the bus ride back. It was so packed that I had to stand and I ended up sitting on the ground. I got extremely noxious from the motion, the heat and the odor of 50 hikers piled into a bus. 

I have been laying around the hotel all day. I did miss being with these guys though. Heading back to the trail tomorrow. Soon, Yosemite!

Day 50-June 28

Zero in Mammoth Lakes! –

Well, I wasn’t planning on taking a zero day here. Mammoth is definitely a strong vortex. Plus, a storm rolled in. I still plan on getting to Tuolumne Meadows by Thursday. 

Today has been pretty dang nice. I met back up with Tonka and him, creepy and I have been eating all day. I bought a hotel room at Travelodge, which was good because I almost stealth camped without knowing rain was coming. I went around Main Street asking every hiker I could find if they needed a place to stay (to share the room and make it cheaper for everyone). The room is now full with 5 people and $20 per person! I will not pay more than that! 

Got my AMAZING care package from the sweetest lady, Sarah from Spokane. She sent me the best vegan treats!!! [Sarah, you’re incredible]. Had the best tempeh breakfast burrito and a Smoothie, went to Sierra Sundance Whole Foods to get sunscreen, did laundry, showered,  went halfsies on an XL vegan pizza and I’m now in the bathtub updating this crazy blog! I can easily say today has been fantastic. 

Heading out tomorrow to do a big day, and then Tuolumne the next!

I literally just shelled my pistachios for an hour to cut weight…. 

I ALSO AM SENDING HOME 3lbs worth of stuff!!! Soon my bear can will go too!! So 6lbs! 

Excited for what’s coming next. 

Day 49 – June 27

VVR 878.7 to Reds Meadow Resort 906.6 + off trail to/from (30 miles) –

What did I just do…. I just pulled a 30 mile day with elevation gain all day, river crossings and night hiking… In the sierras. What???

No I don’t know what is wrong with me. However, we got extremely lucky because for once, the terrain wasn’t so bad and it was a nice gradual downhill as we might hiked. And all the water crossings had log bridges, so no wet feet! 

IM SO EXCITED FOR MAMMOTH! I’m stealth cowboy camping behind the store at the resort. And it’s midnight. But I’m waking up early and then hitching to mammoth! FOOD! The organic health food store!!! FOOOOD!

I’m going crazy after today. It was a tough one. But Spooky and I crushed it!! (Spooky is new hiking pal, she does big miles and has the same hiking style as me! We have been hiking together for the passed couple days.)

We went to VVR yesterday, and there was no power so no shower, laundry, wifi, and they didn’t have much for me to eat. But I worked as a housekeeper for 3 hours and got two free meals, free drinks, snacks and fresh fruit! So that was a win. Also, the girl working there follows me on Instagram and gave me a really tasty home made vegan backpacking meal! So nice. And it was SO GOOD. 

Fun stuff, fun stuff. I’m exhausted. Looking forward to tomorrow, and soon Yosemite! Also I passed 900 miles!

Day 46 – June 24

Grouse Meadows 828.4 to McClure Meadow tentsite 848.1 (19.7 miles) –

As much as possible, I try to stay positive out here. No matter what. However, today I hit my very lowest low on the trail so far. It has been an incredibly rough day. 

First, I headed out solo at 7 and started climbing from 8,000 to 12,000ft over about 10 miles. At 10 miles was the top of Miur Pass, where the Miur hut is. I reached the hut around 1pm. It took me almost 6 hours just to do the 10 miles. When I went up, there was no one ahead or behind me in sight. I didn’t see anyone for hours and hours once again. I ended up following footprints in the snow up the mountain that definitely weren’t on the trail. They lead me way off and into a very scary snow bridge situation. I used my map to find the trail again, but soon after I was following another bad path. There were footprints going all over through the snow so you couldn’t tell where the trail was. After a while, I found it again and it went straight up, steep in the snow. I was slipping and postholing the whole way up. Once I reached the hut, there were quite a few JMT hikers (headed the opposite way). They told me the snow on the other side went on for several more miles. 

On a positive note, the hut is really cool! It’s an emergency storm shelter for hikers dedicated to John Miur. I ate lunch and took some photos and headed down the other side. 

