Where was that all hike!
Ah, yes it is true. The time has come for me to sign off and
bid farewell to the blogosphere. But not without first leaving you with plenty of links and info to keep you entertained for awhile. This is a lengthy post, but take your time and savor it, cause it will be awhile til I’m back.
It has been a year since I started this
journal and five months since I’ve been off the trail. Many people ask about
the adjustment I’ve had back into the “real world” and if I miss the trail. Now
that I’ve been off the trail for so long, I feel like I can completely answer
that question.

In my case, I did not have much difficulty adjusting back to
daily life. The end of the trail came at just the right time when the northwest
fall and winter had begun and my body was in need of some serious rest. I
voluntarily took a lot of time away from hiking and needed a break. Work as a
substitute teacher(and babysitting) was ready and waiting for me immediately
when I got home, which was a great distraction. My head was (and still is)
happily filled with constant thoughts of the trial. Everything I saw or heard
would remind me of the trail and make me smile. Food at the grocery store, songs on the radio, clouds in the sky, fellow hikers communicating through
Facebook, etc. I was well aware of the post trail depression that might occur
and I think that many of the little projects I’ve done (post-trail journaling, guest posts online, a PCT photo book, binding my journal, a PCT presentation)
since the trail have helped me to put closure to this part of my life. It has
also been helpful that many of my fellow hikers live in the Portland area, so there is a built in support

Apparently, I already have my own energy drink!

I like to keep a forward momentum going in life, so saying
goodbye to my PCT journal is the final step for me in this process. The past month has been packed with local excursions and adventures and it’s good to get back outdoors. I still
think of the trail daily and I’m sure that will lessen in time, but it’s nice.
Whenever I think of the PCT, I feel a great combination of the peace and calm I
had when I reached the Canadian border, along with a big jolt of adrenaline and
excitement knowing that I KICKED ASS in the highest snow year on record. I
don’t think that feeling will ever leave me and that’s pretty great! The trail
is where I’ve felt, for the most sustained period of time, that I was in the
right place at the right time. Knowing that, I plan to returning to thru hiking in the future.

The Continental Divide Trail
So, even though I am saying good bye for now, I am not
saying goodbye forever…  I am happy to
announce that I do have plans to hopefully hike the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 and I plan to journal daily again. I know many of you are unfamiliar with the CDT, so I
encourage you to check out the link I’ve included above to learn more. It is
the most remote (only 70% complete) of the three trails that are done to
achieve a triple crown (which I hope to one day earn). Far fewer people do the
CDT(less than 100). It pretty much requires a GPS and generally takes five
months. Hikers can choose to hike northbound(starting in April) or
southbound(starting in June) depending on personal preference with snow to hike
through in both Montana and Colorado. Phrases that often accompany the
CDT are “The King of Trails” and “Embrace the Brutality.” I’m pretty excited
about it and many people say it is their favorite trail of the big three in the
Liz & I on the PCT
Although I’d like to hike solo and have the same freedoms of
this past hike, this is not a trail that is recommended to hike solo. The
current plan/hope is that the ever-so-awesome Liz(fellow PCTer) will join me.
YAY! We leapfrogged most of the trail and hiked together for a couple weeks on the
trail in Northern California. Her calmness and
go with the flow spirit is a great balance to what she has labeled my, “sweet
high strungness.” Yes Liz, it is now public, so you HAVE to do it! If the stars don’t align and Liz can’t make it, I know that many other
hikers from the PCT Class of 2011 (including Balls & Sunshine!) hope to hike
the CDT in 2013, so I’m sure there will be plenty of familiar faces.
Many things can happen between now and then, but that is the
general plan. This summer, I plan to continue backpacking to stay conditioned.
I hope to be able to join Rockin’ on some of her section hike
in Oregon. Also, at the end of the summer, I
hope to hike the John Muir Trail (without snow!). I am really excited to hike
the JMT the way it’s meant to be experienced. In full color with meadows, lakes, and beautiful scenery. 
If you’re looking for journals to follow this year, my here are some early journals that have caught my eye so far this season. There are a ton of journals already started for this hiking season and I haven’t had time to check them all out, but I will adjust this list as the summer continues. Feel free to check in from time to time to see the updated list and email me with recommendations. Please let me know if you know of any good CDT journals to follow this year!

Already the youngest to thru hike the PCT (at age 11 last year), Sunshine and her dad, Balls are fast on their way to completing their triple crown with the AT this summer and the CDT in 2013. Yay!!!
My idol! Section hiking the PCT over 4 summers (this is her third). Always up to date with the newest gear, apps, web ideas, and anything hiking. She ROCKS!!!
Heart is a 58yr old solo hiker on her first thru hike. She was very supportive to me on my hike and I am excited to now follow her journey on the PCT.
Sierra, an 8yr old girl attempting to thru hike the PCT with her mom. In 2010, when she turned 7, she thru hiked the JMT, so she definitely knows what she’s in for. Good luck!
Shroomer on the CDT
Like usual, few people are hiking the CDT this year…and even fewer are blogging consistently…and even fewer are posting pictures. Shroomer is in the heart of it and hiking with a small group that seems to have formed. He also has a journal on postholer.com, but I have linked where he is posting some articles and amazing photos a couple of weeks delayed. Pictures of the CDT are so rare and they have me PSYCHED!

Click here to order your own trail name stamp!

This journal has become an extension of me and has forever
changed the life of myself and so many others. I look forward sharing the next
chapter of this awesome journey with you in a year. Until then, here again, is
the goodbye and thank you video I made after crossing the Canadian border this
summer. Happy trails and best wishes for all your future journeys!


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