Dip It, Dunk It, Drizzle It, Eat It!

BumbleBars are great by themselves and they’re also delicious when paired with other healthy snacks! Here’s a list of our preferred BumbleBar pairings:

• Almond Milk Yogurt – Chai Almond BumbleBars paired with this sweet, creamy vegan yogurt make the perfect on-the-go breakfast when you’re in a rush; simply dip your bar in the yogurt for an extra tasty treat!

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• Dairy-Free Fruit Dip – This light and fluffy dip pairs well with any flavor BumbleBar, especially the Lushus Lemon. The dip is easy and quick to whip up, you just need a few ingredients. Find the recipe here. For a delicious sugar-free version, use a little stevia in place of the powdered sugar. Add a dollop of dip, top with fruit of your choice, and turn any BumbleBar into a beautiful desert!

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• Gluten-Free, Vegan Chocolate Sauce – This super simple recipe from The Clean Dish uses only three ingredients: ¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup water, and ¼ cup raw cacao powder. Mix these all together while simmering in a pan and once they’re all melted together, wa-la! You have gluten-free, vegan, chocolate sauce to drizzle all over your Peanut Butter Chocolate BumbleBar. Yum!

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• Creamy, Dairy-Free, Cherry Dip – As pretty as it is scrumptious, this beautiful pink spread pairs excellently with the Chocolate Crisp and Chocolate Cherry BumbleBars. For this recipe, provided by Whole Foods, you’ll need 1/2 pound cherries (about 2 cups), pitted, 7 ounces silken tofu, drained and 1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple. Purée all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and frothy. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours. Stir well before serving.

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10 Must-See Documentaries

The weather is getting a bit chilly, making it the perfect time to cozy up with your blankets and BumbleBars. On these cool fall nights, we love snuggling up to watch a good documentary! There are so many fascinating documentaries available through Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. We made a list of our 10 favorite, must-see documentaries to share with you! Check it out:

Liz (CEO) Favorites:

• Meet the Patels – The film explores the expectations surrounding marriage in the Patels’ first-generation Indian immigrant family and in wider American society. Watch here.

• Last Days in Vietnam – During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confront the same moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate U.S. citizens only—or to risk punishment and save the lives of as many South Vietnamese citizens as they can. Watch here.

• Last Train Home – Last Train Home documents the Life of the Migrant Worker in China. Watch here.

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Hannah (Designer) Favorites:

• Indie Game: The Movie – Witness a portrait of a new breed of artist: the video game designer. At first, the only way to make it as a designer in the video game industry was to work with major developers. Now a new breed of independent auteurs has taken their industry by storm. Watch here.

• Winter on Fire – A civil rights movement erupts in the Ukraine after a peaceful student protest quickly morphs into a violent revolution. The Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom presents viewers with a story of everyday citizens facing down brutal riot police controlled by Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych, backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Watch here.

• BlackFish – The story of Tilikum, a captive killer whale that has taken the lives of several people, underscores problems within the sea-park industry, man’s relationship to nature, and how little has been learned about these highly intelligent mammals. Watch here.

• Batkid Begins – The documentary follows Miles Scott, an American child, and cancer survivor. His wish was to be “Batkid”, a sidekick of the eponymous comic book superhero Batman. Once the request went out, thousands of volunteers, city officials, businesses and supporters rallied to turn San Francisco, California into “Gotham City” – the fictional home city of Batman, on November 15, 2013. Watch here.

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Aimee (Office Guru) Favorites:

• Thank You Del – Thank You Del is the story if the godfather of improv comedy, Del Close, made with love by the UCB and director Todd Bieber. It should be noted that I was probably in the room while most of the live footage was shot at the Del Close Marathon. It was fun stuff. Read more here.

• On The Cusp, Off The Cuff – On The Cusp, Off The Cuff is a documentary about four New York area improvisers and their struggles toward success and recognition. Includes Sasheer Zamata, who was still two years away from being cast on SNL when she participated in this documentary by director Nate Dern. Watch here.

• We Cause Scenes – We Cause Scenes is about Improv Everywhere, the collective run by Charlie Todd what is responsible for the Annual No Pants Subway Ride and lots of other super cool, totally funny crowd-sourced happenings around the world. I participated in one where people were encouraged to help finish a relay race in Manhattan and then give interviews like they had just won. It was fun. Watch here.

