Hikertown to Tehachapi

Slow and easy, that’s what this section has been. I left Hikertown at 10am which is slug time for a thru-hiker. Never ever would you get on the trail later than 6 or 7am, but it was a flat walk across the desert following the aqaduct for miles. Welcome to road walking. I find it harder to walk roads than to hike up and down mountains. I’m not sure why? The monougtany of seeing the same thing for miles or not seeing the trail meander, can kill you with boredom! But once you let your guard down, is when God gets your attention. We were 6-8 miles into our hike when we saw her. A Mojave Green Snake! She was apparently dead being she didn’t hiss or move. We cautiously went up to her as she layed still on the roadway. I had never seen a Mojave Green before, just heard of their deadly venom. It was actually sad, seeing her motionless. My trail friends Treeman and Hedgehog were with me and I could tell Hedgehog was quite upset about it. She bent over & moved the snake off the roadway, laying her in the desert as to provide her a proper burial. 

During these past 40 days on the trail, I have had a chance to truly witness God’s smallest of creatures in action. Ants are fascinating how they are so organized and are able to burrow through rock solid dirt and somehow turn it into fine sand. I watched as an ant carried a fellow dead ant on his back, as if he was returning him home. Beetles are funny solitary bugs. You never see them together! They just walk across the trail with their butts in the air and their head scraping across the ground. They remind me of thru-hikers. We are basically solitary, leaning over with our eyes on the trail and a big shell on our backside!

Then there are the lizards. It seems that the smaller they are, the faster they run. I see them lounging on rocks, basking in the sun, watching over their kingdom, and doing push-ups as if they are preparing for battle. They do like to chase each other, and there are many variety of lizards out here. There are moles and squirrels, chipmunks and skunks and the beautiful and noisy birds. I believe I am falling in love with all of God’s creatures, big and small.

I am getting close to finishing the first of five sections of the PCT, 702 miles of desert, Campo to Kennedy Meadows. I was so concerned about this desert section, that it was going to be too hot, too flat, too much desert, but it has been an amazing and beautiful place. I will always remember it as my beginning, my baby steps that are building my foundation for the Sierras which lay ahead. I truly have been in awe of this vast and ever-changing place, and thank God for bringing me here, teaching me to love and accept this wonderous creation that His son wandered through for forty days. I do believe my relationship with our creator has been strengthening during my walk in the desert, and this will help guide me towards Canada. 


Less than 150 miles before I arrive at Kennedy Meadows and venture out into my beloved Sierras. So what have I learned during this past week? Take it slow & easy, and be present in every situation, every moment and every step. God has given me this time to feel his presence, to see his creation, to smell every scent along the way, to hear each bird chirp and to love all that God loves! I will forever cherish my first forty days in the wilderness, with all the highs and lows, and all the lessons I have learned. Thank you Lord for being with me through it all and loving me enough to show me who you truly are! 

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir

Wrightwood to Hikertown

So much has happened since Wrightwood. This is the first internet connection I have had in over a week! I think I’m entering the place I truly want to be. While I was hunkering down in Wrightwood waiting for another storm to pass, my wonderful friends Judi, Bertha and Cherryl wined and dined me. I felt like a pampered princess with foot massages, facial masks, fresh food galore and some of my favorite wine! I never expected such treasures to occur on this journey and to have friends visit me and spoil me, is such an added gift. Thanks girls!

