The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.
~ Don Williams, Jr.
So what are some of the things I have taken from this 5 week, 548.1 mile Pacific Crest Trail walk (besides a strong, in shape body)? Most of all I have received a renewed sense of humanity and PEOPLE, faith in relationships, and thankfulness. I experienced repeatedly the giving and openness of others, different cultures, and just plain good and genuine hearts. Go figure that one, you go out into the secluded wilderness and come back a people person. Ya gotta love that one.
I learned for me to be a successful thru-hiker I must be responsible, focused, ignore pain and discomfort, be able to read maps well, have HUGE doses of courage, be flexible, and laugh when I made mistakes (I made them quite often). It also helps to be organized, which proved to be a challenge for me while hiking solo. 🙂 Good light and right gear is also a BIG plus and just adds to the ever ending decision-making!
Getting kids to move and enter into the wilderness I feel is missing for some and vital for this next generation. After this hike I feel even more passionate. In the latest Backpacker Magazine there just happens to be an article entitled “Our Kids are in Trouble”. This article lists ideas and organizations to bridge this gap for kids. Lots of possibilities for my future!
I am thankful to my readers for getting me through some tight spots (my brain started doing some crazy things toward the end), for the PCT hikers I met along the way before and during the journey, trail angels, towns and people I visited, Arrow Magnet my hiking cohort, my son and youngest daughter who put together an amazing play list on my i Phone (316 songs with hiking themes), my oldest daughter who encouraged me to write this all down and just to go for it, to God for walking along with me, and to the best husband ever for putting up ALL winter with gear purchases and trail talk and most of all for just letting me go.
I will be posting better quality trip photos and videos soon, hopefully within the week and more gear reviews and PCT trip suggestions (what I learned).
Reminder and disclaimer: I do not want to be responsible for trail journal mistakes, grammar, misspellings, run-on sentences, and punctuation liberties. I know I am a teacher and should not have excuses, but I wrote entries after hiking 20 plus miles per day in a dark tent with a headlamp on a very small i Phone keyboard with fingers that had at one time 20 splits (I counted). Thank you for just overlooking.
So for now I will be changing up a bit: dusting off the mountain bike, sleeping indoors, climbing yet another mountain, swimming, shopping, and being with family. It doesn’t get better that that…well…unless I am in the process of planning next year’s 500 mile Pacific Crest Trail hike. Any takers?
Thank you all for reading and virtually traveling this path with me!