Portland

As most people know, Portland is known to be a very hipster city with a very specific vibe. For this reason, I was very excited to visit and had a feeling I would really fit in. I was wrong. I actually kind of hate this place.

The Portland vibe is actually impossible to explain. I felt a lot of negative energy and had an irrational feeling that everyone was judging me. I wish I had someone else with me so I knew if it was just me being crazy!

I went downtown and the first place I went to was Voodoo doughnuts, a VERY famous and popular spot. There was a line to get in, where I started talking to a few ladies from Michigan (go blue!). These ladies were the only people I met in Portland. I ordered a few donuts and my god, they were amazing. They were also the size of my head.

I know I’m in the right place when i find a wall made of glitter!!!! 💕💕💕

The best doughnuts you will ever eat! Peach fritter, chocolate peanut butter fritter and a lemon crueller! YUM!

After that, I walked around downtown more, checked out Powells bookstore (the largest independent book store), and then went to REI to buy my feet a gift. I tried on a million shoe styles and sizes, finally purchasing a new pair that HOPEFULLY won’t make my feet cry. Please just no more blisters!!

Afterwards I went out to dinner at 10 Barrel Brewery which was amazing, PLUS they had beer that was named after Lord of the Rings so you really couldn’t beat it.

Otherwise, I am feeling eager to get out of Portland and am ready to get on the trail.

 
DAY 21:

Today I took a bus to Cannon Beach and it was absolutely stunning. I’ve never seen such a beautiful beach! I hung out there for the day, wandered, explored, took photos, read and just relaxed. I found a few hidden spots tucked away which was awesome. I had my own private beach. It was a beautiful day.


Tomorrow I am off to the trail and I am so excited! It’s going to be a long commute and I have lots to do still, so hopefully it all works out!

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Washington

Washington, you showed me some pretty incredible views. I tried to capture the beauty of this state in a small video I made. Enjoy!​​

Seattle

The next day I woke up from the Summit Inn, checked out, grabbed a bite to eat at the disappointing pancake house again, and got right on the road. I got a hitch from a man who actually saw me in the pancake house and was wondering if I was a hiker in need of a ride (not hard to tell with the big backpack lol). He was very kind and we had a wonderful chat during the drive. One thing I couldn’t get over was he was going completely out of the way in order to drive me to Seattle. He said he had nothing better to do and wanted to help me out. During the drive he had told me how he lost his wife a year ago and ever since he has been living to “seize the day” everyday. His kindness was inspiring and I was grateful to cross paths with him.

When I got to Seattle, I went to Bennetts house, a host from Couchsurfing I had made arrangements with. He had two other travellers staying with him, Fabby and Jana, who were from Switzerland. They had plans to go to Lake Union with the boats, have a few beers, and go swimming. All of this sounded ideal. I was really glad to have something fun planned for this day to keep my mind off of questioning my thru hike.

We had a wonderful time at the lake, which overlooked the city skyline. Seattle was much smaller than I expected. We grabbed a bite to eat and then went back to Bennetts.

That night we went to St. Michaels Cathedral, where they have a service on Sunday nights with an all male choir performance beforehand. A lot of college students go to the church and bring blankets to lay on while the choir sings, then leave before the regular service begins. It was really interesting and I have really never seen anything like it. I was really happy Bennett brought us to that as I thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterwards, we went to Sizzle Pie Pizza which was probably the best pizza I’ve ever had. We hung out for a bit and then went back home.  It was a really good first day in Seattle!

 

 

Today I wanted to spend the day wandering the city. Me, Fabby and Jana went downtown and explored around Pike Place Market. There were tons of food spots and little shops with lots of people everywhere.

Some really cool art i wanted to purchase! Unfortunately backpacking doesnt allow you to buy yourself presents!

The girls wanted to do more touristy stuff and I kind of wanted to just wander, so we split up for a bit. I found a store called Earthbound Trading Co., which I immediately fell in love with after looking in their display window. One thing that sucks is knowing I can’t buy much, which was a problem considering I wanted everything in the store. Luckily they have an online store that I can take full advantage of when I return home!

Some cool items from Earthbound Trading Co.

 

After another long day, I met the girls back at Bennetts. We went to Kerry Park that night to watch the sunset which was gorgeous. The view was really cool because you got to see the skyline of Seattle as well as a view of Mt. Ranier. Beautiful!

