I have arrived in Oregon! It took me three months to hike the length of California. There have been ups and downs. Some days have been grueling and painful. At times I have grown sick of my thoughts and solitude. I have felt my enthusiasm and motivation ebb and flow.
But overall the experience has been incredibly enjoyable and positive. I have felt myself growing stronger each week. At first a twenty mile day was daunting. Now I am capable of hiking thirty to forty miles in a day. I have seen coyotes, rattlesnakes, bears, Osprey and Bald Eagles. My mind has grown used to the quiet and even though I am twelve weeks into this adventure I am waking lately excited to get up and hike farther north. It has begun to feel as if I am being pulled northward by some sort of gravitational force. My mind no longer seems to resist the idea of walking all day. It appears as if that inner laziness that whispers for me to sit back down and not exert myself more than I must has finally given up and moved out.
Four days ago I met Anish - a female hiker who is attempting to break the overall PCT speed record. Not only was Anish four days ahead of the mens record pace when I met her - she is hiking unsupported. When I hitch-hike into town to pick up food - Anish walks. She is hiking 50-60 miles a day right now. I hiked with Anish for thirty miles and got to hear all about her hike. This was an incredible experience and one of my favorite days of the hike. It was wonderful to see someone pushing them self to their edge but also remaining present. Even though Anish is practically running the trail, she took the time to pick berries growing alongside the trail and point out a Madrone tree to me. You can read more about Anish's hike here and follow her progress on her Facebook page.
Right now I'm in Ashland for a few days. Ashland is a very relaxed and enjoyable city and is my favorite urban stop on the PCT so far. Unfortunately I was unable to post on my blog through rural stretches of northern California - so here is a collection of photos from the past few weeks.