Oh Washington... why have you kept your state a secret from us? I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started the PCT, and I wonder if I would have had the same optimism and confidence from the get-go if I did. It is far more challenging and rewarding than anything I could have imagined. Thank you.
Washington pushed my limits, taught me lessons and built me memories. Most days, I whisper to myself, "I don't think it can get any better," and then it does... over and over again. Every struggle ends with a reward. There's so much sun after the lightning, thunder and hail. I've seen indescribable vistas, too. Even in the burn areas, resilient wildflowers are reclaiming life. I'm starting to understand the unstoppable force of nature. Humbled daily.
It took me exactly 1 month to walk across the state; some 507 miles with 110,572 feet of ups and 106,351 feet of downs. I began the first 2 weeks with my safety-starter-hiking-partner, Prom Date. What a force of a woman, and straight out of High School, too. She is a true inspiration who I will hold close to my heart for life. Thank you for helping me through the toughest parts. I don't know how I could have made it this far without you.
I'm hiking solo now... something I need and enjoy. At the outset, I couldn't build a fire or pitch my tent properly. I still have a lot to learn, but I am comfortable out here. I hike in a constant feeling of being exactly where I am supposed to be.
The love of my life and my magnificent aunt picked me up in Cascade Locks to spoil me in Portland, as I resupply for the next state. Oh, how good it feels to be in their company and see their beautiful faces. I am a lucky lady, indeed.
Animals? Well, I startled a bear, camped next to a howling wolf, was woken by screeching elk, chilled with the whistling marmots, stepped on a snake and was sucked dry by the mosquitos. Animals are far less worrisome than rain, fire and water supply.
Home sick? Not a bit. I spend my days reflecting on all the beautiful people in my life and I feel you all by my side as I hike.
Food? I love camping stoveless... until, of course, I taste a warm meal on trail. I'm enjoying my food, but should probably up the calories as the pounds start to shed.
Weirdo Creepy People? None yet... but I've been carrying my ice axe close, just in case.
Is it meeting your expectation? Blowing 'em to shreds.
I love you, Washington. Thank you for taking care of me and making me a better person.