Mt. Rainier just to the right of the skyline.

After, we went out for dinner which I was DYING for and then called it a night. Another great day in Seattle!

DAY 16:

I knew today was going to be a good day because it was going to start with PANCAKES! On the trail, Candy Cane made it very clear that if I were to go to Seattle, I had to go to Portage Bay for pancakes. I had told Bennett about our signs we made each other on the trail, and I woke up to this this morning. Amazing!!!!


Portage Bay did not disappoint. The pancakes were delicious and they have a topping bar you can load your pancakes with. Sooooooo good!!!


We toured around the city a bit more, went to see the troll, and found a really cool bookstore where we all made purchases at.


I went back downtown to keep myself busy for the rest of the day and ended up hanging out at a Starbucks for quite a while, did some blogging and made a few friends. I was really liking everyone here! Lots of really cool people.

 

 

I woke up and grabbed some coffee with a friend, then departed Seattle. Off to Oregon! I arrived in Portland and was pretty tired from the long commute, so today was very uneventful! I basically arrived, settled in and went to bed.

I had the best time in Washington and am excited to carry onward. Hopefully Oregon brings it because Washington set the standard high! Missing the PCT lots and am sooooo eager to get back on! Probably won’t stay in Portland long for this reason alone!

Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie

DAY 11: July 20, 18 miles, (m. 2461-2443)

I was worried about today because it was the first day after our full zero. Luckily, it was a good day. We woke up early to get a hitch to Stevens Passfrom the Dinsmores and got right on the trail. It was a gorgeous day out and the sun was shining, something we definitely missed. No words can describe how happy I was to see sun all day. The hike today was generally easy. There were few switchbacks, but steep inclines instead. All day we had clear views of the many lakes, forests and mountains that surrounded us. 


I got to lunch first again today and was feeling good. I talked to a couple of Austraillians for a bit and then the rest of the girls arrived. The second half of the day went slower for me. There was a lot of large rocky terrain, especially at Piper Pass, which was beautiful but also not the best for my feet. 


We got to Deception Lake and camped for the night. Everything was good except for the bugs. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY MOSQUITOS. We all raced to put our bug nets on and set up our tents so we could hideout and not deal with them. We all ate in our tents but still socialized and planned our next day. We are going to try to do a 22 mile day tomorrow so let’s hope for another good day! 

DAY 12: July 21, 22 miles (m. 2443-2421)

So 22 miles today almost killed us. No one was really having a good day. All morning I was feeling super sluggish, kind of putting me off for the day. To make things worse, we probably picked one of the hardest days for this section to push for a higher mileage day. We had 14 miles before lunch and I really thought it would never come. We stopped to eat, and naturally the sun went away and it started to rain lightly. All we wanted was to enjoy some sun!!!!! 


We carried on the rest of the day and I trailed behind. My pace was super slow and I knew it was going to be late when we got to camp. I caught up with Clementine and Crusher and we finally got to camp together around 8:30, our latest night so far. It was definitely a long day and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep eat dinner in my tent 5 times. We decided not to wake up until 6 the next day so we were all pretty stoked to sleep in! 

DAY 13: July 22, 17 miles, (m. 2421-2404)

Today we had to chose between doing 17 miles or 21, as there were no tents sites in between. Safe to say we chose 17. Another slow day for me and I could really start feeling my blisters again. 


This section of the PCT has been interesting because it’s in between two very accessible towns, and it’s only 75 miles. This means it is much more populated and we have been running into a lot of day/section hikers. I really don’t like seeing this many people on the trail and I am dreading when we start crossing paths with all the NOBO thru hikers. It’s going to be crazy. Today went super slow and when it came to lunch, I couldn’t find the girls anywhere. I walked back a half mile to see if I missed them but I couldn’t see them anywhere. I was so hungry I just stopped at the tent site and ate my lunch alone. There were about 25 Boy Scouts running around screaming, lost with their leaders which made me really annoyed. I ate fast and continued on hoping to find the girls, and surely I did. They had missed the tent site and figured I’d find them. We also ran into Ben and Nuthatch, two hikers we met at the Dinsmores who we had been crossing paths with everyday. 

