Wow, ya'll. This week has been filled with so much gratitude. I am overwhelmed with all the support and kind words everyone has shared with me! I was a little hesitant on sharing so much, but it's evident that God wanted me to testify His grace and goodness in my life. My last blog post was just a small bit of me, but I am so grateful on how many people were encouraged by it! I was literally shocked by the response I received, and so thankful that some of ya'll took the time to read through the whole thing...thank you! Especially those who also sent me a text or comment about it. I didn't realize Squarespace made you login an account in order to comment, so I apologize to those who wrote a long comment and it didn't save! :( I think I fixed it now though. But my mom was one of them that wrote something and couldn't get it to post but wrote:
"This is your mom...it is so touch my heart...after I read the words and lots of precious pictures...I now know you are not a baby girl anymore...you grew up yourself with intelligent young lady....very bright...very brave...very independent...very mature...you are not my baby girl anymore..like you said I didn't give you much when you were little...but you grew up so intelligent...you know what you want in life...you are so brave..you want to experience the outdoor activities...nature beauty in the woods....you are so enjoying the valuable / nature lifestyle ....I now truly understand you...we all believing God...Trusting on him...only God will help us through all the difficulty...mommy love you so much...and will always give you 100% support...May God stay with you from the begging to the end...he will send Angels on your shoulders.... even you don't see him.. Every step he is with you.....towards the successful ending..."
I don't know what the deal is, but I feel like I know so many parents who like to use a bunch of "...." when they type, so I left the text in all its authenticity, grammar errors and all. I shared what she wrote with some folks who know her and were all brought to tears. Just to know how much she's been through, it was so sweet to read that from her. Asians aren't exactly the most affectionate to each other. We never grew up saying "I love you" or give hugs really, so we've come a long way since then. It also gave me a sense of peace that she understands why I'm doing this now. When I first told her about it over Thanksgiving, she just didn't get it and asked why I couldn't just go find a real job. But she's always wanted me to do what makes me happy, so she was supportive. Both of us started following Jesus around the same time, and it's encouraging to know that we both trust God in our lives now.
But in other news, besides being so busy with trying to finish that blog post (it took me like a whole week to write out), it's been an encouraging but also hard week. Hearing some unfortunate news about some different people I know had been on my mind as of late. They are currently in my thoughts and am reminded that life is precious.
Last week, I finally was able to go real snow camping. I knew I had to get in at least one snow camp trip before I started really training on the weekends. We went to Artist Point at Mount Baker, and it was the most majestic. We had a super rad group of friends and had so much fun. I'm trying to get away all winter without ever using snowshoes, and I think I would've been totally fine if we hadn't misrouted. By the time we realized we were going the wrong way, it was starting to get dark, and I had used up most of my physical exertion.
I definitely was the last of the group the entire time, but the others wanted to help me out because we had to climb up this STEEP ass ridge after getting back on route. Well, we made a shortcut and thought we could make up steep snowy powpow before dark. Amber ended up taking my 800lb pack, and Mike took her's (so yes, he was carrying 2 packs haha).
As we started climbing, and even though I didn't have a pack on, we were all post holing and sliding right down. Even the others with snowshoes on were having trouble. I mean, I was barely making it up and didn't even have my own pack on haha. It took us FOREVER to finally get up the ridge, and the sky was turning colors and glowing over the ranges. Amber had such a tough time getting up because she was carrying my heavy ass pack, and her snowshoes weren't even working anymore. Everyone was pretty much a beast for getting up. I think we all had thoughts of turning around to just get back on the normal trail, but we were SO close that we just HAD make it up. I was seriously dead from exhaustion.
When we finally made it up, we weren't even at Artist Point yet. It was already dark, but I just knew we had keep climbing till we reached it. I was determined to sleep above the trees with Shuksan/Baker views. Everyone agreed and we followed the snow packed path until we "thought" we were there. Doing snow things in the dark is kind of fun, but next time I'll make sure I actually have my headlamp. We were trying to find a good spot to set up camp, and there was this mini hill that I wanted to check out. I ended up climbing up there and knew it was the perfect spot. I made everyone do their last climb for the night, and we all agreed it'd be a good spot for sunrise. It was exposed, so I was a little worried about the wind throughout the night, but I knew it would be worth the view in the morning. All of us were way too tired to fire up the stove for a legit dinner, so we ate some frozen bars and called it a night around 6pm.
I got up at 11pm and shot till around midnight. It was cold but not the worst I've ever been in. It was surprisingly calm and peaceful out there. I noticed the sky was a little bit more interesting facing Baker--there was some light pollution on that side. I don't know what the deal was, but even though it was a new moon that night, for reason I didn't get a clear view of the Milky Way. I don't really understand the night sky; I am clearly no expert.
I thought my night pics were pretty mediocre--there just wasn't much to work with. And all my glow tent ones were okay. My ideal shot would've been taken at a higher angle so you can see more of the Shuksan range, and the glow of the tent could've been more even, but I did get a cool meteor in it.
Aaron generously let me borrow his 4 season tent for this trip. We were debating on taking either this Mountain Hardwear one or the Black Diamond I used all last summer, and I'm SO glad I ended up taking this one. It was heavier, but it photographs much better. We're all about what looks good, you know? MH even picked it up on their Instagram. It's just kinda funny because I think I could've gotten a better pic if I would've spent more time on it, but glow tent pics are always hit or miss. They are so tricky.
Waking up was INCREDIBLE. I have never seen the things that I saw. We had 360 views of Baker, Shuksan and all the ranges. Our shoes and water were all frozen over, but we saw the most beautiful sunrise and color in the sky. Absolutely gorgeous.
I barely ate breakfast because I was so excited and running around taking a million photos. The sun finally peaked over the Shuksan range and warmed us up. The sun had never felt so good. We hung out for a bit and packed up--it was so hard to leave our beautiful spot! I think it took us only like 30 minutes to get down haha. Probably because we were actually on the right trail, and it was downhill. The weather was spectacular that weekend. Even though I normally love clouds, I think having that clear of a sky up there made it that much more amazing. What an epic trip with some amazing people.
This week I also met up with some ladies who have hiked the PCT in the previous years. I got some good insight and listened to some stories. My fears are still the same, but I am ready to face them. I'm also kind of rethinking my resupply strategy. I want to eat well and would rather not fuel my body on Chips Ahoy or Pop Tarts, but sometimes at these gas stations, it's all they have. I think I'm going to be looking into some better dehydrated meals again. I decided mid February is when I will start downsizing my house (getting rid of big things in the living room, start boxing up things, purging my closet, etc). That way, I'll have some nice space in my living room to sort all my gear/resupply.
Until next time!