Here is my blog post about the gear changes I made on the PCT.
For a long time I wanted to die. I wanted to disappear because something was taken from me. I couldn’t stand knowing that I was broken and terrified and those people were out there living their lives without a second thought of how they destroyed mine.
I was demoralized. I was shattered. I thought I would never be myself again.
Then one day I had this crazy nonsensical idea of walking 2650 miles along the PCT. Once that crazy ideal was thought of more I started to work towards something again. Myself. Me. My life.
I overcame injury after injury and sickness after sickness on this trail.
I was out there for 5 months. When I got knocked down I got right back up again. I wasn’t just fighting to finish the PCT, I was fighting for my life.
I may have failed to thru hike the PCT this year. But I didn’t fail myself. Because I’m still here and I’m alive and I’m getting ready to come back next year to finish it. I accomplished what I needed this year in my personal goals besides just walking 2650 miles.
After just over 1000 miles I am stronger mentally, physically, more confident, happier, and so much more. My friends and family notice this incredible difference in me, and above all I notice it in me.
Most importantly I’m not afraid anymore. Sure I might be in some fleeting moments, but I am not afraid to live anymore.
I’m mot afraid to hike solo.
I’m not afraid to leave my house.
I’m not afraid to speak out and support other survivors and help others be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
I broke down and cried last night and that’s when I was to write this post… finally.
I didn’t cry because I was sad or scared.
I cried because I did it.
I cried because I am so damn proud of myself for doing the damn thing and I can’t wait to see how much stronger I am when I finish next year 💕
I will be back and I will finish what I set out to do.
Day 8: 12.5 miles hiked
Today we woke up to this beautiful sunrise. Our tents were wet and it was very cold this morning so we started the day a little later than usual. The plan was to get to water 10 miles later and have a snack there and regroup. I was the last one out of camp by about 20 minutes from the first person to leave.
Today was a very easy terrain day, but my hip started hurting within the first mile regardless. I pushed through and did some of my massage techniques and rehab stretches I used to do before. It helped for a half mile, but then the pain came back even worse. It started to feel like the grinding of my femur into my hip ball and socket joint, sharp shooting pains going up my leg. And then my foot started to hurt again from back in the desert.
.... I knew in that moment my hike was done this year. I cried a lot in that moment, and on and off the rest of the trek to that water source. I was limping. I decided that music would be out and that I would push through and think about all the wonderful things on the trail right this minute and tried to keep myself in the moment for those last few miles I had of the PCT. Every 10 minutes I would check to see how much more time I had. I didn’t want this to be over, but I knew I was done. I spread some of my grandma and grandpa’s ashes in front of Mount Adams before I left. I sat down and cried. I got up and screamed. And then I kept going. When I arrived to the water source I saw my tramily waiting. Once I got closer to them I smiled weakly and then said I was done, and immediately broke down and cried with them. I received hugs from all of them, we chatted for a bit about my decision and they all gave me encouragement and love. I am truly going to miss these people, but I will be cheering them on from the sidelines and I know when I come back next year they will be there cheering me on too 💕
My tramily walked the last 1.5 miles to the road I saw crossing the PCT where I would get my hitch from. We played games along the way, keeping me from crying and getting me to laugh and laugh for those last moments.
10.2 miles out of town
My golly does Washington change within minutes. From sunny to gloomy to greenery to sunny again to more gloom and eerie views. What a wonderful state. I listened to a 3 hour podcast about Dan Gable as I hiked. It also dropped in temperature so quickly as I was hiking the last 2 miles into camp.
My hip started to ache the last few miles. I’m scared now. I know this will take me off trail if it continues. I did lots of rehab when I got to camp, ate my dinner, and hung out with my tramily and the other hikers at camp. (Yes I finally made it to the planned campsite 😂)
I also ate another Huckleberry bun before heading to trail... fuel for trail right?
Today was an impromptu zero day due to some tramily members being a little injured. We started the day off with breakfast at a very expensive place 😂 but I ate a huckleberry cinnamon bun after they messed up my first order, and it was super yummy. We played Ladder Ball, Dutch Blitz, Bull Shit, Rummy, Heads Up, and Catchphrase. It was a relaxing game filled day with lots of laughter and jokes. Flow and I shared a wet burrito for dinner, yummmmy.
Today I waited till about 2ish for my tramily to show up to town. To pass the time I did my resupply with JD in the morning, we took a nap, went to the new place we would sleep at when our peoples showed up, and played games.
