2013 PCT Thank Yous

I have a lot of overdue thank yous and shout-outs to make!

My Inspiration

Thump Thump, AKA Kristen (A 2010 thru-hiker who I met on the trail during her hike. She planted the seed, and helped me plan.)

Erin Saver AKA “Wired” – fellow Portlander and 2011 PCT thru-hiker. 2011 was a brutal year, and Wired not only managed to finish every mile, but blogged the whole thing. She inspired my daily photo journal. She is just about to finish her 2013 Continental a Divide Trail hike!

Command Central

My Mom – I LOVE YOU!
Elly Blue – a truly great friend

Tools

Halfmile’s Maps – Halfmile did a lot of footwork and shared it with all of us. I used my iPad for maps and Halfmile’s .gpx files and app were indispensable. I used them literally dozens of times a day.

Gaia GPS – A sturdy topo app that I loaded Halfmile’s maps in. I’d guess most hikers are carrying paper maps, but those don’t allow you to zoom or have a built on compass!

Craig’s PCT planner – a fantastic tool for creating a schedule and estimating ETAs. I can’t think of anything I’d change about this tool. Craig “OTC” is also hiking in 2013 and is a Portlander, but I haven’t met him yet.

My backpack – a ULA Circuit in medium with the S strap. Despite having broken my collarbone in August 2013, this pack has been perfectly comfortable for 1989 miles, no chafing. I broke a zipper and Chris at ULA immediately FedEx’ed a new hip belt to me at no cost. My base pack weight is about 16lbs, but I’ve brought it up to ~40lbs without issue. Made in Utah.

My iPad mini with Verizon AKA “The Exactometer” – This item, though controversial due to its high technology and weight, has not only provided so much info and ease on the trail, but has allowed me to share my trip in photos with you daily. You can follow along as if you’re hiking with me. I could not do that with a cell phone and camera.

I’ve written about some other gear I love here.

Trail Angels!

Trail angels are incredible people who live near the trail and share their homes, property, food and company with hikers. It is absolutely unbelievable how generous these people are.

Scout and Frodo, San Diego – these PCT alumni picked me up at the airport, fed me, gave me a bed for the night before my hike started, and drove me to the trailhead, along with hundreds of other hikers. Incredible.

Rodney and Ian at the Strawberry Creek Bunkhouse, for allowing me to shower in a vacant room.

Ziggy and The Bear, Cabezon – They serve salad!

Shepherd – She surprised us with hot dogs in the middle of nowhere!

The Andersons, Green Valley – OUT OF THIS WORLD hiker support.

The Saufleys, Agua Dulce (Please, if you have new or gently used 26″ bicycle tires please contact me as I would like to help the Saufleys outfit their raggedy bike stable. Being allowed to borrow a bike was therapeutic!)

Aloha – Personal trail angel of hikers Tears for Beers and Toots Mcgoots, whose generosity overflows to other hikers

Zippy and Mountain Dog – Turkey sandwiches and chocolate cake at mile 1219, the middle of nowhere

The Braatens, Belden – They left me to hold down the fort of their beautiful, secluded home and I had one of the most relaxed town days of my hike.

Melea and Ariana, Mt. Shasta – Thank you for sharing your home on short notice, and for graciously allowing my sidekick Cherub as well.

Rick and Catherine Tillery, Ashland – Twitterverse and cycling community friends and eager trail angels. These superstars took Cherub and I into their home two nights and rebooted us.

Blue Fox, Bend – 2012 Appalachian Trail finisher. You made chili and brought cold soda for PCT hikers. And you let me borrow your watch when I forgot my iPad. Awesome.

Patron Saints of the Strawberry Milkshake

About two-thirds of the way into my hike it became apparent I had blown my PCT budget. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m guessing it’s because I’m taking my time and because of unanticipated injuries and illness. So, I started the “milkshake fund” so I could enjoy a milkshake when coming into town, a true treat. Here are the names of the kind people who have donated, listed in order of the date they gave:

Lisa F.
Armando L.
Lisa L.
Rhonda B.
Todd R.
Matthew Y.
Loren D.
Harry H.
Kenneth A.
Cora C.
Robert B.
Chris .
Kenneth A.
JJ H.
Christopher J.
Jon W.
Zak S.
Dwayne K.
Nathan B.
John F.
Taryn M.
Jessica R.
Lisa F.
Alex C.
Christopher J.
Vivian S.
Naz H.
Ian C.
Lane G.
Harry H.
Daniel O.
Andrew P.
Ben B.
Lisa L.
Suzanne P.
Matt M.
Kronda A.
Carl A.
Donald G.
Mike E.
Robert M.
Chris L.
Ian T.

THANK YOU! I finished my hike as fat as when I started it because of you.

My Favorite Hikers

(Just name a few. I’ve learned so much from fellow hikers.): Elizabeth, Red Pod, Siesta, Storytime, Marshall, Karma, the Stoned Boners, Outburst, Kitten, Manchurian, Shotput, Pepper Flake, That AssHole, and my little chicken from South Africa: Cherub

Trail “Doctors”

Hiker Double Sprainbow (for giving me KT tape when my shin splints were crippling)
Craig Thompson, co-owner of OK Runner (for his incredible shoe advice and for helping me slack pack when I was sick in Crater Lake).

Hitches

Some of the perfect strangers who picked me up on the road:

Diane in Idyllwild, Mike in Tehachapi, Brandi and Ollie in Independence, Carl in Bishop, Dan in Yosemite, Buck in Tahoe, Karl in Mt Shasta, Pam and Jess in Etna

My Social Media Pals

My followers on Twitter and Instagram have gotten the blow-by-blow of my trek and have responded with encouragement, gratitude, and inquisitiveness. Sometimes it gets lonely in the woods; their comments keep me company.

Thank you

I had to type this up quickly during a harried town stop, so I know I must have missed some people. The thought makes me feel terrible. I have had so much help walking these first 1989 miles, and have so much gratitude.