Introducing Office Assistant, Alaina!

Hello! My name is Alaina. I recently joined the BumbleBar team as an Office Assistant. I’m currently a senior at Gonzaga University studying Political Science and English. With any luck, I’ll be going to law school within the next couple years. I was born in Omaha, raised in Tacoma, but consider Spokane to be my home.
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When I’m not working at BumbleBar, I’m most likely busy with schoolwork. When I’m not doing either of those, I try to spend some quality time with friends, family, Netflix, or all of the above. I also love to travel. Last year, I had the awesome opportunity of interning at a lobbying firm in Brussels, Belgium, where I spent a lot of time researching mutual insurance companies and drafting proposals for clients. I took classes at Vesalius College in international politics, Belgian history, and French. My French is pretty rough, but if you’re in need of any Spanish translations, I’ve got you covered.
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Despite my jet-setting experiences, I’m happy to be back in Spokane and beginning a new adventure with BumbleBar. I’m excited to be part of a team that shares my passion for social justice, and it definitely doesn’t hurt that I’m surrounded by yummy healthy snacks.
– Alaina Arroyo, Office Assistant

5 Must-Have Online Tools for Every Small Business

Like any office, factory or agency, there’s a LOT of work to be done here at BumbleBar! In order to accomplish everything, our small team relies on several amazing online tools to get the job done. Let’s take a look at our favorite resources, who uses them, and why!

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Grammarly: We use Grammarly in our office quite frequently. Grammarly is a free online tool that spellchecks and detects grammatical issues within your writing. If you’re a student, copywriter, or anyone who spends a great deal of time typing we highly suggest using Grammarly.

Asana: Our team heavily relies on Asana to assign jobs, keep track of tasks, communicate with clients, and much more. This is an outstanding web-based tool for any business, small or large. The interface is really very lovely and user-friendly. Bonus – they even have an app for your phone! Personally, my favorite feature of Asana is the flying unicorn that soars across your monitor if you’ve completed multiple tasks throughout the day.

Podio: Podio is an equally great tool that’s just as beautiful and even more versatile than Asana. We use Podio to create apps, web forms, and store information. For example, we created a content planning app in Podio so that we could keep track of our blog posts and newsletter updates. With so many awesome features, we really recommend taking a look at all Podio has to offer here.

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JumpLead: For those of you who have your own website and are interested in discovering more about your site visitors, we suggest learning more about JumpLead. You can chat with your website visitors, capture them as leads and hopefully… convert them to customers!

BuzzSumo: We use BuzzSumo to find the most interesting articles and talked about news stories, that fit with our interests and values as a company. We love sharing positive, uplifting stories with you – especially on Facebook and Twitter. (Psst…if you don’t follow us, you probably should! ;-] ) This online tool also provides a daily competitor analysis and influencer content alerts, keeping us up to date!

 

Vegan vs Vegetarian

Did you know that veganism is not the same as vegetarianism? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know, others tend to confuse the two, and some people have no idea what they even mean at all.

Shirt From RedBubble by Designer @meganbxiley

Buy Shirt at RedBubble from Designer @meganbxiley

BumbleBar is a strictly vegetarian facility. This means we never allow any kind of meat or dairy product through our doors. BumbleBar is also very close to being strictly vegan, however, we technically aren’t because we use honey in many of our products, including JunoBars. Honey is the only animal by-product that is allowed in our facility.

So, you can probably see the difference already. To be a vegetarian, you must exclude all meat from your diet. Vegetarians don’t eat animals, ever! To be a vegan, you must exclude all meat and animal by-products, including cheese, eggs, and milk. Vegans live on an exclusively plant-based diet.

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Are you a vegetarian? Try out our JunoBars, they’re fiber-rich and contain 5 – 7g of protein depending on the flavor. If you’re vegan, or would like to try the vegan lifestyle, we highly recommend trying our delicious BumbleBars. They’re a great snack full of organic energy and are 100% vegan-friendly.

Do you have advice for those beginning their new plant-eating lifestyle? We would love to hear from those of you who are veganism & vegetarianism experts! And for those of you who have questions about it, we want to hear from you too! Send us a message in the comments below or click here to tell us your story.