The whole way down I was just a huge emotional and physical disaster. I realized I was getting a horrible snow sunburn on my legs, arms and face. I didn’t have anymore sunscreen left so all I could do was pull out my umbrella.  My legs were on fire, I kept falling through the snow, my feet had been soaked since the morning and I started getting negative thoughts. Today is officially the first day I have cried on the trail. (I was doing pretty well though, some people cry every day out here!) 

I haven’t thought about quitting, I’m doing this trail. However I just felt extremely bummed out and I have been feeling pretty lonely. One of the reasons I wanted to do this trail was so I could actually experience being with only myself for once. But seeing all of these “trail families” and couples hiking together is starting to get to me. I look around and just wish I had someone to share the beauty with, laugh with when we fall, and to exchange motivation with when things get tough. 

Some days, I really enjoy being alone. Today I felt super weird. Lindsey and I talked about her coming out to Oregon to hike with me for a few days. I really look forward to that. It’s just so hard to plan that kind of thing. It will all work out! In the mean time, I have been jumping around with different groups, but it’s hard to find hiking friends who have the same pace and such. 

Since the hut, I hadn’t seen anyone for several hours. Finally I spotted one figure from afar. When I got closer I realized he was washing his dingaling in a stream. I kept hiking. 

I told myself I would stop moving once I reached a tentsite with tents set up. Of course, I went on for several more miles only passing empty sites. When I reached a camp with tents there , I was beyond exhausted. I set up and rewarded myself to a bunch of food. Black beans with vegan cheese, miso soup, a bar and hot chocolate. I started feeling better. I lathered my burnt skin in coconut oil and now I’m ready to sleep with the sounds of waterfalls and creepy animal footsteps all around! 

Tomorrow will be a better day. 

To anyone who read all of this, you’re crazy. But I appreciate you. Goodnight!

Day 45 – June 23

Camp near Majorie Lake 808.2 to Grouse Meadows 828.4 (20.2 miles) –

The morning was beautiful. I woke up to the stunning view of the lakes, actually made hot oatmeal, took a great morning poo, and started heading downhill. Immediately hit a ton of stream and river crossings, not bothering to try and keep my feet dry. The temperature increased very quickly and I changed into my silly new short shorts I got from the gear exchange in Bishop. Soon enough, I was climbing to Mather Pass “the most fear-inducing” climb…. Which luckily wasn’t even bad. I got to the top right at noon and had lunch (peanut butter banana roll things).  

Going down, I was to descend from 12,000 to 8,000 feet. It was the longest downhill ever. I usually look forward to going down, but my knees were not very happy! However, my surroundings took away every pain. Everywhere I looked… waterfalls, rivers, purple red and yellow wild flowers, deer, and gorgeous peaks all around. Even through a burn area, it was amazing. Aspen trees blowing and in the wind, and streams trickling all around. 

After being in a trance for quite some time, I realized I hadn’t seen anyone for over 6 hours. Part of me felt an enhancement in the exerience, and the other part of me was a bit freaked out and staring thinking silly things like “what if I’m on the wrong trail” or “what if everyone but me knows about something scary to avoid up ahead”. I carried on until around 6:30, and right when my thoughts were getting rediculous, I found myself in a thick patch of trees with fog or mist rolling in. It felt like a scary movie! I felt like a bear was going to jump out or something so I started counting out loud to 100 over and over (I have no idea don’t judge me). I started counting to 1,000 and things were just getting a bit rediculous. Finally, I reached a camp area near the river where I found human life! Human life invited me to hang out and eat my dinner with them. Dandy Greens, Tank, Lollygag, DJ night cakes (?), KoolAid, and Party Monster. We all sat around in a circle and talked about cool stuff, our trail futures, and somehow our topics turned to strip club buffets and killing groundhogs? I was confused but it was a great night. I haven’t stayed up this late in a while. It was a very long and eventful day. I’m so grateful to be out here in the Sierras. There’s nothing else like it. 

Day 43 – June 21

Back to the trail from Kearsarge Pass. –

Last night I stayed at the hostel in Bishop. I have my dads old phone now! He and the pup drove 4 hours to bring it to me and hang out. Probably the last time he could drive out to me since I’m getting further and further away! I’m lucky that he could help me out. He dropped me off where I left off at Kearsarge around noon. I said my goodbyes and headed Jorge switchbacks. Minutes later, I realized Ripley was following me! My dad was distracted talking to hikers he was going to drive into town. Telling her to go back to the car made me tear up. The hike back up to the pass was incredibly long and it was about 90°F! But I made it. Once I got back down the other side, I spotted a giant chrome dome umbrella from the distance, and I have only seen one on the trail. It was Tonka and Holly! We literally can’t escape each other. They were heading into town as I was returning. We talked for a while and hiked our separate ways. 

