The One with the 500
I have been on trail exactly one month now and just a few hours ago we hit another milestone! Which one? I will give you a hint… I am one of those hikers that spent £0.99 on a single track download just before I flew to the US! The song that makes hikers’ hearts grow, a song that makes us feel good for five minutes and then gets stuck for the next 100 miles and gets annoying! The song that we all have on our phone only for this one particular moment! Let’s all sing along:
“And I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more. Just to be the man who walks 1,000 miles to fall down at your door!
Dadadada dadadada dadadada dadadada dadadamdadadadamdadadada.”
Happy one month trailversary to meeeee! I really can’t believe that I have been on trail for a whole month now.
I think my PCT adventure started exactly the way it was supposed to. My trail angel drove me and a friend to the trailhead at the Mexican border. “So this is Mexico,” she said, pointing to the fence, not realizing that we were indeed next to the wall but also on the wrong side of the monument. We were so close, I could see it, it was right there but we also had barbed wire in between us. So we had to back up, drive around again and figure out how to get the car close enough to the monument. Siri and GPS at their best. It was such an iconic way to start and I loved every minute of it.
It was a surreal feeling walking up to the monument. A whole year of planning and daydreaming. Everything I did leading up to this moment felt so far away, and the moment, as much as I appreciated and celebrated it, was a bit of a blur. I took pictures, signed the book, and started walking toward the first official PCT sign. I didn’t know what to expect nor was I sure if I was ready for this, but as soon as I stepped onto the little dirt path I knew that this was home for the next five months.
And now here I am dancing around the monument with an incredible group of people I have been hiking and frog leaping with for a few hundred miles.
DaddyLlama, 2Times, Sunshine ( the one and only), and the new adopted NewFound.
The trail is home! And I have finally found my hiking routine. So what does a regular day in the Life of an Oreo look like?
0500: I wake up to the sound of birds, the wind, a rooster, coyotes, or just because I managed to get 9+ hours of sleep
0505-0525: I roll around in my quilt, not wanting to get up and out. Force myself to get changed and take my vitamins. I then do every task I can while sitting in my quilt and start packing up my tent.
In our little trail family we have a ritual. DaddyLlama is always the first up and out but 2Times, Sunshine, and I have our own little system going once we hike together. I wake up and do my thing. As soon as I start packing up my sleeping gear, Sunshine (who waits for me to pack up) starts waking up and moving in his tent. Once I start taking down my Zpacks, 2Times gets active and as soon as the first trekking pole falls on the ground, you can hear his sleeping pad deflate and that is the 15-minute warning for Sunshine to now get up and pack up because 2Times (who has a sub-15 morning routine) and I are ready to go.
0530: I put my headlamp on and start walking.
0535–1230: Then I hike, I snack, I hike, I snack, and try to catch the guys without pushing my poor feet too hard.
1230–1330: I eat some more. I normally aim for a 30- to 45-minute or one-hour break. Air out my poor feet, soak them if there is a water source, hydrate, and eat some more
1330–1700: I hike some more, walk for a bit, try to catch the guys, listen to music or my podcast for the last five miles to distract me from the pain. and just walk and walk and walk.
1700–1900: I set up my tent, make dinner, write in my journal, and fall asleep.
It has only been a month but there are a lot of things that I have learned. The ridiculous amount of friendly, kindhearted, and generous people. Hiking the PCT has really restored my faith in humanity. When you walk down the street and a stranger gives you oranges and walks away. Coming back to the trailhead and finding a bench full of cookies in ziplock bags; while at home you wouldn’t even touch them. We don’t even ask twice, call out thank you, and eat or drink the trail magic.
People have been so generous and make this experience one I will never forget. I am so grateful to every trail angel that helps us, feeds, us and hosts us just because. It means the world to me.
I will get into this in another blog post about this but when we skipped Mount Baden Powell we decided to take a trail detour instead of the road walk and when we got back onto the PCT I had a weird feeling of being home.
I just feel at home on the three-foot wide little dirt path. I don’t know what is around the next corner and I don’t know who I meet, what I will see and experience, or what challenges I have to face but I have faith, I feel safe, and I trust that this little path will lead me to Canada.
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