Day 2 – Trouble on the Trail

First off I’m doing well, no worries here, but this did seem to be the theme in several of my encounters today.

i woke up well rested and enjoyed my coffee and oatmeal and was off by around 7 am.

i realized I had more water than I needed for the 20 mile stretch I was on so I left some for the thirsty hikers I met the day before who would be passing thru soon:

High quality H2O ready to go! 
High quality H2O ready to go! 

I reached lake morena by noonish and it was mostly dry, but some enthusiastic people welcomed me to the campground with a round of applause. They offered a beer but all I wanted was “water, cool, clear, water.”

Cliff said the water was at 3% of its full level. 
Cliff said the water was at 3% of its full level. 

At the campground were several other hikers, Some in good cheer and some of them with golf ball size blisters on their feet and some quite exhausted from the heat and terrain. I ate lunch with them and shared what I could and then headed back out, hungry for more miles and ready to get away from some of the noisily pontificating day drinkers at the campsite.

i found some epic views:

And some beautiful flowers: 

I met some border guards playing what appeared to be a game of hide and go seek with what they referred to as some of their customers. I chatted them up a bit and then continued on my merry way, shielding the hot sun with my silver umbrella and continuing down the well worn path:

I camped atop a ridge overlooking interstate 8 and ate my dinner of instant mashed potatoes as I wanted the traffic lights twinkle and the sun set upon my second day on the PCT. 

28.5 miles hiked and I’m  feeling blessed beyond measure. Thank you for sending all those good vibes and prayers my way, my feet and heart are happy.  

❤ Will

 

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Day 1 – The Hike Begins

I hopped off the bus around 1:45 pm, filled up on 6.5 liters of water at the local fire station and then headed the 1+ miles to the start of the trail.

After making it a short distance, a kind soul stopped their truck and offered me a ride. 

Thanks for the ride, Cliff! 
Thanks for the ride, Cliff! 

He shared some of the history of the area and how he was in the process of building a museum to honor the legacy of the land.  He’s also a cattle rancher, restores old John Deere tractors, and has helped build churches in the area. He was a fascinating person to meet and drove me straight up to the monument at the start of the trail:

The monument at the start of the trail
The monument at the start of the trail

I met some other hikers there and soon was off hiking in a new and foreign land. 

The dusty trail
The dusty trail
Cacti “raising the roof”
Flowers growing through the cracks in a rock
Flowers growing through the cracks in a rock

It was in the mid to upper 80’s and hikers were feeling the heat. I tried out my new umbrella! 

 

It works great! 
It works great! 

I met some colorful characters today, here is a picture of one dtnamic duo, Beth and Brooklyn: 

They were both in good spirits and sporting hats, packs, and hiking boots
They were both in good spirits and sporting hats, packs, and hiking boots

It was a fun first day on the trail and I hiked until the stars were twinkling in the sky.

The sun setting on my first day. 
The sun setting on my first day. 
The moon was a welcome and familiar sight, without it I could easily imagine I was on a completely different planet.
The moon was a welcome and familiar sight, without it I could easily imagine I was on a completely different planet.

11 miles completed! 

To the trail

Wow! It’s taken two cars, two planes, two trains, and a bus to get me safely to the start of the trail. God bless America!

my dear friends Nancy and Pam drove me to the airport, thanks ladies!

Just a couple kids on a road trip
Just a couple kids on a road trip

And then I flew: 

Somewhere in the Southwest
Somewhere in the Southwest

My friend Ellie picked me up in San Diego and she and her husband treated me to delicious food, great company, and a very comfy bed to sleep in.  Thank you Ellie and Blaine, it was so wonderful to spend time with you!!!

 

At the train station with Ellie,  a friend I grew up with in Winterset.
At the train station with Ellie,  a friend I grew up with in Winterset.

And took a train: 

Riding across town to pick up supplies and catch my bus to Campo. 
Riding across town to pick up supplies and catch my bus to Campo. 

And finally I am now riding a bus to Campo, CA, the southern terminus of the PCT: 

 

Me and Dan the bus driving man. Thanks Dan!!! 
Me and Dan the bus driving man. Thanks Dan!!! 

My heart and gratitude go out to everyone who has helped me get this far, thank YOU for being on this journey with me.

❤ Will

Free Music Album is Here!!!

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1001359101/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=2ebd35/transparent=true/

This album is a collection of new and old songs and available as a free download.

Feel free to share with friends!

my thanks to Max for letting me include his track “Where The Wild Wolves Cry” on this mix. He recorded an album at my studio last year and this particular track features guest vocals by Trinity, a very sweet three legged cat that often visited me while living in rural Madison County, NC between hikes.

To hear more from Max, check out the whole album here:

https://thedeadtruth.bandcamp.com/

My gratitude also goes out to the community at Land of Sky United Church of Christ for singing with me the past 8 months and helping out with vocals on “Song in Your Heart.” This was recorded yesterday during my last service as co-minister of music. Thank you loving me with such welcoming hearts and guiding me with open arms.

Peace be with you my friends,

Will

Free Bumper Stickers!!!

Who wants a free “Happy Trails” bumper sticker?!

I’ll be handing these out to people who help me along the trail and would love to share one with you before I head out.

All you gotta do is send me an email or sign up to “join the team” at YourHappyWanderer.com

Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and I’ll ship one off to you this week.

These custom printed 8″x3″ all weather vinyl bumper stickers are printed with the same colors as the official PCT logo and are a fun way for me to say thank you for joining me on this journey.

Happy Trails to YOU,

Your Happy Wanderer

2 Year Appalachian Trailiversary

On April 4th, 2013, I quietly tossed my backpack into the backseat of my Chevy Cavalier and drove 3 or so hours through strong storms to Amicalola Falls State Park in NW Georgia.

I arrived at 4:30 pm, registered at the visitor’s center and with their permission, hung a card from my rear view window that read “back in 6 months.” I read some journal entries at the hiker shelter before my itchy feet hit the 8.8 mile approach trail to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

As I crossed my the first stream, my eyes matched the moisture misting upon mountain before me as I felt a profound sense of joy and gratitude for the journey ahead.