And then it was 5am and the puppy we got last night squiggled around the bed like a little inchworm and my husband rubbed her little back. My heart melted into a warm mushy pile of goo. But 5:15 came and it was into a freezing ass car I went after dusting off the snow and scraping off the ice. Down-down-down in the darkness to the airport where I sat and wondered if the plane would even leave.

But it did, and the guy next to me manspread himself all over his seat and mine and I shot eye daggers into his elbow when it touched my side. NO TOUCHING. His arm recoiled as if burned by molten steel, but his knee touched my leg on my side of the seat anyway and I wanted to scream in his face and maybe punch him in his stupid kneecap. But I didn’t, and I watched wide-eyed, like a total kid, while we landed in Vegas. A brand new Vegas with snow on every hill and every mountain, all the way to the valley floor.

And then I wasn’t mad at the manspreader anymore. I knew it was just this storm that was killing me. Eating me alive.

But then I landed in San Diego and Anji threw her arms around me and Jamie helped me carefully get my pack into the car. Maureen drove us to REI, lunch, the grocery store, to our AirBnb to drop our packs off, and then out toward the Southern Terminus of the PCT. Trail Angels in the First Degree.

Determined to get us as close to the Monument as possible, Maureen darted down dirt roads. Thump-thump went the car. This thing is an SUV, it’s FINE, went Maureen. And off we went until there we were. Right in front of it.

We put on a million clothes because it was freezing ass cold, and then we took all the photos and suddenly we were alone.

Just me and Anji. And the trail.

And we walked back to the AirBnb. Our first 1.5 miles on trail.

And it quickly turned into a blizzard.

And we laughed.


Aidan · March 2, 2023 at 5:27 pm

Your self restraint on the airplane is impressive! People are just the worst.

Amanda · March 2, 2023 at 10:15 am

Yeah, it’s FREEZING! You guys be safe, I don’t know how you’re doing this right now, but I am impressed. I hope you have all the necessary winter gear for winter camping…or do you expect that the trail will dry and get warmer/sunnier as you progress in mileage? That would be my hope for you both.

What an amazing beginning.

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