After the storm, I headed out of Wrightwood and the first day was a climb up Baden Powell.  With the fresh snow, it made for an interesting trek. The snow was light but quite slushy, but with trail runners and light socks, I had very wet feet. Burr! But oh boy, the forest was incredibly beautiful with the snowflakes and fairly clear skies. On top of Baden Powell, I was looking down on the clouds, almost like heaven above earth. It was spectacular. Words cannot describe the vista from up above, mountain scape 360 degrees with fog rolling in below and birds flying above. Nothing but Gods glory shined on me!
These past miles were interesting with the ever changing landscape. We started high atop the mountains and followed the Angeles Crest Highway for miles. I passed the 400 then 500 mile marks, more milestones along the trail. I had many things to keep my attention on the trail like the notorious poodle dog bush, the evil nemesis of the trail. It smells like a combination of eucalyptus and marijuana but has a reputation of sending people off trail to the ER. It can cause blisters and inhalation issues if you touch the stuff. There are sections of the trail that have been closed due to this terrible bush but thanks to the PCT Gorillas, they spent many months trying to remove this stuff from the trail. One caution, it grows back and don’t smoke it! Some crazy hikers who thought it was marijuana attempted to pick and smoke it with horredous results! 
I had some incredibly long trail days trying to knock off the miles but in the end, I realized that my body is adapting to the trail and 20 mile days is quite doable. It also helps that I am motivated by my stomach knowing the faster I hike, the sooner I can get to real food! God has given me strength to stay focused and strong, however still have time to appreciate what He has created. 

Diversity during these past weeks has been a theme. As I leave the forest, and see the approaching desert, somehow the two still enter mingle. There are cactus flowers that show up among the forest, desert in the distance, oak trees with lots of poison oak, sandstone slicing through the ground, and so much beauty in every direction. 

Storms have been a common theme since Idyllwild. It seems that winter has arrived a bit late this year. As I left Aqua Dulce, another cold front hit with a vengeance. As I attempted to climb up and over the mountain time and time again, the wind was blowing at 30-40 mph and then the sideways rain pelted me! I finally had enough, found a ravine and waited it out. Full roll, a wonderful young man, stopped during the downpour and tightened my tent so I wouldn’t blow away! Hiker trash amazes me with their kindness and how they take care of each other. 

Now that I am defrosted and sitting in the confines of Hikertown USA, I have so much to be thankful for! The lessons I learned this past week is that God will always provide. When it was snowing outside, my friends came and reserved me a room. When my water ran dry, there was a mountain spring flowing across the trail. When I heard that my dog Zack was not doing well and had my first cry on the trail, a very caring young boy offered me a hug for free! When the rain turned from sideways rain to freezing rain, God stopped it long enough for me to set up my tent, get my wet clothes off and slide inside my nice warm sleeping bag. And as I was warming up, the skies opened up and what a downpour it was! But I was safely cocooned in my Six Moons Lunar Solo tent. I love that tent. And lastly, as I walked down the mountain, my beautiful trail friend Bear Bait was waiting for me with a lovely smile. 

But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore I may boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Big Bear to Wrightwood 

I’m back in my hometown of Wrightwood. In the 80’s, this was my stomping grounds. My son Billy went to kindergarten here, both my children learned to ski and this was the place that I entered my career with the State of California. Very fond memories and entering the San Bernardino mountains has been one of the highlights of my hike to this date. 

As I left Big Bear, the PCT followed the north rim of the lake. It reminded me much of the Tahoe Rim Trail looking down on the water below. It was stunning and a beautiful backdrop before heading into Holcomb Valley. Just a bit of nostalgia, Holcomb Valley was known to produce the largest find of gold in Southern California. 

The trail has been good to me this past week. I entered the area of much water, Holcomb Creek, Dry Creek and the Mojave River. Long went the days of carrying liters upon liters of water as the creeks and rivers were flowing. What I wasn’t expecting was the barren landscape due to the past fires. 

As I past through this area, God spoke to me in such a way that I will never look at a fire scarred area the same. He shared with me that when I accepted His son as my savior, my sins were washed away! Just like a fire that sweeps through the forest, all the old is removed, the rotted trees are devoured, the brokenness of the terrain is refined, the infestation of mold is radicated, and it is all made new again. Reborn! I could see the beauty of the new growth, the pine saplings that were pushing up through the earth, the tiniest flowers sprouting, the birds and bees returning to this once scarred area ready for renewal and rebirth. Only God can see the goodness in something that we find ruined, and accept what is truly beautiful in His eyes. 


