REFLECTIONS ON LIFE AFTER THE PCT 2016
I has taken me nearly 9 months to write about our PCT 2016 reflections. The reasons for the delay are many. Hammer finished his hike on September 10, 2016 and did not really say much about it except that it was done. I found it difficult to write about as it was such an intense experience for the three months I was on the trail.
I was relishing in each sunrise, excited to discover what the new day would bring. So to be forced to leave due to injury seemed like a cruel punishment, I didn’t want to talk about it. So while I was forced to leave the PCT, it never left me. The intense beauty of so much of the landscape is seared in my soul. Each day I was removed from it I felt an aching need to be back. I missed the simplicity of life on trail, the challenges and the physicality of each day. I felt at home hiking the PCT.
The days traversing the snow covered Sierras, the gut wrenching fear of sliding off mountains or falling into raging streams, I was living at the edge of my skin. And I was moved to tears by the intense raw beauty of the landscape, the stillness and the silence. It has left a craving for more. Having everything I want and need in a backpack. Being aligned to the rhythm of life set by the sun not electricity. While I love having a physical home and all it’s comforts – having clean water on a tap, a warm shower and a comfortable bed. I don’t need them to be happy. “Home is where the heart is” has never been truer.
We returned to Sydney just before the New Year in 2016 and we tried to settle back in. It is still a work in progress. Hammer has decided to return to work and I am returning to the PCT in July 2017 to attempt to pick up where I left off in Ashland, Oregon. I know it won’t be the same. I’m excited to be heading back. Hammer will join me for three weeks of his vacation and I will continue on alone. We will carry pretty much the same gear as last year except for some small changes for me.
But before I head back on trail I have a date with Grandmas Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. After breaking my ankle, I knew that I needed to have confidence in my body to undertake the PCT alone. Training has gone well and I am as fit as I’ve been in a long while.
I am so grateful to have this opportunity to come back and continue where I left off.