trail blog for the summer

joeyh at

I'm following Carrot Quinn's trail blog this summer as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. I highly recommend it. It's the best trail journal I can remember.

I read trail blogs and diaries for descriptions like these:

I don’t see another soul all day. By the time I reach the snow-filled valley beneath Pinchot pass, I feel like the most alone person on earth. I am a tiny, solitary speck in all this wilderness. The snow is soft in the afternoon sun and I posthole my way over the surface of the earth, my legs sinking into the snow, the crusty top layer scratching and cutting my calves. I’m headed in the direction of what I think is the trail, feeling more alone than I’ve felt in ages.

Climbing bright granite staircases in the syrupy yellow sun to lakes so clear, deep and untouched that you can hardly believe your eyes. Pine-covered ridges looking out over lush, secret canyons where the only sounds are the mule’s ears opening and the water trickling through the grass.

And for the vicarious thrills..

I don’t know if it’s because I’m so pumped or because it’s almost too dark to see, but I don’t feel sketched out at all as I crawl, hand over hand, up the crumbling face of the mountain. The weight of my pack pushes me into the dirt and rock and I feel held there, safe.

There is, of course, no trail going down the mountain. There are instead immense, steep snowfields, slopes of tumbled boulders, and rushing water. Normally I’d be able to look down the slope and try and guess where to go- but it’s full dark now, and I can only see what’s in front of my headlamp. [...] There is loose scree, running water, more snow. I look at what’s in front of my headlamp and I work my way downward.

But also for the slices of life..

Twig builds a morning fire. Twig makes a fire every morning and every evening- he also carries an external frame pack, which he wears without a shirt, and has a mullet. I like to pretend that Twig is LARP-ing 1970′s National Geographic, and that he has to stay in character.

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