Week 1: A Week of Firsts

One whole week. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living this new life for a whole week. And what a life it is!

Trail life so far has not disappointed. Life for the past few days has been really simple, and everything I do serves a single purpose – to help me on my journey to Canada. Every day, I wake up with the sunlight, pack up my tent, prepare my breakfast, and start walking north. Every day, I walk some miles, collect water from wherever I can find it, eat a lot of food, and admire the views the trail throws my way. Every day, I reach a campsite, pitch my tent, filter my water, cook my dinner, hang out with other hikers, and go to sleep as the sun goes down. And then I repeat. Every day is the same, but every day is also unique.

Here we go!

Time dilation on the trail is real – the Southern Terminus was only a week ago but it feels like an eternity has passed. In my first week on the trail, I’ve already met so many amazing people, hiked through some incredible vistas, challenged my body and mind in ways I have never before, and had a whole lot of fun doing it all. The desert section of the PCT so far has not been very deserty. It has definitely been very hot but water sources are numerous, and more time is spent looking at greenery than not.


Over the course of my first 7 days on the trail, I checked off a number of “firsts”:

My first rattlesnake encounter

Just as I feared but sooner than expected, I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake on day 1! It was calmly resting in the shade on wide fire road and quickly made its presence known, sending me backtracking faster than ever. A thrilling first!

Danger noodle!


My first cathole

This doesn’t need much of an explanation. Does a thru-hiker sh*t in the woods?

My first trail magic (and trail beer)

On day 3 at Mount Laguna, after a tough day, we were greeted with trail magic. Fellow PCT enthusiasts from last year brought us beer and snacks, and an evening visit brought more treats and fresh baked bread from a local. It was a perfect end to a challenging day.

Hiker Trash!

My first trail town (and zero)

Julian! Day 6 brought us to this quaint town for a much-needed zero day. We lounged, caught up on chores, and indulged in plenty of pizza, making me eager for more town days.

My first gear malfunction

Night 7 tested my tent setup. Despite a strong pitch, the wind sheared a cord overnight, collapsing my tent on my face at 3 am. Luckily, I repaired it with spare paracord, a quick fix that held through the night.

Quick fix to a 3am tent crisis

My first sunburn

Despite my initial confidence, three days under the desert sun taught me a lesson. I quickly acquired sungloves and sunscreen after a surprising sunburn on my hands.

Looking Forward

Despite all of the good stuff, it’s important to mention that it’s not been all rainbows and butterflies. All the good times this week have come with their fair share of hardships and learning moments. I’ve had injury scares, I’ve had moments of homesickness, and I’ve had several moments of self-doubt. But that’s what thru-hiking is about – it’s so much more than just walking – it’s about overcoming such challenges, learning from them, growing, and moving on. And I’m excitedly looking forward to whatever this life has in store for me.

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Comments 1

  • Isabelle (Sumac & Skye’s momma) : May 1st

    Awesome first week and great job at persevering, it will get easier as the days progress… Groundhog Day is a real thing and you will find comfort and get real good at setting up and tearing down in a pinch.
    Keep it up, you got this!!!!


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