And So It Begins…


The night before Darwin’s hike was filled with laughter, a delicious home cooked meal and friends. Gear was packed and repacked as I watched from a safe distance and then sleep came. In the morning we woke up and talked over coffee then loaded up for the drive to Campo, CA.

We found our way up a dusty bumpy hill unsure if we were in the right place until the monument popped into view. Along with the monument was Phantom, a joyful PCTA volunteer answering questions and providing the first trail register for hikers to sign. I watched as Darwin scribbled his name, making the start of his hike even more official. I had the urge to sign it too but realized it was not mine to sign this time. This was not my path to follow.

I took pictures of Darwin and his friend Jaymes who would be starting out with him. I hugged Darwin and tried to bury myself in his beard, breathing him in.  It was time. I could see it in his eyes. He was no longer mine but the trail’s and he turned to answer its calling.

I drove away from the monument and into a day full of driving, grocery shopping, and new responsibilities. I was able to help my first hiker. I found him on the side of the road barefoot, never a good sign. He was of course experiencing foot issues and so I gave him a ride into town. He apologized for his smell and I thanked him for it. He was already talking about home; I tried to tell him to stay.

I have ended my day close to the trail, hikers camping in the distance. I’m exhausted from the wide array of emotions I have felt. I peer sleepy out of the window of the van; the sky is big and full of stars. A large moon lights up the desert floor. I try to be part of all this.


(A Morning View From My First Night Solo In the Van)

Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:

Coming Soon! – A book review about a National Park Ranger gone missing….

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  I am now trying to post at least weekly while on the road! 

Other Posts You May Enjoy: 

Traveling Alongside the PCT…

Desert-ey Things I Have Discovered and Pondered This Week…

A Blooming Desert

17 thoughts on “And So It Begins…

  1. Awwww, Snuggles…your Senior Fan Club of Gilbert, AZ🌵🦂is sending an air hug 🤗 Can’t wait to hear your perspective and gal travels! Journal it all, so you can make comparisons for your book.
    I’m sure it was a mixed bag of emotions, as all learning experiences are. You’re a strong, courageous woman, and we gals are all aware that behind every successful guy…well, you know! Lead on, oh Snuggles, the ADVENTURE AWAITS!! ❤️Lisa

  2. Behind and ofttimes ahead of every good or great man is a wonderful and loving soul mate. You are that and more, Darwin is better for it.

  3. Thanks for keeping us posted on the “Travels with Darwin”, the road ahead will be smooth and long.

  4. I just recently started reading your diaries and I really excited to hear about your journey along the trail while Darwin hikes! Good luck out there 🙂

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