Pampered in the Wilderness


Before leaving Julian, I stopped by the bookstore where Don, the owner, had picked out several books for me to read while I hike. He chose “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, which was one of the first movies I saw when I moved to the states from Russia and therefore very special (how did he know?) He also gave me “The Sea-Wolf” by Jack London, and told me to pick out a third book by Max Brand (he knows I like those old western dime novels). I took the first two and mailed one ahead for when I’m done reading the other. We then snapped a photo of the two of us. I look a little too happy, but what can I say, I love books! And I will carry the extra weight without a problem if it provides me with some great entertainment during breaks.

Also, before hobbling out of Julian on my limpy foot, a fellow hiker named Roscoe bandaged up my foot with KT tape to help my inflamed tendon heal.


The rest of my trail family later pampered the hell out of me. My hiking partner, Vanilla, came up with this set up so that I could elevate and ice my foot at the same time, and when I ordered a burger, Chrissy from Carmen’s brought it directly to the parking lot where I sat on my plastic icy throne.


But the pampering didn’t stop there. The next evening, I hiked out of Julian. My foot didn’t feel too terrible, and I hiked on with my amazing (and also hurting) trail family who didn’t travel at too fast of a pace. We battled crazy winds and found a campsite where tents went flying all night until we finally gave up and cowboy camped (slept on a tarp in our sleeping bags). That night, my foot underwent a lot of sudden sharp stabbing pains that kept me up a good portion or the night. The next morning, I had to nearly drag my foot behind me for the 13 miles we hiked to get halfway to the next town. Every step hurt.

So the day after that, when we had 15 miles to go, my trail family all waited for me at a meeting spot near the entrance to the trail and all volunteered to carry some of my weight to lighten my load and, consequently, reduce some of the pressure on my foot. They all took a pound or two of my belongings and I was left with a pack that weighed about 10lbs (compared to the 31-33lbs I would have carried otherwise!), and then we reconvened in the evening and I got everything back. We all enjoyed each other’s company as we camped together and sat around a bonfire until late at night, and the next morning, headed to Warner Springs.

My trail family is the best group of people in the world. Here we are, with aching backs and shoulders, throwing out every extra ounce to lighten our loads, and they volunteer to carry whole pounds for me. OdeeO and Roscoe with their multitude of blisters, and FireStarter and Sunday with their hurting knees, and everyone hiked ahead of me with pretty much everything but my food and water. I love them all so much. Better people are hard to find. And we know each other for less than two weeks! It’s amazing how fond we’ve become of each other and the things we’re willing to do to help one another out. It’s truly beautiful.

About elinatravels

I’m Elina Oliferovskiy, a Russian-born 26-year-old restless soul who’s never really found a place to dig her roots in deep ever since I moved to the United States in 1998. I’ve lived in a 39-foot RV with 8 people and a Chihuahua and road-tripped around approximately 38 states for 1.5 months. I’ve packed my car and headed north without a destination and ended up in Big Sur, CA and lived there for a bit. I recently moved to Bend, OR without ever having been here prior (simply went off of the recommendations of others). And I just came back from a trip to France, Luxembourg, England, and Ireland and have many fun stories to share. My alter-ego is Free Spirit (my trail name on the PCT) and I am an aspiring solo female Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker, who’d hiked half of the trail in 3.5 months in 2016 and a did a one-month section hike in 2014. I started this blog to chronicle my attempt to get from Mexico to Canada on foot via the PCT. I have also hiked in England, Luxembourg, and hope to hike the Camino De Santiago (St. James’ Way) in Spain and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, as well as many others. I love challenging myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, exploring and meeting new people who introduce me to their perspectives on life and allow me to be part of what they hold dearest to their hearts, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in order to try exciting new things, and seeing, tasting, smelling, experiencing all of what this wonderful world I live in has to offer. This is why I travel. This is also why I move frequently. I’ve been moving somewhere new nearly every year, and I absolutely love my lifestyle. Now, I am deciding between teaching English in Vietnam, working remotely from New Zealand, or moving back to CA and woodcarving for a season. We will see what happens in the fall/winter of 2017. For now, I plan to stay in Bend, OR another few months and absorb all I can from this wonderful little (though rapidly growing) town. Feel free to follow along my journey by reading and commenting on my blog, adding me on Facebook (search for Elina Oliferovskiy and write me a message telling me you are a follower of my blog), or emailing me at
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4 Responses to Pampered in the Wilderness

  1. Awesome update! The people we meet on the trail are the best in the world. So glad they were there for support. All the best! Aching foot aside, it looks like you’re having an amazing journey.


  2. Rembrandt says:

    What an adventure! Some of us are living vicariously through you! 🙂

    -green with happiness

    Liked by 1 person

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