Pity Parties, Temper Tantrums & Desert Allergies

I wake up at 6:20 a.m. after a long night of not very much sleep, camped on a soft sliver of dirt beside patches of snow at mile 190.5. All night, the wind roared through the trees and pounded against the walls of my tent. It continues into the morning and I curse as I break camp, my hands so cold and numb they’re useless. Tuck and I finally hit the trail just shy of 8:00 a.m. and start the long descent out of the forest and back down-down-down into the desert.
The trail criss-crosses and switch-backs 6,500 feet or so down Mt. San Jacinto in 16 miles and my body feels strong, my blisters mostly healed. The day starts out well, until the green of the forest becomes the beige of the desert, the soft dirt becomes hard sand, and with it my spirits begin to deflate and my body begins to deteriorate. I think I am allergic to the desert.

Tuck, Smuggles, Heatwave, and I finally make it to the bottom of the mountain around 4 p.m. We fill our water bottles up at a water fountain in the middle of the desert, filter it with our various methods, and continue on the last four miles to our destination.

My body and feet throw in the towel with only two and a half miles left to walk. The hot desert sand tears my feet apart and each step feels like I’m walking trough a meat grinder. My pack is sodden with sweat as it rub against the back of my shoulders. The other three seem fine, their spirits still high. They sing in unison and turn back often to ask how I’m doing.

“Just go on ahead,” I say. “Seriously.”

They wait for me.

“Please guys,” I say. “Really.”

They wait for me.

I want to throw a temper tantrum alone, to have a pity party for myself when no one is looking. They finally walk on, looking over their shoulders occasionally to make sure I’m still behind them. And when they’re beyond earshot I heave my pack into the sand, sit down beside it, and begin to cry.



8 thoughts on “Pity Parties, Temper Tantrums & Desert Allergies

  1. Yeah! Cry and scream. Walking down hill into a desert is a bitch…even driving. The forest is so much more comforting. And you got much more of that in front of you. What an adventure…all of it.


  2. As someone who is a PCT wannabe, it is so good to hear some realness. To hear that it’s not all great…and that even if I’m not super woman, I too, just might be able to do this. Thanks for sharing “the whole enchilada”.


    1. Juli,
      Thank you for your kind words. There are definitely lots of challenges and struggles out here, but the hard stuff makes the good stuff that much better.
      Take Care!
      Tick Tock


  3. Molly I am proud of your honesty, determination and grit. You are out there doing it one step at a time. It is pretty incredible. Love you.


  4. Oh Molly – cry and scream and sing out loud and keep breathing and walking…the desert is a bitch and it’s uninviting and seems so dead whereas the forests and trees are alive. But the desert and the forest and the meadows and the skies are all there for you to experience and ponder. Water and water and water…sing, listen to your music and cry when it’s a tough walk.
    I send you all my support and love —- what’s that we were told about 40 years in the desert? Not sure I believe that tale, but it is a metaphor that can be helpful at times.
    Take care of those feet – they are your best possession.
    Carole S


  5. This made me cry. I’m laying in bed with Pearl wishing I could hug you, offer you water and take your pack at least for a little while. Keep it up, Katz! Love you!


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