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The PCT and Julian, CA

I need to make one more camping reservation, and this time is to Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada. Canada Parks now have a new reservation system, so if I want a chance for a camping spot, I need to jump on my computer at 7:00 am the day reservation is opening.

I need a place with guaranteed wifi, so I booked a room in a lodge in Julian. Julian is a small town up the mountains of southern California (known for its apple pies). I chose this lodge because it was the cheapest place I could find near Borrego Spring. What a delightful choice!

By now, every time I have a chance to take a scenic route, I do, no matter how much distance it adds to my travel. When I leave Borrego Springs and start climbing the winding road (Rt S22), I am hit with stunning views of the valley to my left and mountains to my right. As I climb in elevations, the green color returns to my palate and opens my heart in excitement. My ride is of small farms, cows in the meadows, green hills, and cloudy skies. Even without the blue background, this scenery brings peace to my soul.

With a quick look at my phone at the road ahead, I see that I pass one of the head trails of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). I am super excited! I have wanted to hike the PCT since I read "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. This book inspired me so profoundly. In so many ways it is responsible for the birth of the "new" me, or more accurately, it gave me the push to follow so many of my dreams and to live a wholehearted and authentic life.

It is a gloomy day, and the rain has been on and off for a while now, but mother nature gifted me a break as I start my hike. In the distance, the top of the mountains is still covered with snow, which always adds beauty to my view. I don't remember when the last time I breathed such fresh air. Unfortunately, the rain started a mile into my hike, so I turned around. I plan to return tomorrow with the right gear for a wet hike.

I love the area so much that I would love to return and consider staying for a while.

I am so excited I was able to get a reservation at Lake Louise campground. I am starting my day early to squeeze in another PCT hike before joining the "Sisters on the Fly" camping event in Borrego Springs. The weather is still cold and windy. The rain doesn't want to let go.

I put on my rain gear and am hiking south on the trail now. My first decision is to keep my backpack in my car so it doesn't get wet, but two minutes into my hike, I turn around to get it. I feel naked and vulnerable without it.

It's good for me to be by myself in nature. I can process my emotions with a clear mind. I am working on the process of forgiveness. I'm surprised at how quickly I adopted this method of healing. I am able to reframe the events that created a deep trauma for me. I can't forget it, but I am able to take a different view, a different angle, and see my ex-husband and my dad compassionately.

Back in November, when I met Ramona at Padre Island in Texas, she shared her journey with forgiveness and compassion. I clearly remember how I could not connect with her on the subject. I totally wasn't ready.

I feel so alive hiking the PCT. Tiny fuchsia flowers illuminate part of the path showing me my way and bringing faith and love to my heart. Unfortunately, two and a half miles into the hike, the rain and the wind were so intense that I couldn't keep the rain from hitting my face and glasses, so I choose to turn around.

I needed that lonely time with myself. It is where I can heal emotionally the most. Nature gives me an open and clear mind. I am learning to create a space with no judgment.

It is time to join the SOTF event, and I am excited about the next few days!

( With the poor weather, I couldn't take many photos.)

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