Pictures/Wrap Up

September 21, 2010

I put my pictures up on facebook, which I didn’t really want to do, but did anyway. For people not on facebook you should be able to access the pictures through these links:

Southern California, parts 1-3

The Sierra, parts 1 and 2

Northern California



Let me know if you have trouble with the links, but hopefully they should work.

I’ve been back for about a week and a half now and it has been strange. It is tough to think about things other than sleeping, walking, and eating. I definitely didn’t figure out what I wanted to do with my life on the trail. In fact everyday I would think of something different.

I did definitely form thoughts on thru-hiking though. Thru-hiking is an extreme mental, emotional, and physical challenge. It was hard to wrap my mind around going 25-30 miles everyday, that is a long way! Also, I felt that sometimes we were just cruising through these gorgeous sections of trail that in any other circumstance I would love to stop and lounge at or even camp at. As one hiker said, “the PCT is like the freeway of hiking.” While at times this was frustrating, most of the time I understood that it was just the way it was. I know that I am definitely going to be back to Northern Washington someday, it was too pretty to never revisit it. It helped to think that the PCT was a sort of scouting mission to seek out places that I might want to come back to or even live near someday.

Some things I learned on the PCT:
My proudest probably had to be learning to pee standing up with a pack on, that was great. My knee joints didn’t really hurt after that.

I learned that to unfreeze frozen shoes, pour water on them.

I learned how to blow snot rockets really well, something I didn’t even really learn how to do when I ran all the time.

I learned to not be afraid of bears, but to watch out for rodents.

I learned that I loved trekking poles! And they helped a ton in the Sierra and fording rivers and to use as crutches when my feet hurt.

I learned that while I like to hike alone sometimes it is really nice to have people around too.

Some Miscellaneous:

My favorite piece of gear was my sunglasses, I loved those things so much. I will buy cheap solar shield sunglasses forever.

My worst piece of gear was my pack, but this is my own darn fault. As I shrank the pack fit worse and worse. In South Lake Tahoe I started noticing it and it just got worse. My hip belt was pulled completely tight at the end and still too loose and the pack just had too much to it. If I were to do it again I would get a smaller pack with less to it, meaning less adjustment straps and back padding. Maybe even make it myself. There were a lot of days when that pack made me completely and totally miserable.

The most uncomfortable ailment I had was definitely the foot rot in Northern California. It not only smelled terrible, but my feet ached and ached. It was pretty gross. Worse than the parasites and shin splints.

The worst hitch we had was out of Mt. Shasta. I had just gone on medicine for the parasite, was feeling bad, and we had to hitch for 2 hours in the heat to no avail. Then we ended up having to pay someone to bring us back to the trailhead. If I were to do that over I would have just gone to the nearest town to the trail even though it was small.

We had mostly great hitches, one of the best was probably to Ashland with a mom and her two sons. The kids were cute and they brought us right to a delicious Italian place. They were the second people to go by us too. Oregon hitching was a delight. The day into Lake Isabella was a pretty great string of hitches from the RV to the firefighter to the girl that fit 5 of us in her Saturn with packs.

The longest I went without a shower or doing laundry was 13 days, which was from Cascade Locks, OR to Skykomish, WA. A shower never felt so good after that, and I don’t think I’ve ever smelled so bad. It was pretty special.

I am still holding that I am a one trip wonder and won’t do anymore long thru-hikes, but who knows. I would definitely look into doing shorter trails. I would love to do the JMT when there is no snow, it will look so different! I would maybe like to do the Colorado Trail too. Maybe one day in the far distant future the CDT, but for now potentially sections of the Montana CDT if I’m still here.

Thanks for reading!


3 Responses to “Pictures/Wrap Up”

  1. MOM said

    Whatever way you look at it, it was an incredible adventure and showed the amazing strength, both physical and mental, that you have. I’ve loved following your blog and now will have your pictures to look at and enjoy.


  2. Monarch Lady said

    Congrats on the great finish and your entire adventure. Had trouble messaging Crow Dog so please pass this on to him too.


  3. Kerry – We are all so proud of you for all that it took to carry out this dream and adventure of yours. Congratulations on accomplishing such an awesome physical and mental test of your endurance and ability–and we look forward to your next set of feats and accomplishments! love aunt cathy & uncle lou

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