A Double Zero on the PCT

Spending 2 days in mount laguna (41.5 miles in) this early in the game is not ideal. And I’ll tell you why in this blog

But here I am petting a dog name Willow while writing this blog on my phone in a tiny house resting my hip (Willow is trying to bite my feet… Toe socks are new fun toys to him) 

Cue the waterworks…

It was day 6 when I called home to tell my partner I am in pain. He immediately said turn around and take a rest day today. I burst out in tears because I knew he was right and that’s what needed to happen. And I cried. For a good 30 minutes straight I just walked back and cried. 

See with being an athlete my whole life I always had this need to push through the pain. That’s just what you did as an elite athlete in high school sports. Maybe you can relate to that, maybe not, but I always pushed through the pain. (Not saying this was a good method because now I have injuries from it) 

However, when it comes to a previous injury starting to ache while on trail. That tells I need to slow down and rest. So I’m fighting my brain telling me every hour to pack up and press on. Stop it brain. Just no.

Cue the anxiety

So a bit of backstory is I’ve had a hip injury since September 2020. I went from not being able to walk because of the pain to just having it be a dull ache, to having it only hurt when I laid on it at night. By the time the PCT rolled around I was at about 90% better. Good enough to go for it in my opinion.
See, where I messed up is on day 4 starting the day with a pace that was too fast for me. As I was trying to keep up with my friend Hiccup. Rookie mistake I know, and I’m kicking myself for it believe me. By day 5 I was feeling the pain. So that’s what lead me to a double zero. Is not listening to my body. You’d think after 1.5 years I would have learned this… oh well. Maybe now I’ll learn.
Now with having a double zero I’ve had a lot of time to panic and have my thoughts whirlpool around my head. I’m terrified that my hip won’t let me finish the trail. Maybe not now but in a month or two. What then? Do I push on? Do I quit? I truly am scared shitless that my hip will take me off trail. It took away my life for the last 1.5 years. I can’t let it take away the PCT too. Not when I need this trail more then anything right now. I am going to do everything in my power to not let that happen.

So why isn’t this double zero ideal for me?

Well, saying goodbye to some new rad friends I’ve made who are hiking on ahead of me and wondering if I’ll see them again is not ideal. Sure, if I was one day behind I’m sure I’d catch up pretty quick, but two days behind and who knows when or if I’ll see them again. That realization makes me pretty sad. (Overthinking this as I’m sure I’ll see them soon) 

I also get mad FOMO (you know the Fear Of Missing Out) so seeing the sights ahead that they are all seeing and the food ahead in town I could be eating is well… not ideal

Cue the mental game

This whole waiting around and not being out on trail is killing me. Mentally I’m struggling because I want to be out there walking. I want to feel the aches and pains of my legs pushing forward to get me to the next town. I want to feel the sweat dripping down my face and back and well everywhere (I’m finding new places to sweat I didn’t know was possible). I want to feel my feet screaming at me to stop walking and rest with my pack off. I miss the grind. I want to be on trail now. 

But I can’t. And I need to wait 1 more day. And it kills me inside


Silver Lining

Worrying won’t do me any good so after I finish writing this blog I am choosing to have a fantastic zero today because yesterday’s zero was pretty awesome. I always remind myself to think of the silver linings in difficult situations and the positive outcomes that can come from them. For example, if I hadn’t taken a zero yesterday I wouldn’t have gotten to know two wonderful humans and their adorable dog. We chatted basically the entire day. They also fed me lunch and dinner and leant me a foam roller to use, and are shipping some of my gear home for me. I am forever thankful for meeting them.


Final thoughts

I know a double zero day is not the end of the world. Especially this early in the game, but it feels like it’s catastrophic somehow. I know that’s my anxiety talking again.  Alyssa. Girl. Chill out, you’ll be on trail in less than 24 hours. You are still walking home. You will make it to Canada. Remember this is a marathon not a race.


I’ve received many messages on instagram already from people telling me I made the right decision. And I know that I did. But that little part of me saying “Alyssa don’t be a wimp you could have hiked with the pain” is still here blowing around my brain every other hour so please keep the messages coming. I appreciate them more then you know.

So that’s it. This was first blog from the PCT

I’ll see you in 24 hours trail. You wonderful, glorious, relentless, beautiful, breathtaking trail.

You better be ready for me because I am coming for you and I can’t wait to experience the next few days before I resupply again.

At least I’m not out 4-6 right?

Happy hiking friends

Thanks as always for reading 🙂





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Comments 6

  • Hazmat : Apr 1st

    Mount Laguna is a good place to reasses your pack weight and send stuff home you don’t need. I know injuries can feel devistating, but you’ll learn to listen to your body. And it’s good to get that experience out of the way early. I ended up having to take four days off in KM South because I hiked on a bad foot and it got infected. It’s all a learning experience.

  • John : Apr 2nd

    A nagging hip injury can be excruciating, last summer hiking the JMT to Bishop/Southlake TH I had a very stabbing pain near the side of my hip. A trail angel who happened to be a physical therapist showed me some stretches that really helped. It was really barking at MTR, I kept going until the Bishop Junction. When I got there I planned to take a zero day thinking I would feel better resting it a day. Unfortunately I got notice that they closed the forest when I was there so that kind of made my decision for me and I had to exit at Bishop.

  • Rain : Apr 2nd

    I hope you are able to go easy on your hip. And don’t worry about losing contact with the folks ahead of you; you will meet so many amazing people on this journey. And who knows, maybe slowing down will help you meet your next best friend. 😀 Also, you got a nice early start. You are in no rush right now; take your time and let your body get used to the trail. Happy hiking!

  • Ladystones : Apr 2nd

    Pet the pup, eat a can of frosting and clear you mind. It is going to be as it is going to be. One day one step at a time.

  • Steve : Apr 2nd

    Glad your partner gave you good advice.

  • Ralph Mendez : Apr 3rd

    You made a excellent decision to allow your body to heel. You got this. Before you know it, people like me will be seeking your advice when i take my journey ther the PCT.

    Stay Gold, Ralph


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