Lone Star Hiking Trail 2015

Solo Thru Hike of the Lone Star Hiking Trail – 12/28/2014 – 1/2/2015 (Entry #4)

Journal Entry #4: Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hike Plan #3: – Phelps Hiker Camp to East Four Notch Primitive Camp – 14.09 miles

Weather: Overcast with drizzle, 45 degrees

LST22

Well well, I decided to take a full dose of Motrin this morning and needed another full dose today when I got to Four Notch camp this afternoon. The pain in my stupid foot was actually making me nauseous today and because I was unconsciously babying it as I stepped, my knee started to tweek…I really need to look into a surgery to either kill the nerve or remove it as I have no time or patience for foot pain anymore….something to add to my 2015 to do list before my next bigger hike happens I suppose. But my physical training for this hike was right on…no soreness in my legs, thighs, calves, nothing… so that tells me physically I am fit for this hike which makes me happy happy happy! Those 5am interval mornings and 3 workouts a day have paid off. 🙂 

Not to divert from the pattern of previous nights at camp, I am the only one here tonight…no hunters camping in the hiker camps so that anxiety has been unfounded thus far. Like the author mentioned in the guide book, the mile markers say 13 miles were to be hiked today but it came out at 14 miles and my fit bit confirmed that so was grateful to arrive at a undisturbed and quiet camp, plus it was nice to get to camp early at 2:30pm. I got camp set up and was able to get off my feet for a while before I had to make dinner rather than getting settled and making dinner when it was starting to get dark. I was greeted by yet another large owl hooting a welcoming song while I got settled…makes my heart burst to hear that sound.

Great news from today! Not only did I make it past the halfway point with 50 miles down and 50 miles to go (Whoo hoo!) and thankfully I have no signs of blisters or unusual wear and tear on my feet even after walking in wet socks for the past 3 days BUT I was also able to cross Boswell Creek! It was muddy and a little hairy but after some strategically exciting and heart pumping twists, turns and jumps, I made it across without any major catastrophes! 🙂 I also got to talk to a human being today as well….although not a very stimulating conversation to say the least but a conversation nonetheless. I was doing a 1 mile road walk and this hunter pulls up in his truck and rolls down the window with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and he looks me up and down and brilliantly asks me if i was hikin’? I had to laugh because seriously? You see a girl with a huge pack on, with an orange vest strapped to the back walking with trekking poles in the freezing rain and the only question you can ask if whether I am hiking or not? Hmmmm….anyways, I swallowed my smart alec answer i wanted to give him and instead smiled sweetly and politely answered “Yes sir”. He shook his head and simply gave the warning, “Be careful out there, them woods gots hunters in them.” I thanked him for the heads up and kept walking…guess he thought the orange vest on my pack was a fashion statement although orange has never been my color honestly. LOL! I am sure he was a great guy…just didn’t seem like all the lights were on at that moment. About 20 minutes later as I came up a hunters camp, I ran into some guys that were definitely camped for the long haul, 5 guys and a kid all set up to stay for at least a few weeks or more.…I asked if they had seen if the creek ahead was washed out and they no, that it was completely passable with a bridge…As I thanked them for the information, my heart quickly sank as I realized that they had hunted the Four notch trail loop and not the main Lone Star trail so I left talking to them with no more information than I had before. Except as I was about to walk away, one of the hunters told me to be careful as they had spotted a mountain lion that morning. Ugh…ok, so not much spooks me…I don’t mind bears, snakes, scorpions, sleeping in the woods solo for weeks on end, not showering for 6 days, bobcats, etc. but mountain lions cause my nerves to rattle a little…I was tracked by one in the Northern Sierras for about 5 miles before I realized he was there and the only reason i knew he was is that i happen to decide to turn around and take another trail during one of my solo Outward Bound hikes and saw these huge tracks walking to the immediate left of where my boot tracks were in the snow. At that moment, I realized that they see you wayyyy before you see them and that in this majestic place, I am not at the top of the food chain. So, granted the mountain lion size in Texas is much smaller than those in the Sierras, but with that information, I made darn sure my stun gun was on my hip from that point on just in case it was the plan for me to see just how big or small he was that day. I knew my pack was a huge advantage as you want to make yourself look as big as possible if confronted by a mountain lion and with my pack and my poles, that would help but the noise from the stun gun would only add to help confuse the lion. I would be as ready as I could be for him should he make his appearance and the rest of the story would be played out the way it was meant to be. I always remind my friends when they sometimes make comments about how they worry about me doing these adventures that I would rather die in the woods at the hands of nature where my heart resides than die in a car crash driving to Walmart to buy a loaf of bread confined in a metal moving man made box. So, with the news of the lion, I take a deep breathe and re-enter the woods as free and happy as I was before I got the news. 