The rest of the day went slow again, but we arrived at Spectacle Lake and had a gorgeous view. Even though we still had a few more miles to go, we stopped on the ridgeway to enjoy the view. Me, Clemenine and Crusher had a great talk. These are my favourite moments on the trail. 

We finished up the last few miles and right when we arrived at camp we saw two huge deer who hung out for a while. We all ate dinner in our tents since it was so cold.


 A couple camped beside us, who we talked to for about 30 minutes while in our tents, before actually getting out to say hi face to face. It was a freezing cold night, and we have a big day tomorrow and will finally be in Snoqualmie.

DAY 14: July 23, 13 miles, (m. 2404-2391)

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise today! A great way to start our day. 


On the other hand, I was back to hiking in flip flops! Woooo. It wasn’t the most fun day for my feet. The beginning of the day was a constant, steep incline and we all felt like we were traveling 0.1 miles an hour. We kept going up, wondering if the trail would ever lead us down. It was cold and misty and I was starting to believe warm weather doesn’t exist. 


Another thing that was really slowing is down was the terrain. It was big, chunky rock which really kills your feet because of the uneven ground (especially in flip flops). 

Motivation to get to town, thanks to Clementine. We often erite each other notes in the dirt for encouragment and motivation!


We finally started going downhill and we were all caught up together. It was really nice to be hiking with all the girls at once (a rare occurance) because I knew it was going to be my last day with them. 


We couldn’t believe all the day hikers we were running into since we were so close to town. Frankly, we were not happy with how many people we were seeing. The trail being so populated was not the same and didn’t feel right. We felt like celebrities because everyone was asking us questions about our hike and a group even asked for our picture. You can really tell the difference between day hikers and thru hikers (mainly looks and smell). We really enjoyed the smell of laundry every time a day hiker passed us. We finally got into town and hangout at the famous Aardvark Food Truck where we were greeted with a free beer. The Austraillians, Ben and Nuthatch, and the couple who had camped with us the night before were all there. We had a great time hanging out, sorting through our resupplys and digging through the hiker box. 

Ne, Clementine, Crusher, Candy Cane, Ben and Nuthatch at the Aardvark.


We finally made our way to the Pancake House, but were pretty disappointed with the food and service. I said goodbye to the girls which was super sad, but I knew I would cross paths with them again soon on the trail. 

Last time with all the girls 😥


I booked a room at the Summit Inn and enjoyed one of the longest showers of my life. I relaxed in bed for the rest of the night and fell fast asleep!

Stehekin to Stevens Pass

Day 4: July 13, 15 miles, (m. 2561-2546)

I woke up this morning feeling like I was going to have a good day. Very glad i woke up feeling this good because it was a pretty tough day with a lot of steep incline and rough terrain. One thing I am really enjoying about being with the girls is that we always choose a lunch spot to meet at, as well as a campsite at the end of the day. This gives us the freedom to hike alone or with each other, but always gives us time together at lunch and at night. This day in particular we had a beautiful lunch. Everyone was finding the day really hard, except for me (surprisingly). We went off trail a bit to a campsite with a beautiful view, laid out in the sun and enjoyed our lunch. Definitely one of my favourite moments on trail. We ended up spending a little too much time here, but it was definitely worth it. Because of our extended stay and the constant incline all day, we didn’t put in the mileage we intended. We got to camp and we were all pretty sore, so we went to the “recovery creek” to soak our feet. My blisters are getting real bad and my feet are starting to swell, but I can only hope it doesn’t get worse.
Day 5: July 14, 20 miles, (m. 2546-2526)

Today was my favourite day on the PCT. The morning was an easy hike through one of the most beautiful forests I’ve ever seen. All day I found my eyes wandering everywhere and taking everything in. It was so magical and enchanted and I felt like I was in Lord of the Rings.

The weather was gorgeous and the sun was shining through the leaves of the trees. For some reason, I was cruising through and got to our lunch spot an hour and a half before the others. We had another nice lunch and continued on, hoping the rest of the day would be as easy as the first half. We were wrong. We approached some switchbacks and were climbing up rainforest for forever. We FINALLY got to the top and realized how worth it it all was. We were at the top of Glacier Peak and the view was absolutely, insanely gorgeous. The whole time I was hiking I couldn’t even process it.