Once everyone arrived we did our own thing for a bit, I went to a Chiropractor and got an adjustment (turns out my rib was out of place 😳) it was a free session as he helps out the hikers who come through!
After that we all chatted for a bit, then JD made us Mac and Cheese, and we learnt how to play Dutch Blitz with our trail angel family. It was such a fun game I definitely want to buy it when I get home 🏡
A nice and relaxing day (I also showered and did laundry… that’s important) LOL
1.1 miles hiked in and back (2.2 miles total)
I slept in today while waiting for the rest of the crew to hike in to me…. I surprised each one of them as they rolled in about 5-15 minutes after each other.
I did my usual Little Foot thing upon their arrivals and made everyone smile and laugh. (I am the Joker after all)
Last night I had done the math and look into my food bag and realized that even with my hitch to get ahead yesterday I still wouldn’t have enough food to get me to the next town… let alone today. So I had to make the decision to go into town and meet my tramily tomorrow when they roll in. I gave them the remaining food I had because they were also running low as well. Then I hiked (like a day hiker with no poles or bag) in with them 1.1 miles to the 2200 marker, took our photos together as a tramily and then I trail ran back to camp. I then spent an hour waiting and trying for a hitch. A camp worker who goes around to all the camp sites in the area gave me a hitch and then we picked up a section hiker who was hitching to town as well. Said hiker is named JD, and we hung out in town all day together. Got some food, chatted and laughed in the backyard of the grocery store and just chilled the rest of the day.
I miss my tramily and can’t wait to give them my Little Foot energy tomorrow upon their arrival 😂🙈😉
15ish miles hiked plus a hitch
Started today out with a climb which was easy peasy, then a brutal decent. It killed my knees and ankles. Not going to lie… miles upon miles with no vistas and just forest can be tiresome. But it’s still beautiful and when I look back at it at night while I’m in my tent, the photos always look beautiful. I guess that’s me learning to keep my head filled with awe, because this journey this year is almost over. As much as I want to be home right now…. I don’t want it to end so soon. 480ish more miles to go.
I got my hitch from a road up to 5 miles ahead of my tramily because I knew I wouldn’t catch them in time for trout lake unless I rolled in really late. I’m glad I did because the woman I met who gave me a hitch was a very cool lady who solo adventures now at 62. She asked me all the questions about how I get over my fears of camping solo as she mainly camps around people but would love to be fully solo someday too.
Trail magic was there when I arrived and I met lots of people I hadn’t seen in a long time and new people too.
My mental game is coming back. Let’s keep this momentum going.
15.55 miles hiked
The day started with about a mile of being good. And then it started to go badly. Mentally today I wanted this hike to end. I want to be home so badly. I miss my dog so much. Memories came up as her as a puppy and I suddenly felt a wave of sadness that I’ve missed so much of her 4th year. I missed her summer of swimming and hiking and camping. I miss her smiley face and her kisses and hugs. I cried today missing home.
Then my feet started to hurt and my left butt cheek and calves again. Flow and Dreamcatcher were also having a rough day. We hugged and cried a little together.
We finally all caught up to Ace and then hiked together the rest of the day. We played words games to pass the time.
I set up camp around 6:30 early and my tramily hiked another 2 miles. I just wasn’t okay today and wanted to stop. (I actually wanted to stop 2 miles before that but my second wind came to help me hike 2 more miles with my friends.
Mentally I wanted the hike to end today. I want to be home. I miss my puppy. I don’t want to miss more of her life. I wanted to quit. The mileage I was supposed to do today weighed on me. After over a week off I wasn’t ready. I had set myself up for failure. So instead I stopped early. I pushed myself as hard as I could today and my tramily went ahead another two miles. And that’s okay. We had a fun time second half of the day regardless of the fact 3/4 tramily members were struggling today. We played word games, and laughed and joked.
I watched a movie, ate, and wrote this blog :) off to bed for a hopefully better day tomorrow :)
6.85 miles hiked.
Wow. Washington I just started hiking in your state and I am so taken back by your beauty and greenery. I hiked out from PCT days at 6:45pm today. Hiked for 3 hours and arrived at camp just before 9:45. Hiking in the dark solo is pretty nerve racking so I put an earbud in and sang to myself quietly as I trekked on. I found a spot next to a cowboy camper and set up in the dark, she needed water so I gave her half of my 1/4 litre I had left. Water tomorrow within the first mile so I think I’ll be okay 💕 Tomorrow’s a big mile day so I hope to sleep well tonight 😴🥾