Jingle All The Way


DAY 12

Echo Lake

I went on a water taxi across Echo Lake to start on the Pacific Crest Trail again.

Desolation Wilderness

Today’s hike was very rocky and wobbly. Literally.

Within the first 30 minutes I passed a Park Ranger who was out hiking. That was re-assuring knowing he and others were out there. He and I chatted for a few minutes.

Aloha Lake

I hiked to Aloha Lake today which has stunning clear blue water beneath the melting snowy mountains. I couldn’t believe its majestic beauty.


My amazing mom got me a SPOT Gen3 GPS tracking device to use on my journey. It lets her see my exact latitude and longitude location. It also has an SOS button in case of a life or death emergency which would notify Search & Rescue, and it has a check-in button which notifies her that I am okay. Thank you, mom! I love you.

Heather Lake

I camped at Heather Lake.


DAY 13

Susie Lake

Looky! It’s Susie Lake. Awesome!

Dick’s Pass
top of Dick’s Pass

Today I hiked over Dick’s Pass. I can tell that my legs are growing muscle because they didn’t hurt as bad as when I first started. It’s a great feeling to feel my body strengthening every day.

I made camp at Lake Fontanillis. And at about 11 pm I was startled by the loud ROAR of a bear. It echoed within this valley of rocky mountains and boulders, so I couldn’t really judge where or how far away it was. When I first heard that ROAR I felt my entire body go into panic! The only way I can explain it is that it felt like an instant “hot flash” throughout my entire body in the cold of the night. It was scary! I stayed in my tent and took comfort in the objects I had: bear spray and an air horn. I said multiple prayers.


DAY 14

Lake Richardson

I reached Lake Richardson today after hiking through a heavily forested section. It sure is a beautiful country out here!


DAY 15


I spent today by the beautiful Lake Richardson. I rested and wrote in my journal right on the lake shore. Physically I felt strong, but I was mentally struggling. My support system is pretty much invisible out here. I must rely on my own inner strength and my own positive affirmations. Today I felt the need to stop and smell the roses and refresh my mind and spirit.

As I wrote in my journal I saw dragonflies, butterflies, bee’s, wildflowers, and chipmunks. It was a little windy so I could hear the water lightly smashing on nearby rocks. The bright sun was glittering on top of the lake…like sparkling diamonds floating on the surface.

A couple of hikers passing by asked to use my water filter. I was happy to help them.

I saw married couples and families out hiking together. I absolutely loved seeing that. But at the same time it brings sadness to my heart. When will I get to go on adventures with my husband and our kids?

DAY 16

Today I cried off and on for the first 5 miles. Is my husband truly changing his bachelor ways? Is his heart really changing into a faithful man? When he gets out of prison, will he want a wholesome loving marriage like I’ve always dreamed of? I was feeling emotional and sensitive regarding my marriage.

I was almost sure that when I reached the Barker Pass Trailhead that I was going to hitch a ride up to HWY 89 into Tahoe City for a rest. I was feeling that bad. I was in need of inspiration, support, and encouragement.

pct trail magic

I arrived at the trailhead…and guess what? TRAIL MAGIC! Out of the kindness of their hearts, these awesome guys were BBQ’ing cheeseburgers with all the trimmings for all hikers passing through. I spent nearly 3 hours here chatting and conversing with other hikers. Everyone has such different stories to share. My spirits were instantly boosted from this fun group. Thanks guys!

Bear Bell

A lot of hikers have asked me about my bell that jingles on my backpack. I tell them that it is my Bear Bell and that I am “Jingling All The Way” to Washington. Some chuckle at that, and some tell me that I don’t need a bear bell. But I’m keeping it.

I have an official trail name: “Jingles”

It’s silly, but it brings smiles to everyone’s face. They’ll hear me coming. 🙂


I went to hang my food bag in a tree, and guess what I saw? Yep…a rope hanging nearby where someone else got their rope stuck. I’m not the only one. LOL


DAY 17

I got out of bed feeling good. I hiked 10.7 miles today. I crossed steep sections along the tops and sides of mountains. I was on top of the world!


I hiked right under Squaw Valley Ski lift. Cool.


I wish I could snuggle up close to my husband right now. What’s it like to sleep with the man I love, I wonder? And to wake up next to one another every morning? I miss and want all of the physical touches and intimacies that husbands & wives share. I’m so excited for our special moments to come. I love my husband dearly.


DAY 18


Today I hiked 15.5 miles. Today was a challenging one.

Tinker Knob


Tinker Knob

I hiked up Tinker Knob. This was a dewsy for me! Then I hiked along the tops of mountains again.


Within the last 8-10 miles today, I ran out of water. The seasonal streams were dried up. A kind fellow hiker shared 15 ounces of her water with me. I was so very grateful. It was a hot and dry day.


The terrain was very rocky. The bottoms of my feet were burning hot and hurting, but I kept on going. I hiked over Donner Pass and made it to HWY 40 near Truckee, Ca. I camped here for the night, then hitchhiked into town the next morning. I set up camp in the dark tonight and had to use my flashlight while setting up my tent



As I stand on top of a mountain and look behind me at what I just hiked up & over, it’s such an incredible feeling! Then I look forward at what I still have to conquer. I tell myself, “I can do it! I am strong! I am capable!”

It’s an amazing feeling NOT to be a quitter. Now that I think of it, before this challenging hike, I rarely experienced what true personal success felt like. I love this feeling!

I will keep moving forward one step at a time…jingling all the way. 🙂



Suzie Jennings



Author: Steven & Suzie Jennings

She was raised as a Mormon, and he is a convict serving 43 years in prison. This blog offers a glimpse into two vastly different worlds that somehow came crashing together. Join them on their journey through prison life & married life.

7 thoughts

  1. I was so worried about you at first. So glad to see you growing your mountain legs! You have this. I am so proud of you and your progress. Love you!


  2. “Jingle all the way!” THAT will keep you smiling! I am following your journey and praying for your safety! What courage you are showing. I pray that the end of the road brings you all the joy you deserve, SuzieQ!


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