The Desert Days Are Done

I have walked 700 miles from Mexico…Wow. It still feels surreal.

I will never forget the feeling of walking up towards the Kennedy Meadows General Store and everyone clapping for me as I walked in. It is such a special tradition and I am endlessly thankful that I got to experience it.

A rainbow appeared to send us off to the Sierras!!!!

Despite all the challenges, logistics of travel, hot afternoon 5000-foot climbs, many miles, difficulties, injuries, tears, and tough days… everyone who was there has persevered to make it to this momentous mile marker.

Having only been on one prior backpacking trip, it has all been a giant learning lesson. As I awkwardly set up my tent the first night in a rainstorm, took hours to pack up in the morning, couldn’t quite figure out how my pack should fit, or tripping over my trekking poles… I am here to say that if you are similar to me in the experience category of backpacking… you will get the hang of it quick;)

No matter if you have made it 5, 500, or 2,655 miles on the PCT… be proud of yourself. It’s not easy, it’s not comfortable. It’s hard work and it’s challenging. If you are thru-hiking, you are accomplishing something that such a small percentage of people will ever get to do. What a blessing it has been to experience this hike so far.

Enough emotional rambling…

Here are some desert highlights as I move further on the trail to the Sierras, Northern California, Oregon, and then Washington!

1. The Southern Terminus

All the anticipation and nerves were swirling around in my mind while standing up here.

2. Mile 100

WHAT a celebration, we were pretty stoked.

3. Eagle Rock

We cowboy camped here after hitting the 100-mile marker earlier that day.

4. Julian

I had been dreaming about this free pie since I had heard about it while doing original PCT research….

5. The sunrises and sunsets

This particular sunrise was so striking and intense I couldn’t help but stare until it turned into daylight.

6. Mayor Max and Idyllwild

Hands down the best trail town… How could it not be?! Their mayor is a dog!!!!!

7. The LA Aqueduct night hike

Highly suggest doing it at night!!! Blast some music and just walk!

8. Trail magic

This was much needed at the end of a 26-mile day. I am astounded by the kindness and generosity of people out here- always willing to help and care for us.

9. The snow

A love/hate relationship is a great way to explain how I feel about the snow but I will recognize how it is such a unique opportunity to have this much snow on trail!

10. Kennedy Meadows

I have never felt prouder of myself- I walked 700 miles to get here (certainly not possible without the help and support of my loved ones and the incredible people I met out here). None of it was easy but gosh it was all worth it.

Here’s to more miles and adventures to come! Stoked that the desert is conquered and Sierras here I come!


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