We are hikers! My name is Marty, or Trunks, and I am one part of a two-part hiking couple. Brianna and I are SOBO hiking the PCT in 2022 after completing a thru-hike of the Ice Age Trail in 2021, and section hikes of the Manistee & Northern UP NCT areas in 2020. Born and raised in Michigan, I enjoy freshwater fishing and farming when we are not out on the trail. I am an Air Force veteran turned public servant who also winters as a high school wrestling coach. More than anything else, you’ll find me to be a passionate writer who tries not to let the truth get in the way of a good story.
For some reason, I always imagined these lands to be ruled by bears and big cats. The truth of the matter is far more startling. The animal we have encountered the most, by far, has been the marmot.
When I think about all of the hot pans I had to touch before understanding what my mother meant when she said, “don’t touch, it will burn you,” it reminds me how crucial firsthand experience is. “Save the rainforest,” they tell us, “protect the national parks.” But what does land a thousand miles away mean to me today when I have a mortgage payment due tomorrow?
A new neighbor arrived shortly after we started settling into camp! Meet, Townie, from Alberta, Canada! She received her trail name because she loves visits to trail towns and tends to get stuck in them for days.
For a lot of the days on trail, it feels like people and places are coming to and finding you. We have no idea what home looks like until we arrive. Homewandering is one of my favorite parts of long-distance hiking. It’s exciting to see where you’re living for the night, to see who and what will be living around you.
I have a new method for measuring how difficult a climb is. If I stop for a break and I can see my pulse in my eyeballs, that means it’s a very difficult climb.
It was during the trail magic that I ran into Red Riding Hood again. I asked if her friend that was on the brink of tears and without food had found her. She explained to me that her friend was Josh, on his way to set the fastest unsupported NOBO time,
We would later come to find out that the delirious man was just 20 miles away from setting the fastest known time for an unsupported northbound hike of the PCT. Josh was acting crazy because he was in fact crazy from a lack of sleep and general exhaustion.
This was another Crater Lake moment for us and it too lived up to the hype. It took us 500 miles of hiking, but we finally touched a terminus. You see the pictures and you watch the videos but you never really know if you’ll ever get there. We got there.
Every step of the previous post went exactly as planned.
The plan for how to get back up north is a house of cards. Remove any one of the cards at the base and the entire house comes down. Hopefully, this works out.