Thursday, January 10, 2013

And the "Real World" Comes Crashing In . . .

I've changed clothes!
I cannot believe it has been three months since I have posted. I have had the best of intentions, but my life since the PCT has been eventful to say the least. Actually, it has been about as chaotic of the end of the year as I've perhaps ever had. I was going to post my Christmas letter for all of you, but the truth is, I still cannot figure out how to post PDF's as photos and I have neither ink nor money for it. However, I can type up an update all the same! So, here goes.


I returned to my position at Silver Falls on October 16. All went relatively well while I was gone and with my return. However, during the two weeks between finishing the PCT and starting back at Silver Falls, I applied for a position at Tryon Creek State Natural Area in Portland, Oregon. And, what do you know, right around Thanksgiving, I found out that I got job! Just before the New Year, I left Silverton and Silver Falls and moved to a Portland-meets-hillbilly heaven, Oregon City. I started at Tryon Creek on January 2. It is a little too early to say too much, but Oregon City seems to be a perfect fit, as does the new position. I am happy in work. And happily getting rid of the accummulation of living on one house for three years.


Well, my Christmas letter would have said a little something different about my health. I would have told you that my feet have gotten better but have plateaued. This holds true. I have started seeing my chiropractor for therapy and am being vigilant about stretching, icing, massaging, and wearing my braces. My letter would also have told you that my vision improved with my trip! Yes, it is true. I am nearsighted and my distance vision improved by two "clicks." Proving that a backpacking journey does, indeed, lead one to take the long view. What's more, happily, my height remains a whopping 5' 3/4" despite five months of a pack on my back. AND my long walk may just have been the remedy to kicking on ongoing health issue. Hooray!

Merry Christmas to all!
This is what you would have heard from me pre-Christmas. Post-Christmas, however, you'd have heard how my little pinky saved my life. For Christmas, my mate, another couple, and I rented a fire lookout in southern Oregon. Pickett Butte; I highly recommend it. Christmas Eve, I slipped while I was headed down the ladder/stairs to use the outhouse. I stopped when I got to the landing and found that my hand was caught. When I doubled back to free it, I found my pinky dislocated and stretched 1 centimeter longer, the tissue between the bones squashed down to a few millimeters and wedged an inch deep between the railing and a support post. When I could not free my finger myself, I called for help. After about ten minutes, my mate freed me, and my friend drove us the hour and a half down the snowy fire road, through the blink-of-an-eye canyon towns, to the ER in Roseburg. We made it home by 3 AM on Christmas morning. I spent the day napping and on painkillers. It actually was a nice quiet Christmas despite everything!

Pickett Butte.  Gorgeous.  And memorable.
And, fortunately, my mom flew out two days after Christmas to help me function and move with one hand. She has been here since and leaves on Saturday. It has been extremely helpful and pleasant to have her around. With the help of my mom, my mate, and my steadfast Silverton friends, I was packed in one day and moved to Oregon City the very next. It turns out that the Trail was not the end of my needing help. My finger is, hopefully, on the mend. The specialist has me splinting it for 6 to 8 weeks in hopes that the torn tendon will repair and reconnect. I am following all doctors' orders these days.


My mate and I took a 2 1/2 week whirlwind trip to the Midwest over the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition to the feast, it was my youngest sister's wedding and his mother's birthday. We spent over half a month traveling, meeting family and friends, and being generally gluttonous. It was wonderful and exhausting, as those trips often are. With my move, we are now half an hour apart rather than an hour and have the opportunity to work together on the occasional project. (He's the manager of a nearby park.) I am as in love as ever with this tall, handsome, intelligent, and gentle Minnesotan.

My emotional rock.


My kitten is quickly becoming a cat. He is the perfect mix of loving and playful, smart and not-so-bright. He loves drinking water straight from the faucet and waking me up with one huge, startling chest compression. Dakota is the most social of cats that I've had the pleasure of welcoming into my home, adorably but not annoyingly so. What can I say, I adore him. And I may someday be a crazy cat lady.

PCT Talks:

I gave my first presentation about my PCT journey in mid-December to an audience of 80 friends, co-workers, and Silvertonians. I think I only cried three times. It was the most difficult and meaningful presentation I have ever given.

For those in the Portland or Salem area, I have two upcoming presentations scheduled:

· March 7: Oregon City Library, 7 PM
· March 26: Straub Environmental Learning Center, Salem, 7 PM

Other News:
Let's see . . . in other news . . .

· I bought 48 steaks on a whim and a quick sales pitch. I now own a George Foreman. So much for vegetarianism.
· This winter, both car and my truck decided to collapse. The truck is back; the car is getting repairs equivalent to its value. I am debating which of these beloved 90's era vehicles to sell.

· Thanks to the trip, I now depend solely on my smartphone for both my telephone and my internet. Yes, I am hooked.
· I have found a Jazzercise class in Oregon City a mere 4 blocks from my new place. It isn't the same as Andi's classes, but I am happy to be dancing my way back into health and happiness.
· Although I still don't have television, I have gotten into "The Office" television series. I finally get it. And I could be addicted if I had better access.
· Gumby has moved to Florida for a gymnastics coaching job.
· Kindergarten Cop will return to the PCT in 2013 to finish Oregon and Washington. I'll be trail angeling him.
· I have been reading the occasional PCT posts and questions from 2013 thru-hikers. I long for the Trail.

Stay Tuned:

I have a few other posts planned for the next few weeks reviewing gear, food, logistics, etc. If you're planning a 2013 trip and have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Thanks for checking in!

Bacon Bit

On the shores of Gitchi Gumi.  Midwesterners in their element!


  1. I followed your trip last year. Also did the JMT. This year I am doing Stevens pass to bc. Maybe I will run into you and kc. That would be cool. Look for a 40s lady in a skort.

  2. Dor- Thanks for the big update. Can we block off some time to talk about the trail during our February festivities? I can't wait for the in-person catch-up!!

  3. Thanks for the update. We miss you at Jazzercise! I hope you'll drop in if you ever in the neighborhood. Hugs! Jean

    1. I have a chiropractor's appointment on Monday . . . I'm going to try to come Jazzercise afterwards!

  4. Looking forward to catching up with you soon! Gauge, Charles and I hope to see you at Tryon often, it is our favorite State Park. One of our first visits we'll be sure to bring you some Peanut Butter Bacon cookies. I've lined up my plans for trail angeling for the upcoming season, hope we can hit the trail a few times together.

  5. OMG! What a wonderful surprise to see you posting again!!! I haven't checked in a while cuz it was too depressing to see nothing (went thru gnarly withdrawals!) I've got some catching up to do! =)