Wednesday, August 7, 2019

My last night on the PCT

Friends, I did it.

Even up to the very last step I wasn't sure if I would complete the PCT. But I did.

I am working on a post that describes that last 22 miles (45, because I had to go out and back). But for now, I feel....sad! Not what I expected at all. It'll take some time to process the end of a nine year quest.

The stats: 2,560 miles
21 different sections
August 4, 2011 to August 4, 2019 (I really didn't plan it that way)
One snowstorm forcing me off trail
Two hypothermic death marches
Times I thought about quitting: 1 (near Fish Lake in a rainstorm)
Injuries:1, ankle tendonitis
Rained on: 3/4 of the sections
Solo: 1/4 of the time
Hiking partners: Freak of Nature, Rachel, Suzanne, Lisa, Lisa, Flash, Beekeeper, Triscuit
People I camped with more than once: Short Cut, Cherry Pie, Man in Black
Hiked in a skirt: all but 160 miles
Alternates (not skips): 3, 2 due to weather (dangerous snow conditions), one due to a water shortage (Skyline trail near Shelter Cove)
Luxury item: Kindle
Pounds lost: 4-5 each time, regained each time
Favorite dinners: Food for the Sole
Stoveless: 3/4; did bum some hot water on occasion
Favorite section: Snoqualmie Pass to Manning Park (WA) even though it rained and we were cold
Least favorite section: Um....
Least favorite stretch: Descending into Belden
Times I felt worried about other people: only once; we hid in the woods with our insect repellent at the ready
Critters: Just deer, mountain goats, and a fox. Bears at Reds Meadow Campground
# of tents used: 4
# of packs used: 4
Pack weight at the beginning: at least 40 lbs
Ending pack weight: Typically 22-25 depending on food
Longest stretch without resupply: 10 days
Longest day: 28 miles

The last night was at Chicken Spring Lake. There were a lot of people there. JMT hikers, bless their hearts, with caps with flaps, leather boots, packs with stuff hanging off them. Watch out, I wanted to tell them. The trail has a way of grabbing you and not letting go.


  1. What an epic journey. Thanks for sharing

  2. Woo-hoo! Hat off to you for completing your goal!

  3. Replies
    1. If it's just one person, hat is fine! :)

  4. Congratulations! What an accomplishment---and makes me ready for another long trail.

    1. I didn't think I would be, but I am now.

  5. Wow Mary, I am so excited for you. I wondered why the long gap between posts. Congratulations, an amazing effort. Perhaps more so than those who do it in one hit. 🤸🏻‍♀️🤸🏻‍♀️🤩❤️🤩🤸🏻‍♀️🤸🏻‍♀️

    1. Hiking it all at once is definitely an athletic feat, but I think the logistics are much more challenging doing it in sections.

  6. Fun stats to read. I wondered how long it would take for you to feel sad once you completed your journey. Doing a section at a time allowed you to take them in, and become close to them. Something thru hikers don't necessarily get the opportunity to do. Curious about what made the Snoqualmie Pass to Manning section your favorite? Congratulations amazing lady!

    1. It was the scenery for one, and the companionship. For some reason my hiking partner and I were really in sync. We met a nice guy too, who encouraged us to hike more miles than we thought capable of. And Stehekin. I love Stehekin.

  7. How amazing to be able to say you finished it!!!!

    1. I know! I am looking forward to my medal!

  8. I love that you chipped away at this for eight years. Makes me feel a little less guilty about my Iditarod obsession. ;)

    Big congrats! Looking forward to reading the final report, as well as the next big adventures.

    1. I wish I had a next big adventure! I'm not a racer so it won't be that. Not sure I can take on another long trail ATM. So...I'm stumped, but I will figure something out.

  9. Congratulations! I feel I should be asking you for your autograph!

    1. Hahahahaha. It's just walking, is what people say. But it actually is kind of hard walking!

  10. Awesome summary! Love the details.

  11. I'm so way behind on blog reading, so a very belated congratulations!! I have always given section hikers mad credit; their perseverance and commitment is so admirable. Kudos to completion! And I love your stats, and the fact that the Food for the Sole meal was your fav!


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