I hiked back to the PCT route, to the same spot I stayed at the night before town. I saw my first bear on trail here! It went right passed the tent! 

I cooked mixed veggies and basamati rice for dinner, brushed my teeth, and ran into my tent before the mosquitos could eat me alive. It’s almost 8, and I’m ready for bed and to get back on the trail. I have to go over Glen Pass tomorrow! Scary, snowy goodness. I ditched my ice axe so let’s see how this goes! 

I plan to be in Yosemite by the first  of July. Pretty excited for that!

Day 40 – June 18

Crabtree Ranger Station to Mt. Whitney, to some camp spot (17 miles) –

(Copied from paper journal)

My phone disappeared after Whitney! I’ll explain later but today has possibly been the best day of my journey so far. I woke up at 5am and headed towards Whitney by 6. Most folks left around 2-3am to see the sunrise from up there, too cold for me! However, I climbed Whitney solo! The highest point in the contiguous U.S.! 14,505ft up! Before this trip, I never could have thought I could summit Whitney alone. I was so afraid then! But it was incredible. I didn’t even really have to use my axe. And I didn’t have spikes. The ice and snow was a bit scary, but not as bad as if I were to go 2-3 weeks ago. 

When I reached the top, I face timed Lindsey and my parents. So crazy I could do that up there! Most people only stayed up there for 10-20 minutes to take a few photos and then leave… I ended up staying on that snowy windy mountain for almost 5 hours! 

I napped on a rock sticking out of the cliff, lost my glove to the wind, hung out in the emergency shelter, took photos of people (including Happy Snatch and Not Sorry who decided to get butt naked for the photo), and saw mountaineers who climbed up! 

I wish I could post photos to show you guys how amazing the views were. I took so many and they’re all gone!

I decided to head down with Happy Snatch and Not Sorry. We were basically running down the switchbacks! It’s unbelievable how active your brain is while hiking. There are so many obsticles on the trail, and somehow your brain can process it also quickly and your feet move like magic! 

We glissaded down a good stretch of the mountain, and it had to be one of the most thrilling experiences ever! It was so fun we had to climb back up to do it again! Happy Snatch even slid down on her belly! After that, we had to get back to the trail by hopping on boulders. I had my phone in my pocket after the glissade, but after hopping around, it was gone. I left a sign near where it went missing, but it’s not super likely to be found because I was off trail. I have learned to zip up my pockets! I almost broke down after realizing all of my photos and videos from the trail were gone. I still have memories. Life goes on!

Before the summit, I left my bear bin, umbrella and quilt behind at Guitar Lake to cut weight for the climb. When I returned, I found that the marmots ate the handle off of my umbrella! I love them and they’re super adorable, but WHAT?! Oh well, another lesson learned. 

Regardless of the bummers, today was beautiful and I’m beyond thankful that I got to experience everything I did. 

Also, here’s some photos from Forester that I stole from NotSorry! Didn’t write a blog post. And I don’t know what day. 

Day 36 – June 14

Monache Meadow/Kern River 716.5 to Death Canyon Creek 730.8 (14.3) –
I’m still with Tonka and Holly, we started hiking around 7:30 and climbed… a lot. all the way to 10,500ft!!!!! I didn’t think I would be effected much by the elevation gain but I actually was having a lot of head pain. Not too bad though! I have to get used to it. I’ll be climbing to 14,505 feet in a few days! I’m comin for ya Whitney. 

I’m definitely not getting in as many miles as I had planned for. But I know once I get out of the Sierras I’ll be able to go much faster. Especially through Oregon! I’m excited for big days! I’m going to start getting into my “hike from sun up to sun down” thing again. I think the plan is to summit Whitney Friday morning and get to independence Sunday, we’ll see. 
The climb today was gnarly. One thing that was motivating me (unfortunately) was the “possible cell service” at the top. Once I reached it, NADA! I just wanted to post my blog posts and tell people I’m still alive in bear country! I have no idea when I’ll have service next. You guys will know once I post my super late blog updates! However, the view from the top of the peak at 10,500 feet was magnificent. 

