Monday July 10th, 2017
It is 8am in an apartment in Seattle and there is nothing left to do but wait. In one hour, I walk to the Post Office to mail my bounce box. In two hours, when another hiker arrives, we pile into a rental car and drive to Ross Lake. We are ferried north to a PNT (Pacific Northwest Trail) trailhead (named Devils Ridge Trail on my map). It intersects the PCT in 17 miles at Holman Pass. We walk north to tag the border (~16 miles). Then, turn and walk 2,650 miles south to the Mexico Border.
My pack lies loaded and ready with food for six days. This will see me through to Mazama. I resupply there for one day and walk ~20 miles to Stehekin where a food box awaits. An ice ax is strapped to the outside of my pack and microspikes wait within.
I sit here feeling strong and prepared; never have I worked and trained so hard for something. Since returning to Pittsburgh in March after riding the Baja Divide, I worked and trained nearly everyday. I would wake at 7am and pedal to work. I cut grass or operated the machine at the supply yard for most of the day. Then, I would pedal to the gym and lift for an hour or two. I focused on strength and balancing my body. My primary exercises were squats and deadlifts. I am proud to say I hit 355lbs again in the deadlift and a new PR of 225 in the squat. My mother, a physical therapist, provided supplementary exercises like 7-way hips to fix imbalances. For a SOBO hike on the PCT, it is important to hit the trail fit.
I am excited to live outside again and happy the preparation and planning is over. I’m more of a doer than a planner. I could use another hour of sleep. Adrenaline will carry me though. I cannot wait for the sunset and stars tonight. I really miss sleeping outside.
I feel grateful for the support of my family and friends and another supporter, Sierra Designs who sent me my pack and sleeping bag. This is SOO much easier thanks to y’all.