In 2011 when I first started the Pacific Crest Trail I didn’t ever expect that it would completely change my life. The PCT has taught me lessons that you can’t get anywhere else. I never had a day where I felt like I had to get up and walk 25 miles, noone was making me do 50s through Oregon, noone but myself. This year I attempted to push my body to its limit, see how far I could go before physically breaking down. A total of 9 hiking days to get through Oregons 456 miles was my test. That was the pace I needed to attempt the PCT record. It honestly felt amazing, I would hike until 11pm and get up at 430 and stop for a max of 2 hrs throughout the day. The drive to get up in the morning and walk is a constant battle with thru hikers. I would say the PCT is 90 percent a mental battle. The ability to control that mental battle is something I learned while on trail. The average thru hiker hikes about 8 hrs a day. That is a lot of time alone. I came to realize that I had analyzed every situation that had ever happened to me and looked at what I could learn from those situations. It felt like wiping a slate clean. I could then have a situation come upon me and think back to a comparative situation and what worked and what didn’t work. The biggest lesson I have learned this year from the PCT is Patience. Patience with people, patience with the weather, and patience with life in general.
The PCT for me is not just a trail, it is a community. The people of the PCT are what I went back for this year. I met some amazing people this year on the trail, and even saw a lot of familiar faces. I met people from all over the world and some that even just live down the street. In the end a few of us stayed in contact since the first PCT. I look at the trail as a retreat, and when asked if im going to hike again next year, I say, I just might, who knows. For now its time to enjoy central Oregon for another winter.