So… Lindsey gave me this veg protein powder.. And it’s super tasty BUT I have been having the worst farts I have ever experienced. I feel bad for anyone hiking behind me because I’m not about to hike while holding in my smelly toots. Whatever!! No shame out here!
I reached Death Canyon Creek ( very inviting name) and it’s so packed with people! I arrived around 5 with plenty of daylight left. I wanted to continue, but I decided to wait for Tonka and Holly. Made friends with Not Sorry, Happy Snatch and Mike, who is from Minnesota and is hiking to raise money for cancer! Mike gets to see his wife for the first time in two months, for their 40th anniversary! Cute stuff. 
I am super low on food because I planned to go much faster… And I’m eating way too much!! I’m supposed to start my period any second and I just want to eat everything. I guess I should start packing extra food. Luckily, Happy Snatch and Tonka had plenty to share and helped me out!! Whoops. 
I can’t believe I’m so tired after such a short day! I guess the climb was pretty intense after not exercising much for two weeks…. It feels like I just hiked 50 miles! I’m so warm and cozy in my little tent and quilt. Sleep time. 

Day 35 – June 13

Kennedy Meadows Camp 704.6 to Monache Meadow/Kern River 716.5 (11.9 miles)
My dad and I left home at 5:30am and drove to Kennedy Meadows to drop me off! I slept the majority of the car ride… Which was much needed considering that I only slept two hours last night because I was up until 2am prepping boxes and trying out all the possible ways to pack my backpack with my bear canister in it. At KM, I found my pals Holly and Tonka (they also went on a little side adventure before hitting the sierras). We headed out pretty late, around 11. Saying goodbye to Ripley for 4 months was painful, I love that pup beyond words. Im also so thankful to my dad who has non stop been supporting me on the trail! Dad, you’re cool as heck. And my Momma for sneaking goodies into my resupply!

I AM SO OUT OF SHAPE AGAIN!! My body is so confused. Also, my pack is much heavier now that I’m entering the sierras. (Ice axe, bear can, bug spray+net and bivvy sack add around 4 extra lbs to my back… Ouch) Im a bit insecure knowing that I don’t have any Micro Spikes for the snow/ice, the rei website said they were in stock at my store and when I went they were not!! I’m sure I’ll be fine. I just would be able to go much faster with them because I would feel more confident with my foot placement. Oh well!!

It’s so strange being back here. No more desert, hello Sierras! In a way, I feel like this is the start of the real deal while the desert was just a breezy warm up since I’m used to dryness and heat. I can’t wait for it all!!!! So many emotions. 

It looks like I’ll be finishing the trail around my birthday (October 10th). I think I might try to make it to the northern terminus on that date! That would be a pretty incredible birthday. 

I like hanging out and hiking with Tonka and Holly! They’re fun and I love their energy. Im a bit bummed though, because our hiking style/paces don’t really match. I like to head out early while they like to sleep in! But we’ll see how it goes! Somehow we keep coincidentally running into each other, I’m sure we will keep in touch if anything!

 I’m so excited to summit Whitney!! My body isn’t going to be though. It’s going to be such an enriching experience. Highest mountain in the continental US!! What an amazing achievement. I got this!

Today’s hike was very short, but it has been one of the most beautiful so far. The rolling meadows, the river, and clouds are so stunning.  We are camped near the Kern River. Here there is a bridge and there are dozens of swallow nests underneath it! They swoop  in and out non stop, and it’s so beautiful to watch and hear their tunes. I took a time lapse which I plan to share on my Instagram and Facebook account. It doesn’t compare to the real view, but you gotta see it! We also took a dip in the river, which was suprisingly not cold! It felt so so so nice. 


 If anyone would like to send me a care package or make a donation, I would genuinely appreciate it and will do somethin super cool for you in return!!! It would help me out a ton! However, I do not expect anything from anyone and your online support and love means so much to me already, I appreciate all of you so stinkin’ much! 

Also, if anyone is thinking “maybe if greenbean didn’t take a surprise side trip to see Lindsey in Minnesota she wouldn’t be broke!!” … Linds is the sweetest and flew me out there! It was amazing. MN is so beautiful right now.  We went mountain biking, camping, saw a bear and heard wolves! And ate A LOT of food…. Pretty sure I gained at least 5lbs. Anyways, I have been very lucky and I’m beyond thankful for everything that has come my way. 

Glad to be back out here! 

bear claws possibly?!

Saw eight horses on the trail today. Poor babies. So precious though!