I had so much time to reflect on Gods word, His kindness and love, how He has protected me during these past weeks. He showed me that balance in life occurs when He is the cornerstone, the centerpiece of our life. As I was nudged to take this photo, I only saw a pile of rocks but when I looked at my photo, it was so clear that there was a cross perfectly placed on the cornerstone of these boulders. God has to hit me over the head at times to get my attention, but this brought me to my knees! When I quiet myself, only then can I hear His voice and follow His lead. 

This has been a week of incredible blessings. I have found water easily, my strength has surpassed anything I could imagine, I have met new friends and seen old trail friends that I thought were far ahead, and God has brought me a super hero trail buddy to keep me company. Deborah who goes by “Doc” or as I call her “Running Bear” came into my campsite a few nights ago tired from hiking 20 plus miles. I told her she was welcome to share my tiny sand spit as I planned to cowboy camp, that’s camping without a tent! We hit it off and ends up she is a friend of Jules, my past hiking partner. We have hiked over 60 miles together in the past three days and we plan to head out of Wrightwood together. I love hiking in solitude, but I also enjoy sharing my adventure with a friend. The past couple of days we have managed to chase down a very large black bear, hike in 50 mph gusts without being blown off course, sleep in a den of scorpions for a very short time, five minutes to be exact, and share much laughter on the trail. 

So what have I learned this week? Quiet myself. In the midst of noise, pressures and daily humdrum, it is difficult to hear God’s voice. However, when I take time to stop and listen, I can hear God speaking to me ever so clearly. He wants to have a deeper relationship with me, more that I ever knew and I am so enjoying our time together! 

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Idyllwild to Big Bear 275 Miles 

Can I just start by saying, this past section kicked my butt! I’m not sure if it was the four days off I enjoyed or the fact that the tempature jumped to 100 degrees? But anyway you slice it, it was brutal!

We had a storm that brought fresh snow to the top of San Jacinto and all sensible hikers, yes there were others that were rescued, left Sunday morning. It started out fine but once I climbed, the trail turned to slush, snow and ice. I have never seen trees rain ice nor have I seen ice crystals on the ground, but it was an interesting combination of beauty, amazement and much route finding! And that was only the beginning.

The terrain changed so much over the 100 miles I covered from mountains to desert to bush whacking overgrown reeds and desert willows to pine forests to high desert chapperel. After climbing to over 9000′, I had the pleasure of enduring the biggest decent of the entire PCT. Some 8000′ in less than fifteen miles which isn’t that extreme, but the torment of seeing the desert floor all day, yet not reaching it till late afternoon. And to make things worse, I had my first rattlesnake encounter! As I was checking out this incredibly large and juicy lizard to the left of me, Mr. Snake was thinking dinner was only a strike away. Just as I turned the corner, I saw the snake and he saw me. I screamed, Mr. Snake rattled, and that juicy lizard got away! 

With all the ups and downs, I have had much time to reflect on God’s glory. When I have had my moments of desperation, God reminds me that we are in this together, that He will never leave me nor forsake me and He has plans for us to touch the hikers along our way.

Even in the desert, there are plenty of oasis’ along the way. My father had asked me when I was going to be at Whitewater? I honestly had no idea, nor did I remember reading about this preserve in the middle of nowhere. As I was stumbling down one of my many steep grades, I see this sign for Whitewater Preserve, 1/2 mile off trail in the opposite direction, south to be exact. Because of Dad, I wandered over to see what all the fuss was about. And wow, what a beautiful and unexpected oasis. I soaked my feet, slept on the grass and relaxed for the afternoon. Much needed rest from the desert heat!

