Alexa & Cooper’s Thru-Hike

Alexa & Cooper’s Thru-Hike

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My Summer Job

When our adult daughter told us months ago she and her boyfriend were going to thru-hike the PCT, I don’t think there could have been anyone more excited. A question she was often asked was, “What do your parents think?” “They’re joining me!”  We hope to hike with them in June for two weeks in the Sierras, as long as the unusually high snow pack doesn’t alter our plans.

As much as we wanted to, we restrained ourselves from giving unsolicited advice, most of the time that it is. We wanted her to have her own experience in preparing for the trail. We certainly will be living vicariously, if not with some jealousy, the trail life through her. When she asked if I would do her resupply, there was absolutely no hesitation in saying a resounding “Yes!” I actually felt honored to be a part, any part, of her experience.

A friend recently commented in an email, “…how cool is it when our kids take up a passion that is already dear to our own hearts, thus confirming that 1) the apple doesn’t fall from the tree and 2) maybe we didn’t do such a bad job after all.”  Indeed, maybe we didn’t do such a bad job.

Alexa and Cooper volunteered at the Earth Fair on Sunday afternoon. Since we were already half way to Campo, we fed them a “last supper” and dropped off a giddy Alexa and Cooper at the Southern Terminus that night. Their plan was to camp overnight and start early the next morning. At no time did I have any fears of her adventure. But suddenly, out of nowhere, on the drive home, I felt fear. What if she gets robbed? What if, more likely, she gets attacked by a pack of wolves? Where did those thoughts come from? Maybe I hadn’t done my due diligence as a mom to worry. Fortunately those thoughts were short lived. I have read the predictions that because of the unusally high snow pack, more are expected to drop out this year in the walk to Canada.  There is no shame in that if that happens to anyone.  She is a strong, goal driven, independent young woman and can handle herself well. But either way, we are immensely proud of her.

We will repost her post. She was accepted as a guest blogger on TheTrek. You can follow her along as well here:

https://thetrek.co/author/alexa-shapiro/

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Dense

IMG_0560Near where Fern and Tahquitz Canyons meet, south of Palm Springs, July 2013. On the Pacific Crest Trail.

Sadly, roughly one month later, this lush green ocean of ferns would be but ash. The Mountain Fire broke out July 15th that year and by the time it was extinguished about two weeks later, it had consumed more than 27,000 square acres including these incredible plants. This portion of the trail remained closed from all human activities for several years because of it. It only recently reopened.

Dense

Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitude

Solitude
 What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.
– Ellen Burstyn

long-road
In the Mojave Desert, south towards Hiker Town, March, 2015.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Graceful

Morning sky over Palm Springs – July 6, 2013

img_0551Graceful

Weekly Photo Challenge – Ambience

fullsizeoutput_3e1eThis week’s photo challenge – Ambience – serves me two ways: it gives me a chance to show off a few pictures, and it helps me find a new perspective on our last hike in the Sierra Nevada.Trail Lead ImageWe hear these names, like Devil’s Post Pile, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite. Great authors and poets, legends of the wilderness and ground-breaking photographers have walked these very paths. They each infused the forest with mystery and texture that only time has hatched.fullsizeoutput_3e20We would encounter five major passes: first going north from Mammoth, we approached Donohue Pass. Then, coming back south from Mammoth, we first encountered Silver Pass, then Selden and the Muir. And then, finally, Mather Pass – the beast of them all. We knew these names well before our hike. These are often the areas hikers speak about when they speak about hiking, at least those we’ve met. And we have been anxious and excited to finally be in arguably some of the most pristine wilderness still existing in the Continental United States.Version 2The aura of the trail in this section is embracing. It is both quiet and loud. It allows you to wallow quietly in its meditation but then wakes you with a jolt with babbling water or wild birds squawking and chirping all around. This wilderness carries its own ambience sometimes with memorizing effects. It’s no wonder so many before us have enjoyed these miles.img_4886These are hallowed grounds, travelled by thousands of hikers over centuries. When we summited Muir Pass and approached the famous Muir Hut, I could almost feel a pulling bringing me closer. I climbed the few steps into the hut. It was cold and dark. The air was thin and smelled like wet clay. There were a few other hikers there already, all sitting along the stone bench outlining the diameter of the hut, excepting the sealed off fireplace. I put my palm against the stone wall. It seemed to vibrate like a purr. I sat on the bumpy stone bench. I could feel the cold stone chilling me.img_3274

img_3273We look forward to our next trip in June. We’ll be taking off from our last northern most trailhead at Tuolumne. We will be meeting up our our daughter who will be attempting a thru-hike with the class of 2017. I think we keep this blog up because we enjoy sharing the spectacular experience of hiking the PCT. To be able to share this together with our daughter will be a thrill.