May 2, 2018
This week marks the ten-year anniversary of the launch of my Pacific Crest Trail walk. If you’re not familiar with that trail, it’s one of the eleven National Scenic trails, 2,650 miles long, winding northward from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. In 2007, I focused my attention on completing the Appalachian Trail, viewing its completion as a way to get the project out of my system to clear my mind for my next career. I had not even heard of the PCT until I spent a night at the Kincocora Hostel, in Tennessee just shy of 1800 miles into my walk from Maine on the Appalachian Trail. Even paging through the Yogi’s Guide to the PCT didn’t entice me.
What did entice me, though, was an announcement from my AT hiking partner, John, a month after we had finished the AT that he was planning to walk that trail in 2008, starting just three months after our AT finale. What also lured me was the realization that I had indeed, not gotten walking out of my system and that good hiking partners were golden. I negotiated with my husband, John, promising a platonic relationship, and got ready to go.
On May 27, 2008, with help from my brother in San Diego and the crew of the 2008 ADZPCTKO (the annual Kickoff), we walked the first 20 miles of the PCT, then kept going until October 6th – mostly! My journey would be interrupted twice, for a family reunion and a temporary quitting.
Flying to San Diego to walk the Pacific Crest Trail was the first time I had set foot in the State of California! Ten years later, I live here half of the year, working at a park on the Pacific Crest Trail. I didn’t get hiking out of my system. Instead, hiking and enticing others to come outside is my system!
My PCT story is a journey of my heart, a test of physical endurance, and a sensory smorgasbord. You can read some of it in my Trail Journal at