12. Solo Backpacking with a Stalker
Mary is a former journalist and trial lawyer, both experiences she drew upon in order to give you a narrative account of this unnerving event. Today, she is the executive producer of the Out and Back podcast as well as a writer and editor at Gaia GPS. When she is not in the office, Mary works as a guide for Andrew Skurka Adventures in wild places around the west, like Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite, and Alaska. Learn more about Mary by following her on Instagram. Read Mary’s bio on the Gaia GPS’s team page and view her hiking credentials on Andrew Skurka’s guide roster. Read her tips on how to plan your first solo backpacking trip. Episode Highlights 3:00: Mary did not grow up in an outdoor family. She grew up in the Detroit area. 4:25: Even in the suburbs, Mary was drawn to the outdoors. 7:30: Mary’s sister dropped her off at Lake Tahoe when she was 17 so she could pursue outdoor jobs. 9:40: Mary lands her dream job as a wilderness ranger in the Desolation Wilderness on the western crest of the Lake Tahoe Basin. 11:00: There was one major problem: solo backpacking!12:20: Mary’s first night out in the wilderness alone. 15:50: Mary became the resident expert in Desolation Wilderness and finally got comfortable solo backpacking. 17:15: Mary meets Carl at the 90-foot wall, a popular climbing crag in Emerald Bay.19:20: Mary runs into Carl in the backcountry. 21:00: Carl shows up at Mary’s house.23:45: Underwear goes missing. 26:10: Mary is camping at her favorite backcountry campsite and Carl shows up right as the sun is going down. 27:15: Mary freezes. 32:26: Mary is constantly looking over her shoulder for Carl.32:50: Mary sees Carl again on the trail. 34:00: Mary was mad at Carl for interrupting her dream job in the wilderness. She decided to stay in Desolation Wilderness and was ready mentally and physically to confront Carl if she ever saw him again. 39:00: Mary understood victims of violent crime and how they could freeze in the middle of an assault. 43:10: Solo backpacking is magic and a cathartic way to sort out issues for Mary.