Happy Eating!
The BumbleBar Team

5 Things You Might Not Know About BumbleBar

BumbleBar has been around for 21 rockin’ years, and we’re still going strong! But do you know everything about your favorite, gluten-free snack bar? Let’s find out!

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1. When founder Liz Ward set out to build her gluten-free snack brand, she initially came up with the name Harmony Organics. (Her first logo was designed with cool purple tones, very different from the bright reds and yellows in today’s current logo.) However, after she realized the name Harmony Organics wasn’t available due to trademarking, Liz decided to call her business BumbleBar instead!

2. Now this is by far my favorite BumbleBar fact. The numbers in BumbleBar’s UPC codes actually reflect the dates of when Liz’s children were born – how awesome is that?! It’s a Barcode Birthday Bash!

3. When BumbleBar’s business was very first beginning, Liz hand sealed the packaging of every single snack bar by herself! Yep, that’s right! Every. Single. One. She used the machine pictured below to heat seal the ends of the wrapper together. By pressing on a pedal with your foot, the heat seal clamps shut around the packaging and that’s how the bars are wrapped! Before she owned the slab line, Liz would stomp away on her little machine and rock out to her favorite Grateful Dead songs!

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4. As you probably already know, the sesame seed is the primary ingredient in all of the delicious BumbleBars. But what you didn’t know, is that Liz’s original idea, back in the 90’s, was to use soybeans in order to create an entirely different product! She had planned to combine brewer’s yeast, tamari, and the soybeans, to make a snack mix unlike any other. But after giving it some thought, she eventually decided to use the powerful sesame seed to create what is now known as, the BumbleBar.

5. In today’s busy world, we market ourselves through social media, such as Instagram and Facebook. Well, in 1995 we didn’t have Instagram. Liking each other’s photos, comments, and products consisted of nothing more than forming a fist and sticking our thumbs towards tliz-glenn_-yoga-event-in-bouhe sky. So, without the share button to help her, Liz recruited Glenn to pack up her BumbleBars and take marketing to the streets! Passing out BumbleBars to passersby, he visited festivals far and wide across the Pacific Northwest. A few years ago, Glenn and Liz both got to sell BumbleBars at the Hanuman Yoga Festival in beautiful Boulder Colorado!

 

 

DIY Fall Art Projects

The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp, and there’s inspiration all around! Fall is the perfect time to pull out your old craft smock and get started on a few fun DIY art projects. Let’s take a look at several creative ideas from our BumbleBar crew.

How To Make: Hannah’s Cozy Coasters

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The brisk autumn weather makes this season the perfect time to walk outside. I find myself staring at the ground a lot as I’m walking around, observing the golden leaves and broken branches that have already fallen to the ground. It was on one of these walks last autumn with my mom that we were inspired to make coasters from the larger tree branches that were strewn across the road. Here is how you can make your own:

  • Collect a few large sticks that have already fallen from a tree. They should be about 2.5 – 5 inches in diameter.
  • Use a saw to cut the branch into small circles, about 1-2 inches apart. Follow these safety guidelines when cutting the tree branch.
  • Now, take sandpaper and sand the edges of the circles, so that the coaster is nice and smooth.
  • Last, paint the coasters with a clear, non-toxic gloss paint to keep them from absorbing any liquid that may be spilled on them.
  • When they’re dry, you’re all done! Ta-da!

How To Make: Aimee’s Splendid Scarf

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Fall is my favorite time to start and maybe finish a knitting project. I say maybe because it often takes me years to finish a project because I’ll get bored, or my hands will start to ache and I put it down and won’t pick it up again for another six months. That’s ok though, knitting is rarely a race to the finish line, since I already have many, many sweaters to keep me warm this winter. It’s not like I’ll freeze to death without the sweater I’m working on. I’ve finished more than six sweaters and tons of scarves and cowls that way. One of the best parts of knitting is getting to fantasize about all of the cool stuff you’ll make with the beautiful yarns that are available at the local yarn shop, or LYS as we knitters call them. My favorite LYS is Paradise Fibers. They are based in Spokane but ship worldwide and they have a wonderful selection of brands and colors as well as a helpful and experienced staff if I get stuck. Yarn, of course, is available at your local craft store like Michaels, but they almost never sell natural fibers, which I prefer. Synthetic fiber yarn absolutely has its place, though. It is inexpensive and often much easier to wash than animal fiber yarn, so it’s great for beginners who aren’t sure they want to commit to expensive yarn and for baby blankets and clothes, which will need to be washed fairly often.

