April 6 – Silly Chili

Mike Herrera’s to Campsite below Table Mountain (mile 144)
17 miles

Post by Silly Chili

Well, I must say this is quite an honor. Although I am not much of a blog writer, and was hesitant to accept this lofty position. I can definitely say this is much more enjoyable than writing my Epidemiology Research Paper that is due as soon as I return from this trip. Needless to say I am quite thrilled to be spending my break with my awesome parents on another outdoor adventure. I am spoiled to have such hardcore parents, and I am very grateful to have been raised with the love of hiking, climbing, and just being outdoors. I have also appreciated how they have always made sure I am well prepared. This trip was no exception! On their way down to the border they stopped by my apartment, conveniently dropping off a packed backpack with prepared meals and some great new gear. Basically all I had to do was start walking! Be jealous. Though I did miss some of the preparation and planning process, so I made sure to unpack and lay out all my gear before repacking it in my new Golite Jam.

Today was a great day for hiking, complete with some new experiences for me, such as having to get water out of a cistern rather than a fresh mountain stream. After we survived the cold and windy night on Mike’s lawn, we had great weather that was not too hot till later in the afternoon.

The weather was cool, and we had the wonderful opportunity of following some fresh wild turkey tracks down the trail for much of the morning. We could also hear them so apparently the turkey hunter we ran into yesterday was looking in the wrong area!

Much of my backpacking experience has taken place in the High Sierras, so Southern California desert is fairly new to me. I am learning to appreciate its beauty though I feel blessed to have this kind of hiking so close to where I live. There were times today though where I missed the endless landscapes, massive peaks jetting out of the ground, pristine lakes, and views so incredible you feel like a picture would never do it justice. Anyways, enough daydreaming!

For the most part it was an uneventful day. It was however a treat to come across a water cache only 4 miles from where we filtered water at the Guzzler.

I am now sitting by a fire under the stars and a full moon at one of the best campsites I have ever come across. There are plenty of flat tent spots, boulders to climb on, and great views. I am more than happy.

One thing, the food on this trip has been incredible! My mother has become a master chef of dehydrating food. She is great at a number of things, but cooking is not usually listed as one of her best skills. Ha ha. I am very proud of her! I have eaten better in the last two days than I have in a while. Plenty of organic, simple, nutrition packed, and tasty meals, without unknown or unhealthy ingredients…well, except the jar of Nutella ( a backpacking must have item!) Again, I am quite the happy camper.
-Silly Chili






  1. Aldo Leopold said the wild turkey was a noble creature and quite suitable to be designated the US’ national bird. (recollected from ‘Sand County Almanac’ or ‘Thinking Like a Mountain’, Flader, Susan. Univ. Missouri Press)

  2. You all make me teary eyed with joy that you guys can share such great experiences with each other! Treat post, silly chili! I hope to hear more from you! Love you all. And I am so proud to call you my family. Love you!

    • It is so refreshing to hear from an Emerson perspective…don’t you think? I would love to hear about how he felt getting off the trail when he really wanted to keep going to Canada. Thank you for always supporting us in our escapades and sharing with your family. Love you.

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