Where’s Bree At? The Heart of the Mojave

By Beacon Staff

The scorching heat was to be expected in America’s great desert, but the gusty winds were an unpleasant surprise for Bree Fuqua as she entered the Mojave.

Bree, the 31-year-old teacher from Kalispell who is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, has logged 558.6 miles in 24 days.

She recently entered the heart of the Mojave in southwestern California, which is the driest desert in North America. For several days in a row she encountered 50-60 mph winds, which wore her down as she hiked more than 25 miles a day. This sudden challenge led to an unplanned “rest day,” which still included six miles of hiking.

“I cannot even express in words what that is like for 29 miles. Extremely exhausting!” she reported back.

“It was probably a constant 30 mile an hour wind with gusts up to 50-60 miles an hour. Then, just when I thought it was over, it got worse. Gusts so strong they would throw you 6+ feet and knock you to the ground.”

Camping in the Mojave Desert. – Courtesy photo

That said, Bree said her overall health is pretty good besides a few aches and pains. Her mental exhaustion is most noticeable, but she’s staying positive.

This was a recent “life lesson of the day” she wrote:

“Mind over matter. Even in the worst of circumstances your mindset changes everything. You always have a choice about whether your thoughts are positive or negative. Sometimes you just have to fight a lot harder to keep them positive.”

I’ve received a lot of encouraging emails from folks following Bree’s epic journey and passed them along to her. She’s replied with great appreciation. Feel free to send messages for her to dtabish@flatheadbeacon.com.

RELATED: Bree Climbs Into California Mountains

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