Morning People


Lovely field of flowing grass

Let’s get serious for a moment. I had a discussion with a fellow hiker about how life before 8 a.m. should not exist. And times like 3, 4, and 5 a.m. actually do not exist. When I told him someone started hiking at 5am, his reply was, “He was lying to you, because that time does not really exist.” I liked this guy. He gets me.DSC01467

Last night I was up most of the night in winds so strong, I thought surely there would be a house on me by morning, the only things remaining being my striped socks. After all that, I heard people getting up and packing before the sun was up. Birds weren’t even chirping yet! Seriously!? In the secrecy of my tent, I flipped off each and every person that walked by before 6:30. It’s not that I dislike morning people…it’s just that we’re different breeds.


One of many horny toads keeping me company

After Julian, everything was hot and uphill. The trail zigzagged in an insane manner up the hills while there was the view of the straight road below. I just wanted to get further but spent 2 days looking at that road. This trail makes me angry sometimes.

When I finally started to get away from the road, a rattlesnake scared the hell out of me. He was hiding in a bush and I stepped so close to him, I could have reached down and pet him. I think back to playing Xbox Kinect Wipeout with my family and how I could never jump high enough. I guess I never really had the motivation until the snake incident. I have never jumped so high in my life.

There are many motivators on the trail. Water and food top my list. I hiked 14 miles one day just because that was the only water source. It seems that is my biggest motivator. Water. Nothing else matters. A cache of pallets of unopened Crystal Geyser is like seeing a pile of gold. When it is hot and you just ran out of disgusting water you filtered from some questionable green creek, that cool fresh bottle is the best thing you’ve ever tasted.


Reaching the 100 mile mark

I was feeling ready for a change in terrain. The flowers are gorgeous, the cacti are awesome, but I was ready for something new. Just then, the plants grew tall until I was surrounded by huge oaks. I made it to the next water source. It was paradise. After that, I was walking through tall oaks and fields of flowing grass. I stopped several times just to listen to the grass. I bet you’ve never done that. I hope you get a chance sometime in your life.


Beautiful oak

I happily walked along a creek with the tall oaks the rest of the day until I got to my meeting point. I was sitting in a chair, waiting for my dad. When he pulled up, a couple of guys walked over to say hello. These were the guys that stayed at our campsite a week earlier, that I suspect hang around to see what else my family will bring.


Another oak because I can’t get enough of them

My dad and I checked into a little cabin and we were the first customers of theirs…ever. It is funny being the only people at a resort, but the place is nice and the water is hot. Which is good because it takes so long to clean myself these days. He took me out to do laundry and eat Mexican food. I just needed a pile of melted cheese, I didn’t care what was under it. That was such a satisfying meal. I feel like every meal I have on the trail is the most satisfying meal I’ve ever had. We topped it off with margaritas. This is hiking in style. God knows I’ll need it for the next uphill stretch into Idyllwild.


10 thoughts on “Morning People

  1. David Winter

    Wow! You are really doing this. For some reason I thought you would be home by now, telling everyone you weren’t really ready for this hike, but your still doing it! Amazing!
    I love your photos! They are really beautiful. And that’s what started me thinking about how I too should take on this Most remarkable journey, And prove myself to the world! But then I realized something, as I’m laying here comfy in my bed with a bottle of ice cold water to my side, I don’t need too! With your very descriptive progress and wonderful photos I actually feel like I am hiking right along side of you. So I thank you for that! And where we going next?
    I loved your little water story, where water was all that mattered at the time. It reminded me of twilight zone, two men carrying a backpack of gold each, on a road in the middle of the hot desert. One had water one didn’t. “The price of water has just gone up! It’s now one sip of water for 3 bars of gold!”
    You are truly amazing for doing this. A new adventure at every dawn. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings..


    1. unsettledandwandering Post author

      Today is sitting and drinking anything and everything in sight. It’s nice to get into nature, but it’s nice to be in town. Today I drank water, apple juice, aloe vera juice, beer, beer, water, tea, and apple juice. I still want more. And if you keep bragging about water, I’m making you drive out to bring me some while I’m hiking. Next, I think the Inca Trail. If you’re paying, you can choose. 😉


  2. Stephanie Sanders

    I love you Tawny and I’m so proud of you. You are doing an amazing job. I’m so inspired by your perseverance. Can’t wait to read more entries 🙂 Like Uncle Dave said, I feel like I’m getting to enjoy this experience with you.



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