John Muir Trail Day 15: The Day I Lost My Stiiizy

Monday, 9/6  2:47 PM  DAY 15 5.5 miles 📍 San Joaquin River soak

Journal entry: I’m currently sitting in the San Joaquin River soaking my butt, legs, & feet. I’m in my hiker bikini, just wearing the sports bra I’ve been hiking in the past 5 miles. It’s been so fucking hot today. Moving very slow with a heavy pack now with probably too much fuel, lol. Watch videos for that story. Today’s Labor Day, but that don’t mean anything to me lol! Small talk, I guess. Day 15 and some would have already finished the trail. Fast pacers. SO. I need to be back to work on 9/20…According to my calculations, that’s 30 days from when I started on 8/20. LOL. Oops. I need to summit Whitney by 9/17 or exit trail by Friday 9/17. There are no shuttles from Lone Pine to Mammoth during the weekend. Back to work on Monday, 9/2..but let’s not think about that.

Still Monday, 9/6 8:05PM  9.81 miles  DAY 15  📍 Evolution Creek

Journal entry #2: Today has been pretty fucking amazing actually. Last entry I was soaking my legs and feet in the river. Good times. ~2.8 miles ago and like hours ago I got to camp at 7:30…no 7? Late. I got to camp late. I had dinner late. That’s when I realized I hadn’t smoked…I’m pretty sure since soaking. So- yes. I LOST MY STIIIZY. ☹ I want to cry, but I’m too tired. Crying is energy I don’t need right now. Couldn’t be more than 10 miles. Being tested? Maybe. Failing and honestly dgaf. I’m being tested aren’t I? I’m sure my Stiiizy is exactly where I left it… packing up thinking I should pack it too and just never did. 2.8 miles. Nearly 6 miles round trip. No one to tell me no. But what if it isn’t there? What if it fell out somewhere on the trail? 2.8 miles. That damn climb. Downhill won’t matter. I’ll see Kings Canyon in the sunlight, rather than shaded late afternoon. But I’d take a lunch and snacks. Hide the bear canister here at camp. Leave early. And if it’s not there…then it’s not there. 5.6 miles. Better learn from lesson if its not there. BUT if it is there..yay. You’re a damn fool Ness. “Maybe it’s time to learn a lesson” “Leave no trace” LMFAO. Backtrack videos, photos. Guthook it. That climb was stupid. Even in the late afternoon. I need clarity. Maybe in my dreams tonight? New moon tomorrow. Star gazing!

Story: I woke up before sunrise this morning, in hopes to be able to solo soak in the hot springs. It was hard getting out of my tent, but I was so happy to be able to soak alone that morning. It was super peaceful, and everything I needed. I soaked for a good 30-minuets before going back to camp. Firefox camped nearby, so I waited until he woke up before I started packing up. We didn’t have plans to hike together, but I knew we would be running into each other often- both hiking SOBO.

He had been hiking with a couple before the hot springs and assumed they continued when he arrived and noticed they weren’t there. We ran into them at MTR that morning, and apparently, they missed the trail down to the ranch, and ended up camping nearby- but still had to hike to MTR to retrieve their resupply buckets.

I hiked out of MTR that morning around 10 AM. It was hot, and I had a heavy pack after resupplying for the next several days. It wasn’t until I was nearly 2 miles away from MTR that I realized I didn’t pack any fuel for that last resupply, and I may be running low. MTR would have been the only option to purchase another can- but I was not willing to backtrack. I figured I would ask a NOBO hiker that’s headed to MTR if I can buy any of the fuel they have left and they could resupply at MTR. Luckily enough, I ran into a group of 4 hanging out by the creek. I had no other choice but to ask, so I grabbed $15 from my pack and headed their way. “Excuse me. Would you happen to have an extra can of fuel? I’m willing to purchase it from you, and pay for another fuel can if you’re headed to MTR.” They ended up giving me a large can of fuel- way more than I needed, but for that- I was grateful.

It was so hot this afternoon, I stopped for lunch and an afternoon soak. I ended up hanging out by the river for nearly 2-hours. It was nice. I journaled and made lunch before getting back on trail. The hike through Evolution Valley looks amazing, but I wish I would have wandered through it while the sun was still hitting the canyon. I was happy that the weather cooled down a bit, but now I had one major climb up to Evolution Creek before finding camp.

It was a little later when I decided on a spot for camp, and I was tired when I arrived. It was getting dark, so I set up camp real quick and started dinner. It wasn’t until my water started boiling that I realized my Stiiizy (vape pen) was missing. I couldn’t find it anywhere! I immediately remembered seeing it on a branch back at the river I had been soaking. Thinking to myself- don’t you forget this- and sure enough, I think I forgot my damn Stiiizy at the river- some 2.8 miles back.

I wanted to cry, but I was too tired. Do I backtrack tomorrow to get it? Is that dumb? There’s no one to tell me that it’s probably not a good idea to backtrack nearly 6 miles for my vape pen, but I was going to do what I wanted to. I ate my dinner- upset and angry with myself that I was letting this get to me as much as it was. It was an early night, nothing left to do but try to sleep it off now and just forget about it in the morning…

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