The sweater pictured probably took me a year to finish. It is made with wonderful Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk yarn that is soft and very warm. I found a relatively simple pattern on Patternfish by Knitting Pure and Simple. I’m not sure where I got the pattern for the cowl pictured. It’s just the same yarn doubled and knitted in a wide cable pattern. Knitty is another great place to look for knitting patterns and they’re all free! If you’re looking to start knitting, I’d pick out a simple pattern at Lion Brand Yarn and take that down to your LYS where they can help you pick out yarn and a needle to start out with. You can also take lessons or watch YouTube videos to learn the basic knit and purl moves. Even experienced pros like me refer to YouTube to get unstuck sometimes. My advice is to start knitting and figure out the rest on your feet, as you do it.

Good luck and happy knitting!

How To Make: Liz’s Fabulous Fruit Mandalas

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Fall Gardening with BumbleBar

Gardening is usually thought of as an activity one does throughout the spring or summer – but did you know that fall season is one of the best times to garden? The blazing summer sun is waning, so you don’t have to worry about beating the heat. Although, the sunshine is still warm enough to feel comfortable outside and it keeps the soil from freezing. We’ve made a list of plants that would be perfect to grow in your fall garden this season. Check it out!

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1. Broccoli – It’s beneficial for broccoli seedlings to be planted around the last hot days of summer. The ground around them should be cool and moist! It takes a little over two months for a broccoli plant to completely mature.

2. Kohlrabi – Yum, Kohlrabi! My grandpa used to grow these in his garden often! They taste delicious and are a very low maintenance plant. They take about one to two months to mature and should be planted when the summer heat isn’t so severe.

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3. Radish – According to About Home, the radish is one of the easiest, quickest-growing crops you can grow in your garden. Whether you choose to grow them in a container or in a traditional garden bed, you can expect a harvest about one month after you sow the seeds — this is as close to instant gratification as gardening gets!

4. Lettuce – You can make room in your fall garden for this fan favorite, lettuce! Not only will this beautiful green plant make your garden look abundant and fresh, but you’ll also enjoy being able to plant them throughout the months of late August and September!

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5. Peas – Ed from Professional Gardening says, “Although most people plant their peas in the spring, this tasty vegetable can also be planted in the fall, as they are actually able to withstand snow and temperatures of -2°C. In mild winter climates, where the ground does not freeze, pea seeds can be sown directly into the garden from September through November to grow strong root systems and then bloom in spring. If you do not get your seeds planted in fall, plant as early as possible in the spring in a well-drained spot that offers some afternoon shade.”

Cozy Fall Favorite Recipes

Can you really believe it’s mid-September? It seems like only a couple weeks ago, I was putting my boots and scarves away, just to pull out my swimsuit and sunhat. Although it’s a bittersweet goodbye to summer, we can’t help but get giddy for fall! Fall means back to school and volleyball games, the smell of ripening orchards, pumpkins, and scarecrows, and all things cozy! To kick off this fall season with a bang we made a list of our team’s favorite fall recipes!

pumpkin-1Liz’s Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Ever!

• 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
• 1-3 T Braggs liquid amino acids or GF tamarin or soy sauce
• 1-2 T chili powder

On medium heat in a large cast iron saute pan, roast pumpkin seeds until they are almost all popped. Stir often to avoid scorching. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of Braggs or tamari. Stir until liquid is evaporated. Sprinkle in chili powder. Turn off heat. Blend well. Remove from heat. Let cool. Enjoy!

P.S. Besides being a great healthy snack that people love, these pumpkin seeds make wonderful gluten-free croutons! They are also super tasty in soup.

 

Hannah’s Hot Buttered Rum (Vegan)

Hot Buttered Rum (Vegan)

(For 1 serving)

• 1 1/2 oz Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
• 1 1/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 organic raw cane sugar to water)
• A pinch of ground clove, nutmeg & sea salt
• 2 pinches of organic ground cinnamon
• 1 1/4 oz Blackwell Jamaican Rum (if 21+)
• 1/4 oz Smith & Cross rum or organic rum 
• 4 oz hot organic apple cider

Heat up to slowly melt butter and add simple syrup and spices. Now, add in the rums and apple cider. Last, pour into a heat-resistant glass.

