PCT Pre-Hike: Permit Day

Things have gotten very REAL over the past couple of weeks. Especially a few Wednesdays ago, November 14th.  What’s so important about a date, in the middle of the week, months before starting my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail? It was Permit Day.

Back when I’d first heard of the trail in 2013, the need to obtain a permit to thru-hike didn’t exist. Well, you did need permits for certain wilderness areas, etc. – and a permit from the Pacific Crest Trail Association covered most, if not all of these. Over the past couple of years, in an attempt to lessen the impact of the droves of hikers sauntering on the trail, the PCTA began implementing a 50 permits a day policy. I thought this was a great idea, to prevent a ton of hikers hitting the same towns and trail angels all at the same time and straining resources, until I was unlucky enough not to get my desired start date on permit day.

Heck, not even close to my desired date.

I did manage to nab a date three weeks before, during the middle of frosty March. I’m trying to console myself with the fact that sometimes March can be warm and not freezing overnight down here. I live in Southern California, and am familiar with the extremes in the weather and honestly that month can swing either way. More than likely, it will be cold. After a few days of teeth gnashing about my start date, I have decided that it’s not all that bad – after all I do better in the cold than in hot conditions while hiking. However, my worry is that I’ll reach the Sierra far too early to safely enter given my non-technical hiking skill set. What’s a girl to do?

Hike the hike you are given…

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In the meantime, I’m logging in daily to the permit page online and hoping that someone cancels and frees up a spot closer to my desired date in early April. If not…well, I can always take time off trail when close to home and go back to work for a few weeks before starting out again. Not an ideal situation, but at least it is workable.

In the meantime, I continue to watch 2018 vloggers on YouTube, those that are still in the process of posting videos, while tweaking my gear for this Spring and mentally preparing for the journey.

Time constraints will keep me from blogging much, but I will try to do a daily ‘vlog’ on my YouTube Channel. Check it out and please subscribe to follow me on this adventure!

~Michele

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Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019

I have to ‘officially’ tell you about a crazy, but awesome adventure I plan on doing next year to celebrate my 50th trip around the sun.

If you didn’t already know, I like to hike and have been enamored by long distance national scenic trails. Especially the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ve walked on little sections of it, but want to partake of a grand adventure – that of “Thru-Hiking” it.

Basically, it starts at the border of Mexico and California near Campo, CA, winds its way north, hugging mountain ranges and the mojave, then crosses Oregon along sleeping volcanos and gorgeous mountain forests, next it climbs through Washington state along the Cascade range and goat rocks wilderness, and eventually ends at the border of Canada. Roughly 2,650 miles!

How long does it take? About 4 to 6 months on average. I’m hoping for 5, but I know I over-plan and better be flexible to some degree. Am I nuts? Ohhhh, maybe a little. But, I’m looking forward to the journey with all my heart and spirit. Why am I doing this? Because its there? I feel a pull to do it. Something amazing to look back on in my 70s and 80s and say, “Yeah…I did that.”.

I also want to inspire other middle aged people, especially women, that you’re NOT to old to do something like this. Heck, I see retired people thru-hiking this trail. Don’t get me wrong. Its not going to be easy. In fact, I’ll probably be questioning my sanity during parts of the hike!

I’ll keep a journal so I can write about it afterward, but I plan on ‘Vlogging’ along the way when I have signal. I’ve started a YouTube channel just for this purpose, so you can follow along while I hike. Right now, its all about the preparation and gear for 2019. Check it out here when you have a chance: https://www.youtube.com/user/LMicheleS

Anyway, I’m about EXACTLY a year out from the day I will step off on this adventure. I can’t wait! Lots of planning and training to do in the meantime though, that’s for sure.

I want to answer any questions about the trail you have. Fire away! 🙂

Hike on!

Hunting Party Hits #1 on the Amazon UK Best Seller List (Gay/Lesbian Fiction Horror)

I’m just floored. Floored!

I generally will log in to Amazon and check to see how a book is received and if its selling or being read at all via KDP. I DO watch the ranking, and am always happy when I see a book land in the top 100.

However, tonight I had the best surprise yet. I saw the third installment of the Still Alive: A Lesbian Love Story in an Undead World series, “Hunting Party“, hit number one in the UK in the Gay and Lesbian Fiction Horror category. ONE. UNO.

Whaaaaaat?! Very cool!

So, if any one from the UK reads my blog, I’d like to say a great, big “THANK YOU”. You are awesome.

Hunting Party hits 1 in UK better crop

Hunting Party is Live!

Happy Sunday Everybody,

Even though I’m not writing as fast as I have in the past because of other pursuits competing for free time, I’m AM still writing.

The 3rd volume of the Still Alive series just went live on Amazon! (eBook). It is titled, “Hunting Party” – click HERE for the US Amazon page. It is also available on your international Amazon pages too course.

I write this series under a pen name so as not to confuse those who read my Silverthran books. Very different genre.

Pick up a copy today! 🙂

Still Alive Series Book 3 EBOOK Final Resize

PCT Announcement!

Hello Friends and Family!

It’s 2018, which means it’s time for an official announcement – one that some of you are already aware of.

In April 2019 – just over a year from now – I am planning on thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. On average it takes between 4-6 months walking from the US-Mexico border in California to the US-Canada border in Washington over 2,650 miles. I hope to make it in around 5 months while hiking through mountains, deserts, and forests. There are some towns along the way to rest in, but for the most part I will be living in my tent in the most amazing places.


It’s an incredibly big dream and I’ve been aggressively saving and training for this adventure. Well, some training – I can be a lazy bug.

