PCT Day 101: Back Home in the Woods

July 31

Mile 2111.7-2121.4 (9.7)

Pat drops me off back at Lolo Pass at 5:45pm. We say our sad goodbyes, then I disappear into the woods. I want to get a few miles in tonight before camping.


I try to shed the stress of finding a place to live post-PCT, give myself a little pep talk that we are going to find a good place to live and I will be OK without a car and everything will be fine.


I give myself another little pep talk about how great Washington is going to be and how it will be OK to go another three weeks without seeing Pat. I have been so spoiled this last month, taking off nearly every weekend to spend time with Pat. Now, I am back to full-time hiking, no more days off. It may not be easier, but it is simpler. Just hike, all day every day. And I’ll see Pat again after I’ve reached Canada.


I only think about those things for the first hour. The trail is soft under my feet, the pines are so lovely. The sun dips toward the horizon, disappears in a blaze of orange, the sky darkens. I’m walking on a ridge and there is a steady wind. I see a clear blue lake down below me. Further on, Mt. Hood appears over my left shoulder. It starts to get dark and I think about setting up camp. There’s a campsite in 4 miles, and I consider going for it, but then I see a nice flat dirt patch, just right for cowboy camping, with a good view of Mt. Hood. Home for the night.

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3 thoughts on “PCT Day 101: Back Home in the Woods

  1. You share a marvelous and inspiring story! I plan to retire and hike the PCT in 2 1/2 years. My only real fear is separation from my wife (30 yrs next week), the paralysis of missing her. You are an example and inspiration that our dream drives us even in the midst of missing those we love! Thank you!

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