I did something pretty great the other day. It involved napping in the sunshine. Next to a river... and a trail. Mud and I went on a short overnight trip to the Suiattle River and up to the PCT. But we didn't get very far. Just two miles into our walk we found a mossy outcropping and dropped our packs. Then we just laid there for a couple hours.
Being from Seattle, a sunny day is a pretty big deal. But being able to soak in it like a lizard, that's an even bigger deal. At first I was cold. Eyes closed, my body on the hard ground. Then the frost started to melt as the sun grew higher in the sky and soon I was in a half-conscious state of euphoria, feeling the warmth. This big ball of fire in the sky, it is so amazing! It goes up and it goes down and it dictates the patterns of almost every living creature on the earth. Including hikers.
After a while it's time to keep walking, so we make our way on the Suiattle River Trail and end up at the junction of the PCT. The signs on the trees remind us of home. A time when our life was a linear game of connect-the-dots between these trail markers.
But by now the sun is already starting to descend. We look for a splotch of it and find one way down the river on the rocky shore. By the time we get there, it'll probably be gone. Resigned to being cold, we gather wet firewood and make camp. Mud spends hours trying to make the fire catch, but it never does. There is no dry wood in sight.
We have no choice but to climb into the tent and wait for morning. I wear all my layers, burrito inside my sleeping bag and lie very still. Feeling chills echo around in my body. My nose is still cold and the rest of me doesn't stand a chance until it warms up. So I drape my raincoat over my face to keep my nose-heat from escaping. Thinking maybe I've finally found a way to sleep in the cold.
Again, I lie for hours in a state of half-consciousness. The cold keeps me from falling completely asleep. It's akin to being on drugs, this half-consciousness. The opportunity to explore a part of my brain that is normally invisible. The part of my brain that can almost see the future, and knows that everything will be okay. The part that has an endless supply of patience and knows, if I wait long enough, I'll get warm.
And I do.
I did it. I wrote a book! It's called A Walk with Mud, and you can read it on any device with a kindle app.
This book will be free all week through Friday (3/18). After you read it, you'd be doing me a HUGE favor by leaving a review! Reviews are super important in the Amazon world to prove that the book is legit and convince other people it's worth buying. Also, there's some sort of internal algorithm that gives more traction to books with lots of reviews - so it'll come up higher in search results. Your review is gold! Thank you :)
And if you'd like to download the book now (while it's free) but still want to make a contribution for the hundreds of hours of work I put into it, I've added a donate button to the site. Your contribution is greatly appreciated!
Lastly, a huge thank you to the talented Groucho for making such a wonderful book cover. Isn't it great?? I could stare at it all night...
Thank you, dear readers, for reading!
Dear Future PCT Hikers,
Vegan, vegetarian, herbivore, freegan, fruititarian. Whatever your diet of choice, if you're trying to eat even just a little bit healthy on your thru-hike, this spreadsheet may be for you. Mud, Harpo, Groucho and I put our heads together to compile information about all the resupply points and trail towns on the PCT. Since we all hiked southbound (different years) and are all vegan, this is the perspective we've shared. Though it may be helpful to non-vegans too.
By clicking on over to this spreadsheet, you'll find information on whether or not to send a resupply box or plan on resupplying in town, what kind of vegan food is available at restaurants and other fun facts!
Happy resupply planning!
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