On the trail again with a new name!

After leaving the PCT due to my knee injury, moping for three months, and finally abandoning hope of getting to rejoin it this summer, I received a text from Miguel.

“Hey. You wanna start in Ashland with me in August?”

Umm, YES!!!!

So I packed my bag and a few resupply boxes and booked a ticket to Ashland.

My first three days back on trail have been wonderful. A few tears, a few annoyances as I realized I made some tactical errors in packing, but for the most part I’ve felt great.

They told me to wear a hat. They never said it had to be stylish.

We were joined yesterday by Fire Ant, a girl who had taken an ill-timed nap and been separated from her group. Together, she and Miguel gave me my new trail name: Netflix.

It happened while I was resting against a log. Miguel trudged past me, glanced back, smirked, and said, “You spent too much time watching Netflix this summer, didn’t you?”

When I confirmed that I had, in fact, watched the first three seasons of White Collar while all the other thru-hikers were having adventures and struggling through the Sierras, he started laughing. But considering how much I’ve made fun of him for his trail name, Airlift, I probably deserved that.

Piped spring near mile 1753. Delicious water.

That afternoon we met a weird guy who tried to give me a trail name within the seconds of meeting me. “Let’s do this…what’s your favorite movie?”

“Lord of the Rings,” I answered. “Or Captain America: Civil War.”

“Hmm. Lots of good strong heroes in those.”

But considering half the people on the trail are hiking because they love Lord of the Rings, I’m not sure that’s a good enough basis for a trail name. There can only be so many Galadriel’s, after all.

By evening, we’d met Fire Ant, and she and Miguel had decided Netflix fit me well. I think my friends back home would agree. So, until I accidentally get airlifted or bit by a rattle snake, Netflix I shall be.

Walking over lava rock: not the easiest on the feet.

Published by Andrea Umfleet

Writer, Backpacker, Freelance Technical Editor. Owner of Trask Mountain Editing. I like the Oxford comma.

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