Day 8: magical pine forests and long, long descents

May 2nd
Mileage 18.5 (16 + 2.5 on the devil’s slide trail)
Mile 179.6 to mile 195.5

Woke and dragged myself from the warm soft bed, shoved my things away, ate a bag of salt and vinegar chips for breakfast. Discovered that I’d left my trekking poles at paradise valley cafe- luckily a very nice trail angel named Rock Ocean was headed from there further down the trail, so I’ll get them at Ziggy and the Bear’s tomorrow. We all crammed into the inn keeper’s car and she shuttled us back to the trailhead. Hiking by eleven. Only a nero but I felt brand new again. We climbed up into the magical pine forest at nine thousand feet, altitude made me feel like I had only one lung but I didn’t care. There was dappled shade and cool forest and way down below the hot baking valley, hazy in the heat. At a stream we decided to make it all the way down to the water fountain at the bottom. 20 miles down, 9 thousand feet to one thousand feet. Halfway down I found a note from the boys- they’d set up camp in the sand next to some boulders, sun setting over everything. They’d given up on NotaChance, our fearless leader. She’s still running down the switchbacks, waterbottles strapped to the outside of her pea-sized pack, bookin it for the fountain, ziggy and the bear’s, canada. We will see her tomorrow, we hope.

It feels decadent to set up on my neo air in the warm desert air after an 18 mile day before it’s even dark. I’m warm in my bag, the wind is blowing. I ate trail mix for dinner, not enough water to brush my teeth. Tomorrow we cross the baking valley, climb back up into the velvety hills.

I want to tell you about our trail gang; soon.

Note: a couple people have commented (and one email) saying OMG YR BLOG THIS YEAR IS NOT AS GOOD AS LAST YEAR. I never meant to blog this year. The exhaustive documentation of my hike has been done- I did that last year. This year I’m hiking to hike, and in order to gain a deeper spiritual understanding of the trail, and my relationship to it. Any documentation that comes out is bonus. I may not post for weeks at a time; I may only post little fragments of my days. Either way, thanks for coming along on the ride.

Photos on instagram.

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30 thoughts on “Day 8: magical pine forests and long, long descents

  1. Girl. your words speak to my soul, never mind what that guy said, I have read everything I can find that you have penned. I even bought copies of your book for myself and another. keep talking to me thru your words, they always make me feel like I AM there. Happy Harmonious Hiking.

  2. Mufyns – I completely agree. Carrot – ignore all negative feedback. It only brings you down. But you already know this. Keep on, and I’ll enjoy your ride vicariously. Happy trails.

  3. I like your attitude, do not let yourself feel any pressure to post. Enjoy each and every second!

  4. Thank you for your posts. I enjoy reading them. Anything you post is a bonus. Enjoy your hike :)

  5. I really enjoy your blog. It’s like reading poetry and a thru-hike account at the same time. Being in the middle of my first thru-hike is occupying most of my attention but yours is one of the few journals I make the time to follow. Keep writing from the heart, because you’re awesome at it!

  6. I’ve been reading your blogs via email for a long time now. I was surprised to see you posting blogs on the PCT after you said you’d stick more to Instagram. I’m happy to see you sharing your story. Write what you want to write, ignore the haters. You’re awesome!

  7. My daughter is behind you on the trail. I enjoy her,and now your, blogs about the trail. You are remarkable young women. I echo the other commenter who said to ignore the haters. People gotta bitch about something it seems. :)

  8. Just ignore the complainers. Probably a fat slug of a couch potato jealous because you’re doing something with your life while they’re sitting on their ever expanding asses sucking on high fructose corn syrup through a straw and wondering why they have no life. I, for one, am excited to read every post, the simple and brief as well as the thought provoking and deep ones.

    If you’re the one bitching at Carrot about her efforts to help us live vicariously STOP IT. Get a life of your own. Then, send me your email address so I can let you know what a douche you are while you’re trying to be somebody.

  9. What could be better than another summer of living feral in the actual physical real world? It’s ‘normal’ life that is repetitive and familiar and unphysical. You look great and you sound stoked! Love the instagram, a big improvement in photo quality. All the best…

  10. Yes. Please Hike Your Hike, Share as it feels right.., I read Your blog because it is wunderful, odd, insightfull, qurcky, philosofical, and great fun. Makes me feel I’m on the trail myself…. I wish, I wish… Happy hiking.

  11. I look forward to your blog every day. I have got several of my friends addicted to it this year. You have fans who are living vicariously through your adventure while we slog away at work!

  12. I think your blog is sublime. There always seems to be a critic in any group. I read earlier that you didn’t plan on blogging. So, all you write is like a fun bonus. Obviously, the critic is far outnumbered. You’re doing great. Happy trails : )

  13. You explicitly told us that you wouldn’t be blogging much this year, so I find your mini-updates to be a real treat. You don’t owe us anything, but I really appreciate the time you take to post whatever you want. Blog your own blog! :)

  14. Carrot – I just recently discovered your blog and am loving it! I look forward to your posts whenever you decide to post. You’re out on the trail living your dream, were just following along. Don’t let the energy suckers get in your way!

  15. I think the posts are perfect. And you are right. The journey is for you and not the readers. Safe travels. Z

  16. You are awesome – don’t listen to those yahoos complaining about your blog. I loved your posts last year, and I love them this year too. As a few others have said, the fact that you are blogging so often right now is a real treat. Let me know if you want me to bring you and your gang some sandwiches or salt and vinegar chips or beer or anything when you get around the Cajon Pass/Wrightwood/Angeles National Forest area…I’d be happy to oblige! Keep kicking ass. – Erin

  17. The other commentators made any points I could make. Love the blog. Please keep it going.

    I guess you have to cowboy camp until you get your hiking poles. Hope it doesn’t rain.. :) I suppose you could borrow a pole from someone else that doesn’t need 2 for their tent.

  18. Followed your blog last year. (RSS feed) Read your blog over the winter. Following you again this year. Onward and northward! Carol

  19. The Neoairs are great. I love mine. Any haters can go re-read your blog from the start and buy your books; it’s not like you don’t have a ton of excellent material just waiting to be read.

  20. WoooHoo!!!! Life under the sun and moon and stars!! VIVA EXISTENCE!!
    My partner and I are planning on hiking thu northbound next year and yours is one of the first sources for informaion I have sumbled upon.
    May your trip be blessed by the very dirt beneath your feet.
    Cheers!
    Jason D. Garcia

  21. Carrot,
    I am inspired by your journeys and your writing. It’s such a treat to read about your daily adventures and interactions with everything around you. I totally get wanting to explore your relationship to the trail without the pressure of keeping up on a blog. Please know that I am grateful to you for sharing your journey and I hope you are able to keep it up! Have a blast out there this year! Hike your own hike and write your own words when you want to, how you want to you!

  22. Whoa whoa WHOA whoa WHOA. The haterz have me rattled!! Experiencing the trail thru the lens of Carrot The Tenacious is a gift greater than myrrh and frankincense combined. Follow your heart — and if you want to share, trust that there are scores n’ scores o’ peeps who pine to hear it. Do you, gurl.

  23. I am GOBSMACKED that people would actually be rude enough to complain – in public – that this year’s posts are “not as good as last year’s”! Each year is a different experience, deserving of different words. Damn…if they don’t like it, they shouldn’t click on it. ‘Nuff said.

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