PCT Shakedown on the Ozette Triangle Loop

In preparation for my thru-hike on the PCT a shakedown hike is a must! What is a shakedown hike you might be asking? This is a time to test out of all of the gear you plan on bringing  for a longer hike but in a low stakes environment. It gives you time to make any necessary changes to your pack. You may need to add, remove, or upgrade the pieces of gear you think you will need. Let me tell you, this is SO helpful. 


Racing the Sun

We decided on a two-day backpacking trip of the Ozette Triangle Loop on the coast of Washington. We got a late start to the day and as we started our drive to the trailhead, a storm was beginning to form, blowing branches and pinecones over the freeway. After a quick stop at the REI for rain gear, we continued up towards Port Angeles. This drive is STUNNING. The coastal weather is ever changing and we didn’t know what to expect but our excitement out ruled any worries that came to mind. By the time we pulled up to the trailhead and headed over the first bridge, the storm had subsided and a rainbow formed across the water.


Setting up Camp

We raced through the dense forest with lots of energy and excitement to see the ocean. As the trees began to clear we saw the water and giant rocks emerging. We made it to Camp Alava with sunlight to spare! I took out my rain poncho and set up my tent. I couldn’t wait to jump into my new Enlightened Equipment quilt to test it out. When we all sat down to cook dinner, I had an overwhelming sense that this is where I needed to be. I found peace in my decision to live outside. Before this trip, navigating my feelings about the PCT was challenging. What was I doing with my life? Who in their right mind would make the choice to hike for 5 months?! But now, I felt certain. This is what my heart feels called to do. 


Exploring the Beach

The next day we packed up camp and hit the beach to our next destination, sand point campground. High tide was at noon and we needed to scramble across the slippery rock before water consumed the sand. What started as a slow wander down the beach turned into a race as the water slowly made its way closer to us. Moving fast over the rocks was nearly impossible. I had to practice mindful breathing as I navigated each step. We used the assistance of old ropes to hoist ourselves up and over bluffs. (My rock climbing experience came in handy.) We had finally made it to our camping spot for the night. 



Will It Actually Taste Good?

Not only was I testing out gear on this trip, I was also experimenting with food combinations. What can you really put in a tortilla? Will it actually taste good? My favorite dish creation goes as followed: Tortilla, tuna packet, jalapeno cheddar cheese, spicy pickles, fresh fill, and a sprinkle of Cheez-Its for good measure. Official rating: 7.5/10 Not bad! 

A Lovely Mess

This trip brought together all of the feelings that come from beginning a new life journey. Excitement, nervousness, joy, fear, curiosity and so much more. There is no proper way to prepare for a thru-hike of the PCT, only a desire to take the first step. I am at peace with whatever comes afterwards. 

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Comments 1

  • Lisa Fritzer : Apr 26th

    Hey Emma!
    SO COOL! I look forward to following your journey!!


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