As the world trembles

I haven’t written for a while. And even though I am really longing for it, the moment I sit myself down in front of a blank page, a feeling of immense tiredness overcomes me. I wanna play with words, but I am to tired to play. I wanna create beauty, but the grief is much more present (which can be beauty too, I am aware of that). So many things going on, so many roads to travel, so many books to read and write and yet it seems like I can’t find the starting line.

I want to plan hikes and I want to hike in the Sierra and in the desert and I want it to be summer already but there is no way to around winter, no way around surgery, the big dark monster slowly creeping up on me.

There are so many things I wanna do and start, yet this monster forces me to stop, to take a break in a phase of my life where I don’t really want to stand still, where I wanna create, bring my gift to the world and be of service. Of course I know this darkness is gonna inform me, is gonna be woven into my story, will become a part of my service. The beast will dance with the beauty and when I come out on the other side of the mountain I will carry a bit of gold in my small hands. But for now, to be honest, I am fucking scared. That’s how it is. Continue reading

More or Less or Just Enough

more-humanYesterday I bought a women’s magazine. I hadn’t bought one in years. While standing in line to pay my stuff I pictured myself on the couch, sipping on a glass of white wine and reading something without brains. It sounded like a good plan to me. However that thought only lasted till I opened the magazine and noticed the word “more” being used a lot. An aweful lot. “Be more human” (Reebok ad), “Want it more” (Asics); over all “more” seemed to be the way to go.

And I heard myself thinking “What the fuck?” Wearing tight sexy clothes while doing a crazy impossible yoga pose is making me more human??? And what would happen if I wanted it more? What is “it” anyway? Being fit? Having a six-pack? Being better than the rest? Or being someone else?

Cause what “more” is really saying, is that right now “I am not enough”. Not good enough the way I am. Not hot enough. Not cool enough. Not beautiful enough. Not happy enough. Not tough enough. Not chilled enough! Not! enough! I need to be more! Apparently I am lacking something. Maybe there’s a hole somewhere in my body, a space full of emptiness that makes me “not enough”, waiting and begging to be filled with “more”? Continue reading

Continue Smiling – A journey along the PCT

I am so proud of HQ who made a short movie about our journey along the Pacific Crest Trail.

As the title says, it’s about the ability to “continue smiling”, through pain, through ups and downs, through life. ‘Cause really when you look at life: It’s a miracle.

And so all I can do, is encourage you to keep smiling and following your heart. It’s the way to happiness! Be grateful, be who you truely are and share your gift with the world ’cause there is only one you and you got this one life to live to the fullest!!!

Here it is:

PS: While putting this video online yesterday I was in hospital and I was getting surgery scheduled. It’s gonna be hard but life always has its means of creating some sort of sense. I’ll walk my path… somehow… and next to the tears, which I am gonna cry for sure, I’ll do my best to continue smiling!!!

Love,

Cat

Catwoman – The story of my trailname

O nooooo… not again!!! I hear you I hear you! I won’t go through the mountain lion story again. I’ve written enough about it. It’s time to move on. Except for the part that my trailname CATWOMAN results out of it.
I love my trailname. It’s who I am. I couldn’t think of a name suiting me better and it always feels kinda strange to me when someone contacts me and calls me by my other name.
Some of my readers might not be familiar with the trailname tradition so let me explain it a bit. I actually don’t know the official rules… As far as I know there are several “rules” (or whatever you wanna call them), but I guess you can’t call them “official”.
So… There’s a tradition in the hiker scene that a hiker gets a trailname somewhere sometime along the trail. The way I see it that name should result out of a situation on trail (maybe something that happened to you, something funny or stupid you did), out of the way you behave, react, something that defines you. Now some “rules” say you can’t choose your own name and you are not allowed to refuse a name given to you. Some say you gotta stick with that name; once you get it you can’t change it. Some say the opposite… I don’t really care what the rules are here but I do think it’s awesome when a trailname results from a situation/your characteristics on trail, and when you get named by someone else.
Getting a trailname feels a bit like a “welcome to the community”-thing. You now are a real hiker. “From now on thou shall be named xxx and thou shall dwell in the temples of nature!”

Continue reading

Trailmelancholy

Three days ago I suffered from an acute case of trailmelancholy and trailfamily longing. It just came over me when I started preparing my PCT journal, drawing the route of the PCT on to the cover page. I had done the same thing with my JMT journal two years ago.
So three days ago I took out my JMT journal to compare and then…. BAMN… DAMN…I made a mistake. I opened my journal and I started reading. From beginning to end. I was laughing and fighting back my tears at the same time.
I came to the last page of my journal and found an entry I couldn’t recall publishing here on my blog. First I didn’t understand why I hadn’t published it, but then I read it through and I understood. By the time I published my last traildays here on my blog it was december 2013. 3 months after finishing my JMT thruhike. I was still hurting like shit. Missing my people like shit. And trying to build a new life here in Germany.
We’re one year later now. Time o time it doesn’t heal but it makes the feelings less intense.
So this was my last entry in my JMT journal:

Continue reading

A walk with my ego

Today me, myself, I and my ego went for a walk. In fact it was just me, myself and I walking. My ego was, as always, sitting on one of my shoulders, just riding along, commenting on each thought coming to my mind.

“So you’re gonna hike the PCT?” my ego asked.
“Yeah, I’m gonna hike the PCT,” I said.
“Wow you’re frikking awesome!” ego said.
And I was like: “Na, I don’t know.”
While we were walking, our conversation kept on going…
This is how it went:
Ego: “You’re special.”
Cat: “O shut up!”
E: “Not everyone hikes from Mexico to Canada!”
C: “I’m just walking.”
E: “But you’re walking more than 2000 fucking miles.”
C: “Yeah, well, I’m not sure if I’m gonna make it.”
E: “You’re badass girl!”
C: “hm”
E: “O come on, you’re a star!”
C: “I’m not even half a star!”
E: “I’m coming with you. If you’re not gonna shine I frikkin am!”
C: “O ego, could you like please just shut up, just for one sec?!”
E: “Jee, don’t ruin all the fun here. It’s my chance to get attention!!!”
C: “Attention for what ego?”
E: “For being so fucking tough, walking to Canada!”
C: “It’s not you hiking ego, you’re just riding along, as always. My feet are gonna do this.”
E: “Really girl, you’re gonna ruin this for me?”
C: “I don’t know ego, I’m not sure I wanna carry you on my shoulder. After all my base pack weight should be under 10lbs. There’s no room for you!”
E: “Fuck lightweight backpacking! Why can’t you be rich and famous? I’d be getting so much more attention!”

Continue reading

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.
Continue reading