Sunday, October 7, 2012

And on September 21st...

Sunday, October 7th, 4:06pm. I don't think of my self as a nosy person, but today I cannot help but notice our friendly neighbor who is vacuuming the fake turf grass that seems to slowly be taking over this yard. As I listen to the hum of the vacuum I am reminded that I am transiting to a new phase of learning and living in a city and that a very important chapter in my life has come to a close. On September 21st Oasis, Spud, Cookie (another hiker who joined us for the last few days) and I reached the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail completing 2,663 miles and our first major thru-hike.
Yesterday evening Oasis called me. It was the first time we had connected since finishing our hike. We split our conversation between catching up on our new life endeavors and reminiscing about the trail. At one point in our conversation Oasis said "It kind of feels like it didn't happen". I agreed. Or perhaps I believed that it had happened but had failed to recognize the enormity of the feat we just accomplished.
Nevertheless, I did document the experience with my Small. Pink. Camera.
Here we are, Oasis and I at the Southern terminus of the PCT near Campo, CA. Behind the monument one can see a metal fence that marks the United States-Mexico border, April 25th, 2012 (mile 0)!

The beauty of the desert surprised me in many ways. Here is a picture of prickly pear cactus in bloom. The leaves felt like tissue paper (mile 56).
While taking a midday break to beat the heat, Oasis found this horny toad in the bushes (mile 145).
One thing I will not miss from the trail is my blistered swollen feet. We were lucky enough to be helped out by trail angel "Dr. Sole". He cut all that bad dead skin away and patched me up (mile 245)!!
Blooming Yucca plants covered the desert. I caught this one just before sunset (mile 450).
Oasis and I with trail angel Donna Saufler. Thank-you Donna! (mile 475).

Spud, Oasis and I on the summit of Mt. Whitney, June 13th (mile 760).
Spud and I took a day off in Crabtree Meadow. We went fishing and cooked a fabulous fish-fry (mile 760)!

Oasis crosses a creek just after Muir Pass. We were running low on food and ended up eating marshmallows and cough drops as our primary food sources (mile 850).

Spud and fellow hiker Histo posing in dresses at a geyser in Mt. Lassen National Park (mile 1,300).

New shoes! I put one new shoe on next to another shoe that I had worn for over 700 miles. Can you tell the difference? (mile 1675).

We made it to Oregon! (Mile 1,700)
We were lucky enough to be able to sleep on the rim of Crater Lake during the Perseid meteor shower. It was fantastic (1830).
Hailstones I found during a storm! Just about killed me (mile 1950).
Handstands in the Three Sister's Wilderness (mile 2,000).
Walking under Tunnel Falls in the Columbia Gorge (mile 2130).
Sulfer-shelf mushroom whose other name is "Chicken of the Woods". Although a bit spongy, its edible and pretty tasty (mile 2,300).
One of the last photos taken with my camera before it stopped functioning (and our eyes are closed). We are at Goat Rocks Wilderness with a view of Rainier behind us (mile 2300).

Unfortunately my camera stopped working about midway through Washington. But perhaps, with these few photos, you might be able to envision Oasis, Spud, Cookie and I arriving at the US-Canada border. It was an unusually warm day for the end of September and the deciduous trees were turning a beautiful deep red and the huckleberry bushes a deep magenta. We took pictures, we hugged and kissed and danced and celebrated this accomplishment.
This hike has affected me in a way I still don't fully understand, but I feel that it has made me a better person. I am glad to have shared this experience with so many amazing hikers and with you, the readers of my blog! Thank-you for following me along during this incredible journey and for all the encouragement and support along the way. If you are interested, a good friend Sue Parish wrote an article in the Columbian about my experience. You can read the article by clicking here.
Much love,


  1. Congratulations! So glad you are back safe. What an amazing accomplishment. I love the photos and I can't wait to see more.I am so glad your feet got better after finding the perfect socks and shoes.

    Lots of Love and hugs from Mom and the rest of the family

  2. Lena! Oh how I have loved your every post and now I am tearing up to see that you are done! You did it! You've really inspired me to do something as bold and daring as you have done. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and btw, I would love to publish a collection of your posts on Let me know and we'll connect :) Where are you now?