What I have learned during these last hundred miles, is that we truly need each other. There is a community of people on the trail and even though I may spend much time walking alone, I always know there are others nearby. When someone needs a little encouragement, medical attention or just a smile, God has placed me right where He needs me! Last week, many people left the trail. Most of them had problems with the heat, some could not bare another day trekking on blistered feet and others may have wondered why they are on this blistering hot trail anyhow? I know that when I have a bad day or fleeting thoughts of sleeping on a comfy mattress, being clean from head to toe or just not suffering, I remember that I have a purpose to spread God’s love on the trail. And as long as I am able to do that, then I will continue to hike. I am sure that there will be more revealed as long as I am willing to complete the journey that My great Lord and I have begun.

” … It has not yet been revealed what we shall be … 1 john 3:2


Before I close, I want to thank all of you for your words of love, your warm thoughts and most especially – your prayers. I am able to read all the comments within a week or so but typically do not have service to respond. Godspeed and may we all continue to walk in God’s love. 


Gods Grace at AZDPCTKO Lake Moreno

Oh no, she’s going back to the beginning. Every year, as the PCT season begins, there is the Annual Zero Day PCT Kick off or as a thru hiker calls it AZDPCTKO. 

My friend Eva picked me up from Idyllwild, and has been spoiling me all weekend with Sushi, Machaca and lots of love! Then Dee surprised and hooked up with Eva and I, and with the excellent driving skills of Keith, and the mediocre navigation of Siri, we all arrived at Lake Moreno!

The Kick Off has many ultralight vendors along with informative presentations on things like Water Report, or lack of, Overuse Injuries, Flora and Fauna of the PCT and don’t forget the smells of thru hikers! There is a reason they left the doors fully open during the presentations! 

But honestly, there were two distinct reasons why I had to attend the Kickoff this year. # 1 reason, I wanted my prestigious 2015 PCT Bandana and #2 was I had a small but significant issue with my tent. Last year when I purchased my very lightweight Six Moons tent, I had not yet purchased my one size 120cm hiking poles. Unfortunately for my tent, it does not fond of my too tall poles and has put too much stress on the tent. During a extremely windy situation at Sunrise Park which was day five on the trail, my tent tore! So as I explained my dilemma to the owner and designer of Six Moon tents, he graciously offers to exchange my torn tent with a new tent that accommodates my super long hiking poles! I love Six Moons and Tom. You guys absolutely rock. 

So bandana-check, new and improved tent- check, now I can just relax and see what other cool things might find their way into my pack. Gossamer had a couple of items that I was interested in. One thing I purchased last year was an extra storage pouch for my phone that attaches to my pack. My trail friend Jules, aka Breeze has been eyeing that so I was able to pick one up for her. In addition I found an ultralight trowel for digging. Yes, I do poop in the woods and my trowel was quite heavy so it’s all about saving ounces at this point and for $10, I saved 3.2 ounces! Also, they were selling this amazingly small bear canister, no, not to put a bear inside but to keep the bear out of my food! It weighs 1.4 pounds instead of 2.4 pounds and retails at $59.95 but being they were ready to pack up their stuff, I scored the display canister with cool stickers on it for $40. God was blessing me with more than I could imagine. What a day! 

So all in all, a super fabulous trip to the Kickoff including participating in my 2015 Class Picture! If you look closely I am wearing the only white jacket in the photo. Go figure, I stand out in the crowd! 

God’s graces are incredible. Ask and you shall a receive; new tent, lightweight trowel, cool bear proof canister, class picture and bandana, gift for my trail friend, but the greatest is the love of friends who travel many many miles to make me feel loved and extra special! Thanks to Eva and Keith for driving no less than a thousand miles to love on me! And Dee, can’t wait to see you on the trail with your new pack! Love is the number one commandment! And boy oh boy, did I get love this weekend! 😄

