Flashback thru-hike entry – 2006

A little throwback journal entry from 2006 when I thru-hiked the American Discovery Trail with my mom. We sure had some fun! (Check out the rest of the journal here.) This is one of many funny things that happened on that adventure!


Mom and me towards the end of our long hike - at the Golden Gate Bridge!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Starting Location: Beaver, UT
Destination: Milford, UT
Today’s Miles: 24.30
Trip Miles: 3755.50

Hiking Humiliations

Elevation: 4965 ft.

Weather: Storm dodging, sunny, cloudy, nice!

We got a good, early start this morning. But we quickly learned a good lesson. Listen to this one (it’s funny now, after it happened)!

First of all, hiking can be humiliating for a girl. Sometimes you have to go to the bathroom, and there’s just no place to go with cover. I specifically remember a time in Kansas along the hwy when mom and I had to prop our packs in a “V” and go… and happily wave to passer-by’s. They knew what we were doing, anyway. Why not be friendly?

Anyway, back to today. We learned that if you have to go potty in a ditch, with an incline, be sure to face the backpack UPhill. If you face it downhill… you end up with your pants around your ankles, falling backwards from a squatting position, rolling into the bottom of the ditch with your bare backside facing the road, praying no cars go by because you are completely stuck having a 40-pound backpack on, and being unable to get up, laying in a ditch – laughing and crying at the same time. And then, to top it all off, the irrigation sprinkler in the field behind you turns on, while you’re stuck in the ditch with your butt hanging out, and it soaks you. Yup, it happened. For confidentiality reasons, we won’t use any names… 

The good thing about this situation, is that the day can’t really get worse – only better. And it did. We giggled about the ditch thing all day, the weather treated us well, and we hiked happily over a small mountain range. People driving by stopped to say “hi,” including a ranger, a local Yardley couple, another couple, and a small family. The people in Milford are very nice.

Tomorrow we’re heading into the Wah-Wah desert – where there is NO wah-wah. It should be called the nowah-wah desert, don’t you think? Anyway, we have Jeff, from Beaver dropping water for us, so we’ll be good to go. And we probably won’t have phone reception for a few days, so try not to worry. Jeff, our water dropper also drives by twice a day to do the mail route, so he might be keeping an eye on us. We have great angels!

Hey – remember – backpack faces UPhill! 


Our little yellow tent set up in the desert.

To see the rest of this journal from the 2006 American Discovery Trail thru-hike, click this link for our first day on the trail!

Tonight I love reminiscing. That ADT hike was quite an incredible adventure!


9 thoughts on “Flashback thru-hike entry – 2006

  1. Holy cow!! How did I NOT realize you thru-hiked this? I discovered your PCT journal around your mid-point, and I had no idea you’d already done the ADT. That’s incredibly impressive.

    Truck driving is so for you.

    I can’t wait to go back and read your trail journal for the ADT.

    • Yeah, we hiked the southern route where it splits – we did take a few road sections out west for easier access to water, too. But made every step from west to east. And all with my mom – she’s a hoot to hike with. :)

  2. Here’s a girl hiker tip: Backpacker magazine just did a “101 things to do” issue. They included “peeing outside” but added the tip that you should always pee facing away from the wind. Uh-uh! Not for us girls. We girls should always pee into the wind. It’s way better for pee to spray backwards from us as we squat with our shorts around our ankles!

    I’ve been working outside for years and am kind of a pro when it comes to finding good pee spots – except for one time. I was working with a crew in Mammoth Lakes. We were excavating sites (I’m an archaeologist) near a subdivision. Well, we had no port-a-potties and I had to go, so I carefully searched around for a spot where the crew and drivers on a nearby road couldn’t see me. I finally found my spot, squatted, did my business, and turned around. There was a house about 50 ft. from me and I’d just bared all to the residents. I’d been so worried about the road and my crew, I hadn’t bothered to look in the other direction!

    Also – about tumbling over with your pack on, I’ve done that too. I was bushwhacking with a crew in central Nevada. We were trudging up a pretty steep hill and my pack was fairly heavy since it was early in the day. I raised my foot up to step over a sagebrush but instead, I got it caught in the bush. The hill was steep and all my effort was being exerted in getting my leg over the bush – well, needless to say I started going over backwards and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I landed square on my back with my heavy backpack holding me down . . . head down on a slope. I flailed around for a while trying to get up but I was laughing so hard all I could do was flop around like a turtle on its back. I finally had to unbuckle my pack to get up. Ah memories.

  3. Ok you made me cry tears of laughter and sadness of missing the trail with you! And on the other end do you remember Dolly Sods and the salt flats? Lmao, yes us girls sure do face our challenges. The closeness we learned to share on that incredible journey will be with us for a life time, you are my right arm I am your left with a look in the eye we knew what was needed without words or would bust into histericle laughter! Miss you Milkshake! Love Gumdrop. P.S. still think we should hike the north section, all you gotta do is call

  4. Damn that’s funny. Sure would make for a great YouTube fail video. It made me remember my own fun pee story. I was winter camping outside in northern Michigan & I woke up in the middle of the night feeling a strong urge to write my name in the snow. Since it was so cold I zipped my sleeping bag up all the way so there was only the small opening by my face & that’s where it was stuck. I wish I could’ve seen the panic set in when I realized I was trapped & REALLY needed to make some lemonade something fierce. I probably looked like Ace Ventura trying to get out of that mechanical rhino in the 2nd movie. (It was called “When Nature Calls”, go figure.) I ended up grabbing the opening to one side of the zipper and basically bench pressed my way out by ripping the zipper right off the fabric. It was drafty but dry the rest of the night. Good times. :)

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