• Blaine Hoppenrath

Yose (pronounced yo-SEE)

Yose loved to sleep under the stars, that's how she got her trail name. Yose is short for Yosemite Sam, the cowboy from Looney Tunes because Yose loved to cowboy camp. So much that her trail family didn't know what her tent looked like for the longest time. There was something about waking up under the stars.

Yose was pretty fierce. Sure, there were things that scared her, she wasn't the greatest in snow, especially when an ice axe was required and yeah, there was that one creek crossing where she almost lost her footing, and night hiking alone she was sure there was a mountain lion stalking her. But she could log miles with the best of them, 40 miles by herself, no problem. 50 with her trail family, done deal.

The only time she ever wanted to quit the trail was when she was headed into Trout Lake because she literally woke up in a lake and it was pouring, and there was no good place to move her tent while in said lake and rainstorm. She woke up the next morning and just cried in her tent.

But in five months and four days she walked 2,650 miles. She walked through the heart of the the High Sierra and fell in love with each of the Cascade Peaks. Her heart melted with each rainbow after a desert storm and cherished every sunrise and sunset. Her body went through slow changes and acute ones. Every day her body ached and yet she kept walking.

For those five months she was everything she had ever wanted to be.

And then it ended. The goal that she consumed herself with was over.

Slowly, day over day, Yose disappeared.

Yose is me and I am Yose. While I am trying to move forward in life it is hard to balance the person I was on trail with the responsibilities of my what my life looks like today. I miss her. I miss her all the time. I know Yose is somewhere deep inside me.

This year has been hell for everyone. From a global pandemic to reckoning with race and privilege, this year has been emotional, and thats on top of life. It means that I am more Blaine than Yose and I am not sure if thats neither good nor bad.

I miss you Yose.

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