The backdrop wall paper I have on my blog is actually of the PCT a few years ago, my first time ever on the trail!

I am planning on doing YouTube channel on trail to document my journey and allow an easy way to keep our friends and family updated. In fact, I started documenting my training for hike already on my channel HERE. I welcome any questions any of you may have!

 

I AM still writing, just not as often. In fact, the next installment of the Still Alive series is coming soon. Stay tuned! I won’t keep a blog during the journey. I just don’t think I’ll have the time in addition to vlogging it. However, I will keep notes in a physical journal to help me remember notable moments when I write about the adventure. It will be my first non-fiction book.

Started a YouTube Vlog

Happy Sunday everyone!

 

I started a YouTube Vlog today geared mainly towards my future hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ve used it before for cat videos and other things, but I am to use this for my future activities I want to share.

Subscribe on YouTube to get updates of when I ever post anything new! Click HEREto see the intro video.

 

Round Valley Rescue

Before you read too far into this installment of my blog. Noooo, nobody needed rescuing from this hike.  In fact, it turned out to be a very short hike due to both me and my partner being SO out of form. There was a rescue though…of a wildlife kind.

Its been a couple years since I’ve been up into the hiking trails beyond the Palm Springs Tramway. I can’t go up very often due to the price of their seasonal passes climbing every year. So now, if I’m lucky, its once a year. I chose this month to escape the extreme heat of the desert floor – if only for a few hours – and also I needed to spread some of my cat’s ashes (Miss Kitty).

Once we arrived at the mountain station, we wound our way down the steep switchbacks to the hiking trail and decide to try to grab a geocache behind the ranger station area. (This is away from the Notch loop trail where I have a few hides of my own.) I found the cache and was on my way back down the side of a hill when I had to slam on the proverbial brakes before I stomped on a small bird on the ground.

The poor thing wasn’t dead, but it wasn’t moving much either. It fluttered a bit as I almost stepped on it, but that was about it. Tami came up to see what I was screeching about and couldn’t get it to move either. At this point we thought that either we leave it there to probably die or somehow get it to the ranger station which wasn’t far away. It wasn’t a baby, so no fear of the mother abandoning it, but something was definitely wrong with it.

Tami took the extra long sleeve shirt she had brought with her and carefully wrapped it around the bird and scooped it up.

stunned bird tram 2017

At first we thought it was a juvenile bluebird, but later after we did research, we think it was actually a Red-breasted Nuthatch. Neither of us are an Ornithologist, so who really knows!

When we walked into the ranger station with the birds, they probably thought we were crazy people looking for a local wildlife pet. lol Not so – we just wanted to make sure it would live as long as it wasn’t diseased. Nothing looked wrong other than it wasn’t moving a ton and also wasn’t fighting us as we carried it.

Being good sports, the rangers brought us to the back porch and had us put down the bird onto a towel. It shook its head a bit, fluttered and sat there for a few moments…then apparently it decided it had enough of us crazy humans and pipped away a foot. We gasped in happy surprise! Then, it actually flew off 20 feet and settled on a bench deciding it was absolutely done with us crazy people. We all cheered.

Yes, six full grown humans cheering a juvenile bird flying 20 feet away from us.

The rangers figured that it probably had flown into a tree or rock and stunned the bejeebers out of itself until me and my clumsy self nearly trod on it. I’m thankful I was looking down watching the ground as I walked!

Hiked a bit more after that, but not too much. No more wildlife rescues either. Whew!

PS Those of you who follow my twitter (@L_Michele_Scott) may recognize the bridge above. Same one, different angle, with a cute woman hiking on it. 😉

Quick Update

Hi all,

Nothing earth-shattering to report here. Just been busy, but thought I should update the blog to let you know I’m still alive.

I am working on another installment of the Still Alive series inbetween working and following many blogs and vlogs of Pacific Crest Trail hikers. (I live vicariously through them until I can get myself out there).

I’m also trying to get materials and arrange for our back porch to be repaired after that windstorm weeks ago. Alllmost there – hopefully by this weekend all the material will be purchased, then we’ll have to coordinate with our handyman.

On the bright side, the neighbor fixed the fence! It isn’t a very sturdy job, but we will take it. I still have to attach a privacy screen along our side of it as there are many gaps. We don’t want to be seen while ‘spooling’ in our Spool (oversized Spa).

That’s all for now!

Michele

Crazy Desert Weather

Nope, not during a hike. Not even during work or driving home. We were snug as bugs at home when the winds started creating a mess outside on Saturday night. At first, it wasn’t any stronger than prior wind storms we’ve gotten out here, but later…WOW.

The consensus is that its one of the strongest wind events we’ve had in a few decades in the eastern side of the Coachella Valley. (Sadly, the local news dropped the ball and only briefly mentioned spotty power outages and a couple downed trees in La Quinta.) Gusts up to 55 mph and isolated gusts up to 65 mph!

Most of the damage was concentrated in our backyard, although a cactus was flattened in the front yard and many leaves were stripped from my little ol’ lime tree. No trees of ours came down though. Whew!

blasted cactus

The Flattened Cactus.

Here are shots of the havoc the wind wrought the next morning….

Back gate 1back gate 2Back gate with spool shotback porch 1Backporch 2

I was able to fix one of the privacy/sun mesh screens with a staple gun that day and the backyard neighbor’s adult son came out and kind of stood there stunned. It took awhile for him to register that the fence was down. We are goofs and said, “Hello neighbor!” as he stood there with his jaw open.

The porch roof is on hold until we can get our handyman to come out and take a look at the roof.

As a side note, I really feel bad for any PCT hikers out in the area that night with their UL gear. That couldn’t have been pleasant.