I was at the front of the group and was apparently so distracted by the view that I passed our planned camp spot. I ended up hiking 2 extra miles to another site but it just meant we added more to our day!!!!

Today I was feeling very thankful that I am actually out pursuing not only my dreams, but other people’s as well. I am extremely proud of myself and these other girls that we are all the type of people who can go out and do these adventures on our own.
Day 6: July 15, 18 miles (m. 2526-2508)

Today we were not blessed with the weather we had had the day before. Lots of rain. We were going to be at high elevation for most of the day so we knew it would be a cold one. My feet were really starting to hurt but I was pushing through. We got to Mica Lake which was a beautiful, small, blue lake at the top of a mountain. It was so quiet and remote, we all just hung out there for a bit.

We continued our day to encounter lots of snow, which made us lose the trail a bit. We had trouble navigating back and it took us a while, but we finally got on trail and were very relieved.
Day 7: July 16, 18 miles, (m. 2508-2490)

Another day of rain. I honestly don’t remember much from this day other than the fact that my feet were really starting to slow me down. It wasn’t only the blisters, but the swelling now too. I was behind the girls for the entire day and caught up with them at lunch. After lunch, I trailed behind again, cursing my feet on every step. To make things worse, I got off trail at a trail junction which took my off course. The good thing about the PCT is that it’s pretty easy to know when you’re not on trail. It looks and feels different. Right away I knew, and since my phone was dead I had to navigate with my maps and compass, quickly finding out where I was and how to get back. This course took me about 3 extra miles, which really sucked considering my feet. I finally got back to camp but still had a smile on my face. We camped at Lake Sally Ann and I quickly ate and went to bed and hoped for a better next day.

 
Day 8: July 17, 20 miles (m. 2490-2470)

Today was definitely the worst day yet on the PCT. We woke up to another day of rain. Everything including my socks, shoes, pack and DOWN sleeping bag had been wet for the past few days and all I wanted was to be warm and dry. My feet were not okay today, making me so incredibly slow that I could barely walk. We had another day of high elevation where we would run into snow, we were just hoping it wouldn’t be like the day before. We ran into some bad spots around Red Pass where we had to put on crampons, which I was happy to use again just to get my use out of them.

My feet were so incredibly sore today that at one point I was barely moving and knew I would never make it to town if I kept going like this. I had no other choice but to take my boots off and hike in my flip flops. I was so behind because of my feet that I didn’t even bother stopping at our lunch spot because I had assumed the girls wouldn’t be there when I arrived. It was already 3 and I had only done 10 miles, only halfway through the day. It poured all day which made hiking in flip flops extra not fun. I summited Grizzly Peak, where I finally caught up with the girls. Each step was pure torture today and I really didn’t know how I would make it any further. I was glad for it to be done and really hoped the 10 miles to town the next morning would go by fast.
Day 9: July 18, 10 miles (m. 2470-2461.7)

We woke up at 4:30 so we could get a move on to town right away. The pancakes and hot chocolate were calling our name and were a good incentive to keep moving. The first 5 miles flew by, but after that things definitely dragged out. Lake Vahalla gave us stunning views and I would have loved to spend more time there if we weren’t so eager to get to town. The last miles dragged on forever but we finally got there. We all ordered glorious hot chocolate and indulged in our cell service which had been the first time since being on trail. We hitchhiked into town which didn’t take much, and headed straight to Cascadia Inn for our blueberry pancake breakfasts. After that we got a ride from John to the Dinsmores, which is a famous Hiker Haven along the trail. They have a den set up just for hikers filled with memorabilia, PCT artifacts, and gear. They have every service available for hikers such as laundry, showers, hiker bins, TV, wifi, beds and more. It is truly amazing the time, work and effort they have put forth to help hikers along he PCT. We spent the night here, ordered some amazing pizza and watched movies until it was time to sleep.

The Dinsmores Hiker Haven


Day 10: July 19, 0 miles! 

Today was our first zero day! We were all unsure if we wanted to take a zero today, but we felt like we did not have enough time the day before to get everything done that we needed. We went for breakfast at the Cascadia Inn again, went to the post office and did some errands. We cleaned our packs, dried our gear, relaxed, and enjoyed our day off. We ended the night in a similar way, with pizza and movies. I’m nervous for tomorrow because of my feet again, but I know this next stretch will only be about 4 days. My feet definitely needed the recovery time and are feeling much better, so hopefully no more hiking in flip flops!

