Neel Gap
Day 4 and 5 (4/14/19 R, 4/15/19)
Miles – 0
Total miles – 40.1

The wind started before we went to bed and it went on all night. As the sun came up, so came the rain. It was a hard rain. It continued all morning and finally started to break up mid afternoon. There was a tornado warning nine miles away in Blairsville, which is where Gutsy took us for dinner last night. Flood warnings were all around us. Thunder and lightening storms passed by all day. We are very relieved to not have been hiking in such extreme weather conditions. As the sun set everything was breaking up and blue sky could be seen. Tomorrow it is supposed it be clear, cold, and windy. We will be hiking out.


Whisper is still having coughing fits and Mama Raven is still sick. She has no strength, congested, coughing, and very tired. We have decided to stay one more day. Hiking out would be very hard on her on such a windy and cold day. It is in the mid 30’s outside with very strong winds. Mama Raven settled down in the cabin for the day. Bling and Whisper walked up to the outfitter up at the gap. We needed AAA batteries, and something different to eat. For the most part, we had a quite day in the cabin. Mama Raven slept a lot. We watched the heartbreaking news of Notre Dame Cathedral. Sometime in the afternoon, the wind let up and the air warmed up into the low 40’s. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer with light wind. Another storm is coming in Thursday night and Friday. Welcome to the East coast!

Down Time in Tehachapi

Day 38, 39, 40 – 5/20, 5/21, 5/22
Miles – 0
Total Miles – 591.0 (PCT 566.5)DSC03003-5-21-15
The residents of Tehachapi really like to help hikers. Will and I had to walk 1.5 miles to the post office to get our re-supply box. As we walked over, a car pulled up and asked if we needed a ride to the post office. We said yes. We picked up two boxes at the P.O. and as we began to walk back to the hotel, another vehicle pulls up and asks us if we needed a ride to town. Again we accepted. In a very short time we were back in our room organizing our gear.
Later in the day, all four Ravens walked 1.5 miles to the other end of town. We got lunch, snacks, and new shoes for Mama Raven. After trying a number of different shoes, she settled on a men’s 4E wide New Balance shoe.
Mama Raven has soaked her feet several times in warm water and Epson Salts, trying to see if that would help her swollen and inflamed feet.






One of Mama Raven’s feet is feeling a little better, the other is the same. We continued to soak Mama Raven’s feet. We have been debating if we should take Mama Raven to a medical clinic to have her feet looked at. After breakfast, I bumped into Smokey outside our hotel room. He was getting ready to get back on the trail. I was talking to him and found out that he is a professor of medicine and chief of the division of experimental medicine at UC San Francisco. I asked him if he could take a look at Mama Raven’s feet. He said yes. We found Mama Raven sitting on the bathroom counter, soaking her feet in the sink while she was working on photographs on the tablet. After Smokey took a photograph of Mama Raven, he looked at her feet. He quickly diagnosed her with some condition we never heard of. Her toes are so swollen that her whole toe nails have become ingrowned and an infection has set in. He also said that what she is doing, soaking and staying off of them, is the best thing she can do for them. Mama Raven’s body, he said, is already fighting off the infection so he did not recommend getting antibiotics for the infection. He added, it is always better if possible, to let the body heal itself than to take antibiotics.
Today was the day that friends of ours from Fallbrook are coming up to visit. The occasion is an early birthday party for Little Crow and to get Will and his friends together. We had a quiet morning waiting for company to arrive with much anticipation. Mid-morning Denise and Cheryl showed up with Ely, William, and Tyler. Sadly, David had gotten sick so he and Karin were unable to come. They brought all kinds of snacks, brownies, caramel and chocolate dipped apples, birthday candles and balloons for the celebration. Cheryl and Denise also got Little Crow a wide headband for her hair, rainbow loom bands so she can make bracelets and temporary tattoos. The kids have school in the morning so they left around 5:00 p.m. Everyone had a really fun time. Thank you Cheryl and Denise for making the gathering happen. It meant a lot to all of us, but especially for Little Crow and Will!


The weather was supposed to be bad yesterday, but it wasn’t. Just a little cloudy. This morning was a different story. It had rained over night and was foggy and very cold this morning. As we had breakfast, it started to rain again. It lasted for several hours. We agreed we would still get back on the trail today.
One of Mama Raven’s feet is looking very good. The other is better, but still inflamed. As the morning went on we kept checking the weather, it kept raining  and stayed terribly cold; then the clouds dropped down into the valley.  We knew that leaving here we would have to hike up and into those clouds.  After much contemplation, we changed our mind and have decided it would be best to stay one more night. This will let the weather pass and Mama Raven to heal more. Three zeros in a row makes it hard to get hiking again, especially with heavy packs and eight days of food.  It was a quiet day in the hotel room watching Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch and Alaska’s Bush People. I believe Animal Planet’s Monster Week was also watched, however Little Crow got too scared. In the afternoon, Will and Little Crow started to go stir crazy so we decided to walk to the far end of town to a Baskin Robbins ice cream store. Today, Little Crow met a hiker in the hotel lobby named Nailz, a young women hiking the trail who has lost six toenails since the beginning of her hike. Nailz commented that she liked the temporary butterfly tattoos Little Crow had on her face. Nailz asked Little Crow if she would trade something for some tattoos. The final trade was two tattoos for two small snicker bars and the business deal was concluded with a hand shake!

Little Crow and Nailz, tattoos for Snickers bars

Little Crow and Nailz, tattoos for Snickers bars

Idyllwild and Miss. Sarah

Day 12 & 13 – 4/24/15, 4/25/15
Miles – 0
Total Miles – 190.6 (PCT 162.6)

We got into Idyllwild on Thursday night and stayed for two zeros days. A zero is a day were we hike zero miles. Town days are a time when we get a shower, do laundry, get our food ready for the next section, and try to relax. And it was a good thing we did, on Friday it sprinkled most of the day. Then on Saturday it rained all day and well into the night. It was not a good time to hike up to 9000′.
On Saturday Sarah and her daughter Aurora came up to spend the day with us. They brought all kinds of great food for us: Chinese Chicken Salad, fruit salads, cheesy broccoli soup, rolls, and amazing brownies with huge chunks of chocolate. All of us spent the afternoon in our cabin with a fire, ate food and played games. It was the perfect way to spend a cold rainy day. Joon had a lot of fun playing with Aurora.