Emory’s Vegan Chili

• Onions
• Bell Peppers
• Garlic
• Chili Powder
• Oregano
• Cumin
• Cayenne
• Chopped Tomatoes
• Hot Sauce

Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid, and tomato sauce. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally.

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Aimee’s Pumpkin Pie (This can be found at It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.com)

  • 1¾ Cups or 1 14 oz Can Pureed Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
  • ½ CupOrganic Brown Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Full Fat Organic Canned Coconut Milk (stirred well before measuring)
  • 4 Tablespoons Organic Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ½ teaspoon Organic Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Recipe Easy Vegan Pie Crust or 1 Store Bought Pie Crust (check ingredients to make sure it is vegan) *Do not precook the pie crust
    Vegan Pumpkin Pie

    Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Add all of the ingredients: the pureed pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut milk, cornstarch, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to a blender or a large bowl. Mix well.Pour the pumpkin mixture into the uncooked pie crust. Spread evenly.Bake for 60 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, the edges might be slightly cracked and the middle will still look very wobbly. Let cool, and chill in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours until set, or overnight which is best.

Crusher’s in Cali

Remember Angela Boone, AKA Crusher, the amazing woman who has been hiking the PCT and munching on BumbleBars along the way? Well, she’s made it through Washington, Oregon and she’s now in California! Recently we were sent an update letter from Crusher. To read her first update letter, click here. To read her most recent update, check it out below:

Greetings from CALIFORNIA!

I’ve made it over 1000 miles. It’s still hard to believe that Washington is behind me, and now Oregon!  Starting out in Washington I was averaging 18-20 miles a day. By the end, 20-22 miles a day. In Oregon I was able to increase daily mileage a bit. It’s easier to do 25 a day, and 27/28s are manageable. I have even pulled off a couple low 30 mileage days. Those days were necessary to get to my desired camp spots and make the next day work in my favor. BUT they were not fun…leaving camp with the sun and getting to camp when it’s dark, quickly scrambling to set up your tent, clean yourself and your dust covered feet that turn one wet wipe black after only cleaning your pinky toe, and force yourself to eat dinner before you pass out from exhaustion. Those are very long days and my body tends to reject any movement on the following day. Those big mile days have been “mind over matter” situations – a mental switch I more recently have been able to turn on. It’s a confidence booster to know that I am capable of it. It’s all been a good lesson in pushing my limits while also knowing how and when to listen to my body. More recently though I’ve felt a little run down. We’ve had to sacrifice some sleep in order to get more miles in. I don’t want to push myself too hard, but south bounders are starting to worry about making it through the Sierras in time. Some have considered skipping ahead to do them, or flip flopping – going to the southern end of them, heading north to where they stopped in Oregon and then down to Southern California. My group of hiker friends and I hate that idea. We’re in this for a straight through hike and don’t want to skip around because it’s easier. So we’re going to do our best and take what weather comes our way. Unfortunately, and maybe fortunately for our Sierra concerns, there is a huge fire in  Seiad Valley in northern California, just east of the PCT. Technically one could continue hiking the trail, but the 10,000 acre fire is zero percent contained right now and the smoke is so bad we were seeing it up in Ashland, OR. A group of us decided to be safe and skip 100 or so trail miles south and continue on. We didn’t want to get stuck in the fire if it were to spread and be the people firefighters risk their lives to rescue. So maybe this is the trail providing a way for us to get to the Sierras in time? We’ll take it. It is bittersweet, however. We don’t get to walk across the OR/CA border and take a selfie, or even see the 1000 mile marker that’s shortly into California. Finishing my second state and starting my last as been rendered quite anticlimactic.

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Crusher’s photo “View from Devil’s Peak.”