Harts Pass to Stehekin

Day 1: July 9, 6.3 miles. 

Trail angel Chris picked me and another solo thru hiker, Riley, from our hotel in Bellingham. The plan was to meetup with Bert, who was driving 3 other hikers, so we could hitch a ride with him to the start. I had talked to the other hikers driving up with him and made plans to start together. Chris is a retired ranger who has worked on the PCT for years, so he had tons of stories to tell during the 3 hour drive. We arrived at the hiker hut for a break, where someone had told us there was a bad mudslide on Harts Pass road so some of it was closed off. Chris drove us as far as he could since his car couldn’t take the rock and dropped us off on the road. We saw Bert drive pass and he said he would come back to get me and Riley once he dropped the other hikers off. In the meantime, me and Riley started to hike up Harts Pass road, which was a ridiculous incline. We hiked and hiked unil we realized Bert wasn’t coming back (not really sure what happened there lol). We were both super anxious to get on the trail. We ended up hiking 6 miles up Harts Pass road, which kind of sucked since we could have been putting that mileage on the trail. It all worked out though and we finally got there. Me and Riley parted ways and my hike was finally about to begin. About two steps onto the trail I saw 2 huge deer. The beginning was mostly ridgeway with small switchbacks, but before I knew I was mountainside. I had to use my crampons once and right then is when I decided how much I hate snow. The scary part about crossing the snow sections is that one fall and you’re sliding down a steep mountain, ultimately ending in no good outcome. The snow wasn’t bad at all looking back now, but I wanted to be safe since I was alone and had no experience. It started raining and I was so ridiculously cold and knew I needed to pitch camp soon. About 6.3 miles in I saw 3 tents set up so I set up down the valley out of there way. I saw more snow on the mountainside and was not looking forward to that in the morning. At this point I was freezing and jumped right in my sleeping bag. I was at about 6555′ elevation. It rained all night and I’d be surprised if I even slept 3 hours. That night was awful and cold and miserable and I was really wondering why I chose to do this.

DAY 2: July 10, 21.4 miles 

Waking up I felt good that it was a new day, regardless of the night before. No matter how bad the night before is, I always found myself waking up happy and refreshed. It was still freezing and misty that morning but it looked so pretty. I crossed the small section of snow and continued on. What surprised me most about this day was how much different terrain I crossed. At first I was on mountain ridgeways, then entered some stunning forest filled with mist and fog at Galcier Pass (el. 5520). Soon after, I went through a lot of overgrown rainforest which was not fun nor scenic. Rainforest is basically the worst thing on the trail. I finally got back into forest again and was happy, but not for long. Around Mebee Pass Trail there were huge tree blowdowns blocking the trail, which meant climbing over or under them in order to get by. This slowed me down drastically, tired me out, and had me almost losing the trail a few times. I couldn’t believe how bad they were.

examples of some of the blowdowns.

This went on for probably 4 miles but it felt like forever. I thought it would never end. I passed a few people on the trail that day, but didn’t stop to talk. I finally got to Methow Pass and was feeling defeated. It was only about 3:30 and I had done about 14.5 miles but after all those blowdowns, there was no way I could hike any longer. At the top Methow Pass I saw a group of 3 girls; Candy Cane, Crusher and Clementine. They thought it was funny I was using real maps rather than the iPhone map, so they gave me my first trail name, “Old School”. Apparently you get 3 before you get to chose which one sticks. I took a short break talking to them and they convinced me to hike longer with them (which I still can’t believe after how defeated I was feeling). We hiked along Cuthroat Pass along the ridgeway of the mountain and it was unbelievabley stunning. This is still my favourite view from the trail so far and I’m a little sad I didn’t stop to take a picture, I was just so amazed. The ridgeway was huge, beautiful red rocks that steeped down overlooking mountains and forest. We went through a few more snow sections that made me nervous, and I found myself incredibly tired but really wanted to camp with the girls that night. I pushed myself and somehow ended up hiking a WHOLE 21.4 MILES ON MY FIRST FULL DAY OF HIKING. HOW?? That was my full mileage which I assumed I would work up to, but apparently not. We got to camp and I was so miserable and tired I went straight to bed. I definitely shouldn’t have pushed myself that hard on my first day (exactly what mum told me not to do) but I really wanted to stay with the girls. I told them to leave without me in the morning so that I could make sure I got a full sleep, and hopefully I’d catch up with them the next day.

