We have trail names:)
I’m in my rain jacket and shorts in a small computer room at Warner Springs Resort while our clothes are being washed. Feels good to have a shower with water and soap, as I’ve resorted to dry bathing techniques that resulted in J dubbing me with my trail name. In the mornings I cover myself with baking soda to “deodorize” , so J started referring to it as “chinchilla’ing”, because those cute little rodents bathe in dirt, guess I use the same motion. Lucky for me, trail names can be vetoed, unlike the nicknames my siblings use-no, I don’t have to answer to smelly, slape, goatgirl, or the like…..so from now on I’m going to take on this PCT identity. Chinchilla is my name.
Walking on Pyrite
The desert, at least what I’ve seen thus far in these first hundred plus miles is not what I expected. Thought I’d have to get over the color green. Hasn’t been the case. It’s gorgeous. Beautiful. Yucca’s in full bloom, one last hoorah before the imminent end in their life cycle. Lot’s of lizards and indian paintbrush, rabbits, sage, hawks and other large birds of prey, gopher snakes and rattlers, horny toads*which are so cute!, the only thing that didn’t fit in the first few days were how many border patrol trucks and cars there were around. Surprised me. Disturbed me.
Jacob was pointing out a lot of the desert plants, reminiscing on his days when he took his dirt bike out as a teenager, and then pointed out the pyrite, or fools gold, that we were walking over. I started singing “Walking on, walking on Pyrite” to the tune of “walking on broken glass.” Then I started calling him Pyrite. Took a few days for him to let it simmer to see if he liked it, and it seemed to fit. So that’s his trail name.
- Desert Wildflowers, blooms, and fruits, and well, just the wildlife.
- Incredible views and vistas, and an “endlessly changing horizon”.
- Transition zones from one biozone to another. Decidous trees and cactus? Yes!
- Getting into our quilt at night after dinner and a day of hiking
- Trail angels and water caches
- Peeing without taking my pack off, while drinking water at the same time from the platapus. Yes, it takes skill.
- Jacob’s ingenuity in finding a way to keep our food bag from critters at night.
- Meeting other thru-hikers and hearing their stories.
- Seeing and being able to personally thank Halfmile, because Halfmile’s maps are awesome, and I’m grateful for all the work he’s put into them.
All in all, it’s been a great first week, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Thank you to all who are following us on our honeymoon, and hope at some point to catch up with you! I’ll leave you with some words I wrote down before embarking on this honeymoon.
Perhaps all that is needed is a change in perspective.
A humble shift of consciousness that uncovers a new lens with which to view the larger picture.
To see, in the minutia, the connections that were previously unseen.
To strive for that broadening.
that growth, and allow the changes to happen.
To give in to the inevitability of change.
To find the common thread in the immense diversity before you. Perhaps that’s all we need.
To challenge the conventional wisdom that the narrowing of our scope will divulge a clearer picture.
Perhaps this is what we should fight for, in ourselves, in our relationships, and in our communities.
Pictures soon, when we can get them up.
Love and Peace,
-Chinchilla and Pyrite