You can follow Angela's journey on Instagram by following @ang_boone

You can follow Angela’s journey on Instagram by following @ang_boone

Oregon was a great state. Some of us were discussing how to compare the 2 states and decided that Oregon has a more simple, humble beauty whereas Washington had more magnificent views. While Washington offered snacks of salmon berries, raspberries, huckleberries, and baby strawberries that littered the forest floor, Oregon introduced some blueberries and blackberries for a bit. The terrain has been much more rolling in Oregon, whereas Washington was either up or down. There have been beautiful open forests and a plethora of lakes. I finally went for a swim one day when we stopped for lunch at a small lake. Oregon had its own set of challenges as well though. There are a lot of burn areas which leave us without any shade in the blazing 90 degree heat. There was a section with lava rocks, which was a new type of beauty we hadn’t seen but very hard on the feet. There was another section of down trees, but not as bad as Cut Throat Pass in Washington. The section between Shelter Cove and Crater Lake had a 16 mile dry stretch and then a 20-ish mile dry stretch. Luckily there were 2 water caches in the 20 mile stretch that some Trail Angels have been keeping well stocked. We had a few shorter water carries towards the end of Oregon as well. You really have to plan those wisely. I came upon an older gentleman one day laying on the ground on the side of the trail with his round belly sticking out from under his shirt. I asked if he was okay and he made a comment about how hot it is. He asked what we PCT hikers do about water in these sections. I told him where the water points were and where I expected a water cache. He then questioned the water cache, saying that it’s not good to drink the water from plastic that’s been sitting in the sun. While I agree…dehydration was my other option. As we parted ways he told me to be careful because “it’s not safe” out here, and then returned to his physically defeated position on the dusty forest floor. We’ve noticed a couple different types of nobos. There are some that are the mile pushers and love to talk about all they miles they’ve done and who they’ve passed. Then there’s another group that seems to be more relaxed, averaging around 20-25 miles a day and planning a “day for drinking” in the next town. Those that we see at this point we question if they’ll make it to Canada before snow in the Cascades.

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The next stop was Shelter Cove resort, a gorgeous camping spot on a lake about a mile and a half off the PCT. Despite my resupply package not arriving and having to get all my food from my buddy Spice Rack (thank goodness she always sends herself too much food), it was a lovely spot to take a nero (nearly a zero mile) day. The day before I did enough miles to camp at lower Rosary lakes – a beautiful string of lakes with picturesque camping. It was actually an incredible day! The day before I did my first over 30 mile day, a 32 mile day, so I would only have to do 28 miles to make it to this camp spot. I was sore and tired in the morning but it was my lucky day. The Waldo 100k trail race was taking place that day. Runners flew in from across the country to run 62 miles on a course that crossed over the PCT at multiple points. There were aid stations for the runners throughout the day, and nobos passed me spreading word that I may be able to get some watermelon if I go ask about the event. Of course I wouldn’t pass that up. I headed down to an aid station, located at a lake where I planned to restock water, and was immediately invited in to help myself to treats. And man oh man were there treats!  The table was loaded with watermelon, grapes, bananas, Oreos, Cheese Its, chips, pretzels, jelly beans, Twizzlers, cooked potatoes with salt to dip them in, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Cliff bars and energy chews, frozen Capri Suns, and electrolyte enhanced water! It was like Christmas morning. I stayed and enjoyed it for a little bit, watching runners come through and get doused with water and get their hats filled with ice. Some just ran straight into the lake. While I was just as hot and working pretty hard as well, I was very content with my much slower paced 28 mile day.

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You can follow Crusher’s journey on Instagram by following @ang_boone

One night before coming into Ashland, OR I saw my first hunter. I smelled him before I saw him. I was looking at my feet and caught a whiff of detergent – clean clothes. I looked up and sure enough, there was a young man dressed in camouflage stalking quietly on the trail with a crossbow in hand. He let me pass and we nodded quietly to each other. I chuckled to myself because my group of friends play this game – “you know you’re a thru hiker when…”  One we’ve discussed before is “you know you’re a thru hiker when…you can smell a day hiker’s laundry detergent/perfume/deodorant for the next quarter of a mile after you pass them”. I guess it’s true for hunters as well. I made a mental note not to go to the bathroom off trail without my bright red pack by my side.

All of us ladies have been dealing with various physical challenges. At this point we all have had blisters and foot pain of some sort. I have fallen to the ground twice now! I’m honestly shocked it took me this long with how many times I’ve tripped. I’m thankful I’ve managed to catch myself with my trekking poles and not fall off a cliff. We all have our scrapes and bruises. We’re all managing our pains, working through it, and becoming stronger. As they say, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”!

