Moving and staying

I haven’t hiked much lately. I haven’t written much lately. I haven’t “been” much lately… apart from “been working”… Summer is high season in our wilderness school, it’s the time of the year where we make our living for the rest of the year. Plus since fall has come, we’ve been building our tiny home to make sure we have a roof above our heads in winter. So I’ve basically “been working” since I got back from the Haute Route. We need money to get us through the winter and ‘thru’ the PCT and through the winter after that. Continue reading

Hiking = Resetting to original mode!

Some people don’t seem to get it. “Hiking is boring. Why would you wanna walk all those miles? What does it give to you? There are so many cool things to do and you go hiking? Really?”

HELL YES! REALLY!!!

Hiking is human nature! It is what we are designed for! That’s right, look down… Do you see them? Those two things carrying you around are your feet! They’re not made for highheels, they’re not made for stitting still 8 hours a day. They’re made for walking, for running, for moving! If evolution would be working faster I guess the last 20 or 30 years would have eliminated our feet and legs and we’d be growing cars out of our ass, or seats, or whatever that makes us not use our feet anymore.

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The night with ‘my’ mountain lion

One year ago something happened that changed my life. Something that I think of every day. Something that I carry around in my body, my mind and my soul. I’m sure not all people would give it that much of a meaning. I didn’t really choose to do so, it chose me. It’s a part of me whereever I go and whatever I do.
One year ago I was given a second birthday. At least that is what it felt like when Gordon and Dave came down from Sunrise Mountain and found me just before they crossed Sunrise Creek on their way down to the Clouds Rest junction. They gave the word “trail angel” a meaning far beyond the normal meaning all thruhikers come to enjoy. They saved me from what I thought was gonna keep me caged forever and what I thought was gonna kill me.
One year ago I spent 13 hours with a mountain lion. I started calling him or her “my mountain lion”. But really he or she ain’t mine. “I’m his or her” would suit more but I guess that’s not how it is either. The mountain lion was absolutely beautiful. I was inside my tarptent, he or she right outside. Yet as the hours passed by -and I can tell you, they never passed by more slow than they did that night- in my mind my tent gradually became my coffin.

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The question ain’t "Why do you hike?" but "Why do you blog?"

As a writer you sure have to deserve your credits the hard way. As thruhikers do too.

When you hike and reach the end-terminus, your peeps at home congratulate you, they’re full of “wow you did it” and “it must have been amazing”. But after a week (well if you’re lucky maybe two or three) the excitement calms down and things go back to how they were before (that is for the people around you). So there you are, having hiked hundreds or even thousands of miles, but now standing in the middle of that old living room again, sitting at the table in the kitchen you’ve eaten so many breakfasts. And you can’t help asking yourself: “Has it all been a dream? Or why is it that I feel so lonely, so empty and so out of place?”
Being a writer ain’t much different. When you write something the people out there like, you get nice comments and they encourage you to keep on writing. Lots of people read along but don’t say anything, so you kinda have to make up in your head what they think of it. And then I always end up asking myself the same and highly uncomfortable questions: “Girl, why are you sharing your thoughts with the world? Are you just doing this to get attention? Do you seriously think you got something to share?” These are the questions that come to my mind in the calm after the storm, when encouraging words only ring from the distance.
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Loveletter to a thruhiker

I was just talking to a hikertrash friend when we started chatting about how beautiful thruhikers are. That’s when the idea came to my mind to write a loveletter to a thruhiker. No it’s not just dedicated to one particular thruhiker, it is written to all thruhikers, the ones that hiked in the past, the lucky bastards that are rocking the trails right now and the ones in the future. Now this might be a bit cheesy, but hell, I don’t give a fuck, you know that ;cP

Here’s to all of you thruhikers, men and women: MY LOVELETTER TO YOU:

Thruhiker,

How beautiful you are. Your wild eyes, your dust-covered body and your heart thirsty for freedom. Your feet leaving your tracks on the trails around this world. They’re scarred but strong. They take you where your heart wants to go. No one knows exactly where you’ve been and no one knows exactly where you’ll go. But you go baby, o you go! Sometimes you’re fast like a wolf, concentrated, head down to the trail, still fully aware. Sometimes you’re slow like a turtle, stopping every second step to drink the wild air, still never losing a race. 

Look at your hair, it’s all tangled up and sticky and dusty, but the sun makes it shine like gold. 
Look at your face, it’s weathered like a tree shaped by the wind. The lines and the wrinkles tell the story of the places you’ve been, of the people you’ve met and the battles you’ve won. 
Look at your hands, colored with dirt, they’re both empty and full, they receive and they give, they hold a whole world. 
Look at your mind, it’s wide open, it’s searching and finding at the same time. 
O and your heart, have you looked into it? It’s thirsty, growing bigger and stronger with each mile you go, beating like crazy, wild and untamed. 

How real you are. How the trail stripped you down to the core of your being. Dirty and smelly but honest and real. Thruhiker, meeting you, one gets what one sees, that’s for sure. The smell of sweat and a dirty hug, yet also shiny eyes so alive, expressing joy and wonder and revealing all your wild dreams, all the steps you took in life.

How strong you are. Getting up every morning, deciding it’s a perfect day to live your dream and by doing that, maybe disappointing others, not following the given paths in life, doing your own thing, getting away from it all (O we both know you’re not running away from it all, you’re diving right into it). You should know that even those who would want you to do things differently, still secretly admire you. You inspire your enemies and your friends. You inspire the people that cross your path. You are brave enough to live what many people dream of.

How wild you are. Human still, but getting closer to where we all come from. How the trail blurs the dividing line between you and the earth, between you and the trees, between you and the wind, between you and the wildlife. You’ve become wildlife yourself now, you’ve become the earth and the trees and the wind that tangles up your hair. 

How crazy you are. Absolutely mad. The kind of madness to fall in love with. Laughing and joking and turning the world upside down. How I love the way you do that. Making fun of life, not giving a fuck, and still loving it more deeply and fiercely most people could ever imagine..

O Thruhiker, how beautiful you are. Your wild eyes, your dust-covered body and your heart thirsty for freedom!

Cat 

PS: You are my hero!!!

 

168 Reasons to hike the John Muir Trail

Soooooooo: Why would you wanna hike the JMT? O dear, there are tons of people who could come up with tons of reasons why not to!

But NO NO NO… that ain’t the way we roll right? Always be confident and positive (that you oughta know since you read my last post…. Haven’t read it yet? Total shame!!!)! Hell there are hundreds of reasons to hike the John Muir Trail, 168 to be exact! One reason for each day between the moment you apply for your wilderness permit and the day you’re about to set your first foot on the trail!

So here we go: 168 REASONS TO HIKE THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL:
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