And only 2,460 miles to go! But who's counting?
I’ve completed 3.7% of the Pacific Crest Trail. Despite this seemingly small percentage, I've been on trail for almost 3 weeks and wow this journey has been challenging, eye opening and so so rewarding. What a ride it’s been.
I began this trail with the intention to reconnect with myself and try something entirely new and outside my comfort zone. I'm happy to report back that this intention manifests for me every single day.
For almost 8 hours a day, I'm hiking through beautiful scenic landscapes, meeting inspiring hikers, making silly mistakes and learning beautiful life lessons. I couldn't ask for more.
I'm so inspired and moved by all the hikers who have uprooted their routines and lives to be here outside on this trail - trekking through everyday. One step at a time. A beautiful collective energy of hikers from around the world.
I’ve loved the abundance of flowing streams, the green vegetation, and of course the food and showers in town days!
The abundance of flowing streams is a game changer. The historically high 2023 high snowfall has graced this years PCT hikers in the desert section. Estimates have predicted the 2023 winter was 400% above average snowfall. This equated to heaps of water for the first 100 miles on the PCT.
An average PCT year, hikers would carry 6L of water. I carried under 1L of water throughout this section! My body was very grateful to carry a lighter pack. The abundance of streams sometimes meant I was crossing 8 flowing streams in one day (this is unheard of). I feel very lucky as this allowed me to slowly adapt to the distance and elevation, without having to carry a heavy load, reducing my chances of injury.
Another benefit of the high snow year is the super bloom. The desert has been so well hydrated that the vegetation has turned into lush green and a rainbow of flowers. There was a day where I felt I was in Sound of Music crossing through the beautiful fields of flowers. The desert is very happy this year.
And finally, town days! What a delight. After tenting for continuous nights and eating the same meal almost everyday, the arrival in town is a spectacle to be seen. Your walking pace on trail doubles with the excitement as the town approaches. You begin to daydream of all the foods you can eat and the feeling of hot water in the shower. The sweet scent of laundry clean clothes. And of course, relaxing and resting.
Town days can involve many logistics. Hitching into town, finding accommodation, charging electronics, taking a shower, eating a meal and doing laundry. This takes a big chunk of your time in town. But it’s also important to remember to rest. Balancing out the active hiking days with a slow and chilled day. I’ve definitely needed to rest and have enjoyed the 4 zeros I’ve taken so far.
I admit. I’ve gone slower than I’d planned. I’ve achieved less miles and taken more rest days than the average PCT hiker. I’ve sometimes been embarrassed to share my March 31st start date, since other hikers are going faster and farther than me. But it’s important to enjoy the moments. For me, it’s not about the destination but the journey.
The first 100 miles have been an absolute blast. It's crazy to think that I've been living in my tent since March 31st and sleeping outside almost every night. Even crazier is that I'm loving every minute of it.
Do what you love, and the rest will come.
PS. I’m currently writing this blog on the top of the mountain waiting for Girl Scout. Her pack strap broke this morning so she had to climb
down the mountain and hitch into town to get a new one!!! I may be here for a while :)