May 12th, day 18
Start: cooper canyon, mile 396
End: mission flats, mile 431
Miles hiked: 35

What a day. Got off to a late start after sleeping in. I set up my tarp between two small ponderosa pines, and that helped keep me warm and out of the wind. Sheriff and I were out at 6:30 and hiking parallel to highway 2 for several miles. When approaching a cabin around lunch, we noticed three people there. One had their back to is, and as we approached, it became clear that it was carrot! I was so happy to see her again, and instantly felt better knowing we weren’t all scattered. The three of us hiked, shared stories, and laughed about our misfortunes the last few days. Not a chance was ahead of us, and pink blazing her just felt so natural. My trail legs were back!

Carrot and I hiked alone for a bit as Sherrif was pretty much running trying to catch not a chance. We talked about the general make-up of pct through hikers. Almost all are white. There are nearly no minorities. We debated why this was, not really coming to any answer.

The hikers out here are all starry eyed dreamers. They aren’t caught up in careers, chasing money, or looking to prove their worth. Instead they are experience seekers. Almost all are dirt poor, trying to find a way to hang on to enough money to make it to Canada. Most could care less about fighting for the next promotion, or crushing themselves for a promising career full of monetary wealth. Instead, they seek wealth in experiences. Experiences that those not willing to take chances will never have. They’re happy, excited, and find joy in the unknown. It’s so much different from the people I am used to being around. Those that are so driven for a promising career and healthy future full of money and luxuries. It’s been a breath of fresh air being around these type of people. I’m learning so much. Learning to think of things in a bigger picture.

“We’re all going to die some day. Why not take these chances. Find depth in experience, not in monetary wealth.” Carrot said to me. I think that’s so true. One of the many reasons I knew I had to come out here and do this. I long for these experiences, and the relationships made in these new experiences. It’s healthy to surround yourself with those who are different. And although it is not ethnically diverse out here, the people are as different from those I am used to as possible. I like it. I’m learning so much from them, and it feels great.

Oh and we hiked 35 miles today. Got into camp just after dark. It was a beautiful day, and I felt great. Rejuvenated.

As I lay here cowboy camping looking at the moon, I can’t help but think… This is the life. The ups, the downs, all of it. I feel more alive than I ever have. I’m so fortunate to be out here, having these experiences.

No mile marker at 400. However there was one at 420. Hippies all over the trail.