This is really hard. Mentally and physically. People love seeing the beautiful photos and are constantly telling us how jealous they are. I had a friend from college tell me “if you want a walking partner let me know”.  Another friend told me “if you do this again I’ll do it with you”. I love that I’ve been able to expose some people to backpacking and encouraging people to get out in the wild, but I also need to share some of the difficulty. It took us a while to be confident in saying “we’re going to Mexico”. None of us actually know if we can do this. We are definitely more certain that we are capable and know we are determined enough to try. We usually have a bigger goal of making it through these smaller states, and the focus is usually to just make it to the next town. Those 4-6 days are the most we can wrap our heads around. Honestly, some days we’re just trying to make it to a camp spot, other days I don’t even know if I’ll make it to my lunch spot. We always make it though, because we have to. But for now I just focus on a few miles at a time. I can’t even begin to think about doing this again!

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Someone asked us once if we just wake up every morning and are super excited. We all laughed uneasily at this… I wouldn’t say I’m ever excited to unzip my sleeping bag, let the cold air greedily overtake the newly exposed space, painstakingly crawl out, frantically change clothes before I get too cold, attempt to make my protesting body work and get going. I often lay in my sleeping bag for a bit, curling my toes and rolling my ankles to make sure my feet didn’t dismember themselves and escape in the night, checking my Guthooks app to look at the elevation for the day and hope that there’s very little uphill. The days are often a struggle. We’re doing the same exhausting thing every day. And this is why snacks and breaks have become the favorite parts of the day. A nobo from Ireland was talking with us about one of his hard days. He said he sat down to eat a bag of Skittles, looking for happiness at the bottom of the bag. When he didn’t find it he decided to eat another bag of Skittles, but they were the wild berry flavors so maybe it would work. It didn’t work, so then he ate a snickers bar. We were all laughing so hard because we have all been there. Often times you think to yourself “if I eat this bar while climbing this maybe it’ll be better”. We’ve also met a few hikers who are named after their love for breaks. Siesta, Many Breaks, Breaks – to name a few.

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Porcupine Lake – Photo by Angela Boone

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Inside of a Pine-cone. Follow @Ang_Boone on Instagram.

The daily physical struggle is a hard thing to get around mentally. My nobo friend said it well when he admitted, “some days ya just gotta cry on trail”, after telling us how he got in his tent and just cried one night. We’ve all had breakdowns of various sizes out here. Some days it’s the silly toddler pity party of “I don’t wanna climb this mountain”. Other days it’s much more – exhaustion, self doubt, frustration – all piling on until you’ve overwhelmed yourself and need to just go cry in your tent. Spice Rack and I were recently discussing how mental states like these often keeps us from appreciating the day. It’s good that we have conversations like that to remind ourselves to appreciate it, because we know when we’re back to our front country life, stuck in traffic or dealing with work frustrations, we’ll be wishing we were huffing and puffing up a 2000 ft climb instead.

Sometimes the trail gives you a little extra magic as well. There’s this saying that “the trail provides”. A lot of us have encountered this in various forms. My friend wasn’t warm enough in his sleeping bag, but one day he found an abandoned sleeping bag liner at a campsite far out in the woods that no one would go back to. He was finally warm enough to sleep. My shorts were starting to get holes in them, but then I found perfectly good shorts in the hiker box at Shelter Cove! Another friend didn’t finish her northbound hike last year because of a knee that kept giving her issues. She tried finishing Washington this year, but again had to stop. She started to admit that she needs to find another way to appreciate the outdoors that isn’t damaging to her knee, so she started considering foraging. When her knee gave her issues in Washington and she was trying to get off trail, she was able to get a ride into Seattle from a guy at a trailhead. This guy ended up being an author and expert about foraging. She got his book and is now hoping to get more into it! It’s little things like this that make the trail even more magical. Sometimes it just knows what you need. Other times it just kicks your ass.

I just made it to Castella, CA yesterday late afternoon and will be heading back to the trail shortly. I’m hoping to be better about more frequent updates… More to come!

 

Best,

Angie

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