There are still many moments that I forget I'm hiking the PCT. It's too big of a bite to take in at once so I've come to break it down into days and hours of hiking. When I realize that those smaller bites are part of a much larger goal, it becomes humbling.
This past week I crossed the 500 mile mark. I took time by the marker to reflect on the miles (and catch my breath because it was at the end of a hill that kicked my butt.)
So what have I learned in 500 miles? Where do I begin? In no particular order, here is a list of my lessons learned.
1. Listen to your body, but also protect it. Just because you can do more miles doesn't mean you should.
2. It's not a sprint. I'd rather walk more hours at a slow pace than less hours with the risk of damaging my body.
3. Hills are not a bad thing. They are there to challenge you and each one you finish means you're that much more in shape.
4. Plan your food down to the exact amount you'll need. More food means more weight and more weight means less fun moving down the trail.
5. I can live on donuts all day.... everyday.
6. I don't need coffee to hike in the morning.
7. Whatever you don't use, ditch it.
8. Loved ones back home cheering you on is the greatest gift ever.
9. Learn to love the struggles and revel in them.
10. Hike solo more often.
11. Care for your feet. Pop the blisters and tape them quickly.
12. Hike the hike today, not the one tomorrow. It'll be there when you wake up. Plan for it, but don't focus on it.
I can't wait to share this entire journey with those reading this blog. Writing these posts is motivation enough to keep going day after day. I hope these lessons learned over the last 500 miles helps you in some way with your adventures. The summer is upon us so go out there and enjoy it!
550 miles By Land,