Can you see one of my hidden caches in the left picture above? Ha! Tomorrow is New Years Eve which I will spend alone in my tent…no fireworks, no spread of excess of food to fill my belly with, not surrounded by sweet family or friends and yet it seems natural that this year this is where I will be. I have a feeling some hunters will be lighting up the sky for me if I can stay up late enough to see the sun set. Amazing how my family supports my gyspy type passion of a lifestyle, traveling from here to there…never knowing what is down the trail or who. When I think about those unknowns, it is exciting to me and awakens parts of my brain and body that aren’t active at any other time in my normal homeschooling, house wife day. Is it normal to be someone that needs so much time alone, constantly wanting to see new places, meet new people, be challenged to the point of almost breaking? I don’t know if it is….but I do know that spending time dwelling on if it is normal is futile…it is just who I am and those that know me either love that about me or think i am totally wacko. New people, new places, new conversations and the unknown are what stretch me, make me question the reality that I think is where I am supposed to be….if we never get out of our box, if we talk to the same people every day, those that we surround ourselves with are the ones that we become like. Their views become our views, their complacencies become our complacencies and of course their strengths can become our strengths because that is all we become to know, but how do we know there are other shapes to try fit into and whether we even want to fit into a shape at all? Some people find comfort in conforming…me? I feel stuck and cornered trying to conform to others expectations…I never have been one to go with the crowd. How boring is that? When all my friends became Judson High cheerleaders, I decided to compete in Triathlons and play varsity tennis instead…when my friends all went to A&M and UT for college, I decided to cross the country and go to the University of Montana never even having visited the campus in person….(Please don’t mistake my comments as bashing cheerleading or UT/A&M, all great ventures of course, i am strictly speaking as to what was right for me only). College and hobby choices aside, isn’t it more stimulating and provocative to talk to someone that has done things that are out of the norm, gone against the grain of societal expectations or that think more abstractly with a greater purpose than what is immediately in front of them? Don’t you leave after talking to someone like that with questions bouncing in your head that you had never pondered before or maybe they left you angry or frustrated by what they said because they think or see things differently than you do? I certainly do and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with people that do the uncommon, that have taken the harder routes in life, the riskier routes that others chose to turn away from for their own reasons…not necessarily physically but mentally, spiritually or emotionally….where they have taken risks in life and not sat by watching it pass by complaining that they wished things were different. My life has become richer because of the time spent with these people and I am grateful for them….they are continually shaping me into who I am becoming and I can’t wait to meet those that will still cross my path before I die…. My literary hero, John Muir, is one of those people that I so wish I could have sat and had a conversation with over a campfire on one of his treks…oh how I wish I could have been his student like Mr. Young on his adventures seeking the glaciers in Alaska.

Speaking of sweet friends that we cherish, Carol Woodward, our awesome realtor and sweet friend has been texting me inspiring messages along the trail so I check my phone when I can and I have just really pulled from her strength and prayers thus far. How wonderful that has been! She even declared a challenge on Facebook to friends to walk/run 5 miles a day while I am gone using that time to pray and reflect on their own lives…pretty cool if you ask me! I totally want to be her when I grow up! 🙂 Thank you Carol for your love and support. If you are in need of a realtor, either in Texas or not, please contact her. She and her sister are amazing God breathing servants and they will help to get you into your next home or sell your current home. They have blessed our family with more than selling and buying a home as now have have lifelong friends in Carol and her sister! And please remember, they are never too busy for your referrals!! Check them out here: Http://www.texashomesduo.com

Rain is picking up pain, cold and being wet are all temporary….Goodnight sweet owl that his hooting me to sleep. Until tomorrow….

“Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Here grow the wallflower and the violet. The squirrel will come and sit upon your knee, the logcock will wake you in the morning. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill. Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains. “ JM

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