Warner Springs to Idyllwild

The adventure continues. Another 70 miles trekked and I am still standing! This last few days on the trail have been the most grueling so far. I’m not sure if it is the intense climbing, day after day or the lack of sleep is finally catching up after two weeks, but I had a tough couple of days of it. Without my trail friend “Breeze” I probably would not have been smiling as much but she is a riot! She flew in from New Zealand and entered the trail the same day as I did on April 10th. We hiked the first few days together, then I jumped ahead and we met again at Warner Springs. I call her “Breeze” because every time I see her, she is as welcome as a summer breeze. When the climbing gets tough, I hear her behind me laughing! She says it’s a nervous laugh because she knows she is in for some additional torment. It makes me smile knowing that someone else is suffering as bad as me. Don’t get me wrong, but its just the reality for this stretch of the PCT.

The desert terrain has changed a bit and is entering some higher elevation now. I must admit that I will miss this incredibly beautiful landscape that is so expansive. As I climb from one section to the next, I thank God that I am here. With every step, each breath and bead of sweat, I can’t help to marvel over how God has designed me. Just the mere thought of this overwhelms me and brings me closer to how truly amazing He is! What a great and wonderful God we have!

 As I head north, I am starting to enter the mountains of San Jacinto and San Gorgonia. For Southern California they are the big daddies and are still getting snow flurries and some light accumulation of snow as of last night. I am seeing more and more hikers on the trail the last couple of days as we are bottle necking waiting for a storm to pass over us. So what do hikers do when they are waiting out storms? Well a few of us were invited to Brie and Kellyn’s cabin for dinner and some wine. Yes, it is one of the perks that come along when a storm is brewing. 


But the trail is waiting and honestly, I am ready to jump back on. It’s funny that once you get into your groove, sitting around is truly much harder than hiking. I am treasuring my time relaxing with some new friends and catching up with others that I have met on the trail here in Idyllwild. What a charming town and glad I was able to clean up and eat something not dehydrated ! And of course, drink some beer! 


So what have I learned these past few days on the trail? God knows me better than I know myself. He knows that He has plans for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, but I need to conquer some mountains to get to the true riches of His kingdom. And with that, yes I may suffer a bit, but as long as I continue, there will be much growth in my character. And I will become the woman that He designed me to be!

We know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance grows character, and character gives us hope. Romans 5:3-5


Laguna to Warner Springs

First 110 miles down, only 2550 to go. It has been an interesting journey so far. I was terrified about being in the desert mostly because of the unknown. All the heat, the lack of water, the endless sandy soil, snakes slithering on the trail, prickly cactus and everything that abounds that is unlike home! Well everything that I thought was true but I have learned to love this place called the desert. The heat is dry and actually not as hot as I imagined. The lack of water is true but you learn when to carry extra and at certain places, there are caches of water humped in by incredibly caring people. The snakes truly are much more afraid of me. I am too big for them to swallow and eat! And the cactus are so beautiful in bloom. But they are not ones you would pick to bring home or put in your hair. Well maybe once but you will learn quickly you are much better to admire them from afar.

The trail is absolutely magical. Each step is filled with Godly moments. The wonders of how a small delicate flower can somehow grow in an inhabited place or why do cows wander in this endless desert? There are much greener pastures but they are quite content just where they are. Contentment is so important on this trail and to think a cow can teach me what truly matters!

I have learned not to worry about what’s ahead but love the moment that I am in. Even when I am headed up a hill that has no end in sight, or when my feet are as hot as the day is long, or when I’m so tired and still need to get to a campsite and where I am won’t possibly do, or when the wind is blowing so hard that I can barely stand or worse yet, erect my tent. Yes, those are the moments that I treasure and know that God is there with me. I do believe that He placed me in the desert first so that when I reach the mountains I will truely appreciate all His glory!

Yes, I do love the desert! I now understand why Jesus spent 40 days listening to His Father and getting direction as to his destiny. I believe that the Lord is giving me the same direction, be still and quiet and know that I am with you every step, every moment, everywhere I go.

