I've been anxiously anticipating the day when he PNT joins the PCT for some 14 glorious miles. How many times does that phrase, "your old stomping grounds," ring true? I stomp a lot, but this is where it all began, where I first became a hiker, where my life changed forever.
It was glorious. It was beautiful. It was more than I could have ever imagined. My smile was so wide at the trail junction that it nearly reached both ears... even with a busted ankle. I can't quite express the feeling inside of me, but I'll tell you, it goes on the list of top moments in life. The views... Holy Cow, I didn't remember how epic this section was, too. World class. I saw more hikers on the PCT than on my entire hike thus far.
Last year on my PCT SOBO hike, I thought I was a goner when I fell on a snow traverse crossing Rock Pass... It would be the third time crossing it now in 13 months. Looks like the trail crew did some amazing maintenance because I ran across the scree and pass in record time. I want to buy the trail crew a round of beers, because their work certainly made a world of difference.
I ran into a SOBO hiker, Energizer Bunny from my home town, who was just beginning her 2,660 mile hike. We convinced another NOBO hiker, Keister, who was miles from finishing his first thru, to camp with us at Holman pass. Holman Pass... It was my first campsite ever on trail! I'm thinking about you, Julia! Three hikers walking in three directions. It was magic. I had extra food and cooked us all dinner while we stayed up late sharing stories. We all cowboy camped together under the stars and Keister shared a song he wrote on trail. I've got goosebumps remembering the night.
This is why we hike. This is what it's all about. Worlds colliding and strangers coming together as family. We all have some wild stories, but how special to build new ones together.