PCT hikers spend months on the trail. Unless they’ve been given a sabbatical, that means they have given up a job, postponed getting a job, or have followers and family who support their hike. Those multiple pairs of good shoes and equipment cost money, as well as the food and supplies needed for three to four months on the trail.
Laura, one of the pictured hikers, was conflicted about being so near the end of her adventure. Eight-eight miles remained from where we parted ways. She was happy to have accomplished the goal, excited to see family and friends, and yet… she loved being on the trail and really didn’t want it to end. I could hear the hesitation in her voice, and her eyes were asking “what is next?” when she talked about it being almost over.
It was hard to reassure a complete stranger that good things are next for anyone who has the courage and tenacity to accomplish that trail. Whether it’s another big trail ( the AT, the JM and the Continental Divide are all out there) or another turn in life, she will be fine.
Rachael had a different look in her eyes as she neared the end. I could see her excitement to meet up with her family who were camping close to the border. Another girl blew out her knee. She was no where near the end of her planned hike, but plans change – as we all know. She ferried out with us and we gave her a ride to a rendezvous point with her husband. And so the stories go. I have to admit a whole lot of envy for what they were doing. I also admit how good I’ve been sleeping now that I’m back in my own bed. Since I returned, I’ve also had a couple days with all five of my grandkids and that was pretty awesome too.