This week: Solitary WandererEdited by: Octobersun
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Dear writers and readers of Action/Adventure, I am Octobersun and I will be your guest editor for this issue.
Some stories come straight from life. Like this one.
During Spring Break, that was April 8 - 12 for me, my family of five went backpacking on Catalina Island. We were five, so not lonely at all. However, because of the way the hiking trails are set up, you are likely to run into the same people over and over. Some, you will meet on the trail as they pass you or you pass them. Some, you will see in the campground.
During those five days that we were on the island, we met plenty of couples. And three single women, each of them hiking the Trans Catalina Trail on their own. The Trans Catalina Trail is a 38-mile trail that goes all the way from one end of the island to the other end and loops you back to the harbor where you take the ferry back off the island. Each of those 38 miles is unique. You can choose to do an out and back pattern at some point, but it's set up to be a loop so that you never have to walk on the same path twice.
The first woman we met was a recent graduate from Stanford. She just completed her Masters Degree in structural engineering and was taking a little time off before she entered the workforce. On the day that we met her, she had already hiked the "Old Trans Catalina Trail" which is a 10-mile trail close to Avalon. Then, she took on the next 13 miles to get to her first campground. Let that melt in your mouth. 23 miles with a heavy backpack. We ran into her on each of our backpacking days as we all end up in the same rest spots at some point.
The second woman we met is a Methodist Pastor. She hiked at a similar pace to ours, except faster. What I mean by that is that she stopped at all the same campgrounds that we were at, but she usually arrived there before us.
The third woman to backpack the Trans Catalina Trail on her own was somewhat of an enigma to us until the last day as we were all lining up at the ferry to leave the island. The Methodist Pastor introduced us to each other.
Each of these women decided to take on nature one-on-one. Each of those women carried about 40-50 pounds of stuff on her back for five days since they didn't have anyone else to share the load with. On this trip that we all took separately, yet together in a way, we sweated, slipped, burned wood, saw bison too close for comfort, and walked all over the place.
Even when you depict a solitary wanderer in your story, let them run into interesting characters along the way.
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