Yes, contentment and stillness have been lessons learned and it has only taken me 110 miles. Cannot wait to see what is up ahead. Oh there I go again, be in the moment. Maybe I still have another 100 or so miles to go before I get it… God has such a great sence of honor.





Monument to Mt Laguna

  The journey begins. I took my first steps on the PCT on April 10 with eight other trail friends. This truly is a small community of like-minded individuals who have the same amazing goal of somehow walking 2660 miles north. God willing, we will all make it!

I have already made myself a bloody good friend from New Zealand. She is a delight and we have much in common. We are the same age, have two children, married on the same date and are in no big hurry to get to Canada. We talked today about our faith and how God has revealed himself in our lives. She is still searching but knows that nothing is by chance and that we were truly meant to be hiking these first miles together! God has a plan for all of us and who would think that he could bring two hikers together that live in different hemispheres some thousands of miles away! “I am the Lord; that is my name.” Isaiah 42:8. Never underestimate the power of our Lord!

These past few days have been splendid with tepid tempatures and clear skies. The trail is much different than I had expected. The high desert is stunning! Purple mountains with manzanita, wild flowers, lizards, snakes, rabbits, skunks and many birds and loud owls in the evenings. It is reminiscent of the garden of Eden and how God had designed this world of ours.  

So after 42 miles, God has provided me strength when I thought I could not take another step. He has created springs of clear water when we have had a drought for three years!   And this is only the beginning. So the journey continues with some waterless days ahead and no doubt, much warmer days too!


“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” Psalms 119:105

May the trail lead you to God’s will for your abundant life. 

Scarey Part Done

i have arrived in beautiful sunny San Diego. As I woke up this morning I realized what I had signed up for, hiking with God but the plane flight, that I wasn’t ready for. I’m not sure why flying scares me so? Isn’t it the  safest mode of transportation? I guess it’s that sudden stoppage that I have zero control over. 

God blessed me with a nice crew. As I am standing in line, my hubby kisses me good-bye (like the ole days before 9/11 ) but being an employee of Homeland Security has its perks. So back to the kiss… He kisses me goodbye as the flight crew feels they need to get onboard with all that! Before I know it, I get a big hug from the gal checking my boarding pass as George looks on. Good thing we had a belly laugh before I left or it would have been much to mushy with many tears flowing! 

Now that I am safely back on the ground, I can honestly say, the scariest part is over! My trail angel Jan picked me up at the airport, gave me a tour of downtown San Diego as there were not one, but two Sig-Alerts on I-5. Once again, flying is safer than driving.

I plan to relax for the day, check out my maps and make sure I am headed in the right or most northerly direction. As long as I don’t get on the wrong side of the border, the fence should be a clue, then I will be putting my first footsteps on the PCT early morning Friday. 

God, give me strength to do the things that I can only do when you are with me.  

Happy trails and I’ll keep in touch.  

14 Days to go, but who’s counting?

Campos, my starting point has been beautiful these past few days. Perfect 70’s in the daytime and freezing at night. What else could a girl ask for?

Yes, I am counting down the days to hitting the trail. I have made contact with the ‘Trail Angels’ who are truly angels and plan to pick me up from the airport in San Diego. They will drive me to the trailhead on April 10th where I will launch my next 165 days of life like I have never experienced! 

I have been doing last minute adjustments to my pack including dropping a few gadgets that I decided were unnecessary for the next five plus months. My base pack weight is 16 pounds which includes everything except food and water. I can only imagine Day One on the trail with 7-8 liters of water, four days of food topping my pack weight to nearly 35 pounds! Every step of the way , I will be drinking water and lightening my load. And then, eating the heaviest food first! Can’t wait to dive into all those dehydrated meals that I have been preparing for the past months. 


My Resupply Boxes Mailed by Hubby

My prayer request is “no big snakes” and less then 90 degrees on my first day out. I know, I’m asking for the impossible but “all things are possible for those who trust in The Lord.” Thank you Jesus in advance! I love you.