I Solved All My Problems By Avoiding Them On The Pacific Crest Trail
Recently, I hit rock bottom. I think it all started as a child when my parents divorced, and it amplified in my adult years when my mother died. I know these are things most people “work through” at some point in their lives, but I don’t believe in therapy and no amount of crystals were helping, so instead I turned to anonymous sex and drugs. (I realize that sentence was confusing; I almost always knew the names of the drugs.)
Before I knew it, I had lost my job, my husband, and my kids. I didn’t know what to do. So I did what upper-class white women in need of guidance always do: I went on a hike.
That’s right: I picked up some cute shoes from REI, loaded up a backpack with leafy greens and a guidebook I didn’t bother to read, and set out for the Mojave Desert to begin my trek up the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m proud to report that not only have I reached the Canadian border (the trail officially ends in British Columbia, but I didn’t think to bring my passport), I’ve completely solved all of my problems along the way.
Sure, I still don’t have a job, but I don’t need one out here. All I need is the sun above me, the ground below, and a handful of berries I’m praying aren’t poisonous. I ran out of snacks around the first day. It’s kind of a miracle that I’m alive at all, but isn’t life always a miracle? I didn’t realize that until I was out here, free from material possession. And I do mean completely free: I’ve definitely been evicted from my apartment and foregone any right to the contents therein by now. Even my cute IKEA couch. Man, I’m gonna miss that couch.
But that’s not important. What’s important is I’ve fully repaired my relationships with my husband and my kids. Complete severance counts as a repair, sometimes, probably. Like in a car engine? I bet you have to cut things out of there sometimes to fix them. I can’t really think of a proper metaphor right now. I’m so hungry. The point is that they have no way of reaching me out here. Cell phones are antithetical to my journey, and there’s probably shit reception out here anyway. Now that we’re not constantly fighting, I feel like we’re closer than ever, even though we’re literally thousands of miles apart.
I’ve also cured my sex addiction. Let me tell you, the guys out here, when you even come across them, aren’t much to look at, and it’s hard to come by a decent shower. Not even I would stick my face in that. There was that cute park ranger, but that was one time. One time. I’ve cured my drug problem, too. I still do a lot of drugs—they’re taking up most of my backpack space—but there’s no one around to have a problem with it.
I’ve learned a lot along the way. Like that the cutest boots at REI aren’t actually the best for hiking. And also that, with enough wear and tear, feet can start to look like fruit leather. Also, after I ran out of food immediately, I threw my vegan principles out the window and started catching fish in my mouth like a bear. Can you do that? No, I didn’t think so. It made me understand that I’d had my place in the order of things all wrong. I feel so connected to nature now.
I’m not really sure how these newfound skills and lessons will apply to my life once I get back, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. If I get to it. Do I have to go back? Please don’t make me go back. I like it out here. I’ve got fresh air, extremely fresh fish, and enough drugs to last me until I get back to LA. It’s not sex addiction if it’s just for drugs. Everyone knows that doesn’t count. Then I’ll just turn back around.
I can stay out here forever. I’m not going back. You can’t make me go back.