Small Town Wanderers

I want to explain how lost a PCT hiker feels without the trail. There was a fire a little ahead of us, and the trail was closed from Lake Isabella to Kennedy Meadows. This was supposed to be our last stretch of the desert before setting foot into the snowy Sierras, and we needed that part of the trail to hike while the snow melted, and most importantly, we needed to that time to acclimate and mentally process how different this new terrain, weather, and environment was going to be. When we got off the trail and realized that the section ahead was closed, but it was too early to go into the Sierras, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We wandered around town, camped at a local’s favorite spot by the river, ate terrible-tasting fast food, and shopped for essentials and nonessentials, but really had no plans, and although that’s fine on the trail, that’s nerve-wracking in town because we don’t like to stay in town for too long–we belong out on the trail! Juggling ideas and considering our options, we thought about living by the river for a while, or finding another trail to hike in the meantime, or hitching a ride to a mountain or forest that the PCT doesn’t cross and we wouldn’t get to see otherwise, or taking a road trip, or walking from town to town and exploring the neighborhoods and getting to know the locals, and although all of these were viable alternatives, none of them sounded as good as what we came out here to do: hiking the PCT. After a day in town full of dilly-dallying and trying to figure things out, we defeatedly went back to the river to spend another night there and thought we’d figure it out in the morning. Before we got to our home for the night, a local volunteered the information that the trail will be reopened the next day at 6pm. We were overjoyed! We high-fived and went to bed with smiles on our faces. This evening, we aren’t going to be small town wanderers anymore, but PCT hikers once again. 

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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6 Responses to Small Town Wanderers

  1. Joshua says:

    Looks like at 6PM today the PCT stretch you are referring to will be opened. ( The Chimney Fire is the name. You may have already found an alternative route, but wanted to share this with you in case you were still in Lake Isabella/Kernville. BTW, the Kern River Brewing Company is a great place to grab a bite and drink if you are still in Kernville.


  2. elinatravels says:

    That info is in my blog post. The reason I wrote it is so that other hikers could know as well 🙂


  3. William S. Miller says:

    Now that you are a PCT veteran, it is time to wrestle a bear, a la the legendary backwoods man from Tennessee, Davey Crockett! (Hint: Try grinning it to death.)


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