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Get Wild For Earth Day

April 22, 2015

11182325_10153769264009746_5926494025178080058_nToday April 22, 2015 is Earth Day. People all over the planet are celebrating the earth, our earth, our one only home planet, in myriad ways.

Myself? I loaded up on vegetables from the Farmers Market (thanks to Lucas!) and I am preparing to speak at Ventura College at 3:30pm today about my experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail thirty years ago.  Then from 6-9pm, Luis Rodriguez will speak in Guthrie Hall. All in all, it should be a great Earth Day (and a lot easier on me than last year’s event at Ventura College that I organized!)


Thirty years ago, this is how my day started:

“Hold still, there’s a tick on your cheek!”

That was my greeting the first morning backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada: April 22, 1985.

Getting water from the gutter of the interstate, climbing Mt Whitney a few weeks later, hiking 12 miles on a cough drop and half a bar, wrestling food from a bear in Yosemite, crossing blue-white glacial streams in Oregon, hiding from rain in pit toilets in Oregon and rest areas in Washington: these memories from completing all 2600 miles of the PCT are etched permanently into my synapses to make it an adventure that informs every day of my life.

Believe it or not, I hiked some 2000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in these Asolo Yukon boots which I am bringing to the talk.



You would not believe how heavy they are! After 1600 or so miles, we had them resoled. And then after another 400 or so miles, we gave up the heavy leather boots for good. These days PCt hikers, for the most part, wear trail runners; many of them specifically love the Brooks Cascadia for their comfort level –especially if they are a nice roomy half or full size larger than usual and worn with “toe” socks to reduce friction.


And next to the boots is the backpack I used to hike Oregon and Washington in 1987; for California in 1985, I wore a Kelty external frame pack. That pack was really comfortable and easy to stay organized but it didn’t stay as close to my body as the internal frame pack which was better for really moving fast and for crossing creeks and other situations.

Each night on the trail, my former husband Ken and I took turns writing down what happened that day in a journal. I used those journals extensively when I wrote a 300 page novel based on my experience hiking the PCT. Pictured is a copy of the novel –this is the one that was mu mom’s and still has her handwritten notes suggesting changes for the revision I never did. I had several editors of major publishing houses interested in the book –but I never sent it off to them because I wanted to revise it first. Big mistake.

I am considering posted the novel here on the blog–what do you think? Are you curious? Interested? Would you subscribe so you could stay on the trail with the narrator? Let me know in the comments!

In the meantime, you watch someone who took a selfie every mile or read about my 30th anniversary hike PCT here and here. Have a wonderful Earth Day!


5 Comments leave one →
  1. nydia permalink
    April 22, 2015 4:16 pm

    Is there any reason you can’t try again w/publishers? The online publishing/marketing could only help promote it. And the options you’d have with an ebook…this makes my brain go nuts. Keep us posted on whatever version you go with. My vote is YES, however you decide to publish.

  2. Fran permalink
    April 23, 2015 8:28 am

    Enjoyed learning about your PCT experiences and how they related to the movie Wild. And, especially nice to see you again.

  3. Christy Bird permalink
    April 23, 2015 1:41 pm

    I ALWAYS love reading about the wilderness experiences of others! It inspires me to go out and do what I sometimes try to convince myself I can’t. I would absolutely subscribe and follow!

  4. April 23, 2015 1:55 pm

    Yes ! Post the book, I’d read it!! Also have an art blog and love the power of the internet. Go for it!

  5. April 23, 2015 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement! And Sky, what a lovely blog you have! Beautiful artwork –especially the PCT inspired!

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