Me, Candy Cane, Crusher and Clementine. So happy and thankful to have met these girls.

DAY 3: July 11, 18 miles

I woke up about a half an hour after the girls and I felt good. I took my time packing up then got right on the trail. A few miles in I crossed Hwy 20 at Rainy Pass, entering the North Cascades National Park.

After crossing the Hwy, the trail kind of disappeared into a few paths, so I took out my maps. A few moments later I saw Clementine, who had just ran into trail angels. They gave us some fresh fruit for lunch. We continued on trail, met with the others and stopped for lunch. The last few miles of the day definitely dragged out (as usual) and my blisters on the back of my heels were making me dread each step. Candy Cane and I finally got there and plopped ourselves down on the campsite, removing our shoes immediately. We layed there for a bit until the other two came and then we set up camp. Like every night, we made dinner and went straight to bed, preparing for another early morning the next day. It was the first night I didn’t go to bed miserable and I was excited for a good day tomorrow.

DAY 4: July 12,

Today was the day we would get to our first town! I still can’t believe I made it on my original schedule. We woke up super early hiking 6 miles to catch the first shuttle into Stehekin. There were quite a few hikers there that went into town with us. Our motivation all morning was the famous bakery that the shuttle stopped at before entering town. This is acclaimed to be the best bakery on the entire trail and we were stoked for some fresh, warm food. It definitely didn’t disappoint. Stehekin is a small, small town that had a tiny log cabin as a school, a variety store, a lodge and a post office. No internet or cell service anywhere. Definitely a different lifestyle.


We hung out for a bit, did laundry and talked to our new friend Forest Ninja who was an older lady who’s done many sections of the PCT. She had so many stories, advice, and tips for us and it was lovely talking to her, we were very thankful. I picked up my resupply box, shipped my extra food to my next stop, and then went to wait for the bus. A few minutes later we saw the bus race past us and we realized we were waiting at the wrong place. A man in town offered to drive us to the stop, so we jumped in the back of his pickup and luckily got on the shuttle. We did about 8 more miles once we got on trail. Today was a really hard day for me mentally on the trail. I had to stop looking at the PCT as a whole because I was starting to really doubt myself. Definitely wasn’t my favourite day but I knew tomorrow would be something new.

The Dreaded Resupply…

So one thing I learned today was how much I hate resupplying… Since I had extra time in Bellingham, I decided to make enough boxes to send to myself for the Washington section. This was going to be nice because it will also put less stress on the beginning section of my hike, especially when I’m still trying to get in the swing of things. 

Some people get super technical with there resupplys (as you probably should) by making spreadsheets, adding calories, measuring out portions, etc. I didn’t have the time, patience, or tools to do this, and honestly I can’t imagine putting anymore work into than I already did.  

I ended up making 3 boxes; one for Stehekin, Stevens Pass and Whites Pass. There is one resupply in between these stops called Snoqualmie, but I’ve decided to resupply in town since it has a good store. Washington is the best section to resupply because the towns are small and don’t have much to offer, so it worked out good. 


I shipped my boxes through UPS and shipping was about $60 in total. To ship boxes from Canada, ONE box was going to cost $80!!! Insane. Definitely not worth it. 

After packing up all my food, I can definitely see myself using a bounce box along the way. Right now everything is very go with the flow, but I am glad to have the Washington part of my trip planned out so I can focus on getting a good start to my hike! 

Anyways I’m FINALLY off tomorrow morning and I’m not sure when I’ll have service again! Might be a while til you hear from me! I’ll try to update as soon as I can. 

A SOBO Start

So this past month my start plans have changed probably 20 times. It seemed every day I was considering another option. 
One of the hardest things to plan as a SOBO hiker is your start point. Because you can’t legally walk across the Canadian boarder into America, most hikers start at Harts Pass. From Harts Pass, hikers often go North to Monument 78, then turn around and go South to get the full mileage and see more of the PCT. 

My original plan was to head South from Harts Pass, but they were changing multiple times due to flights, timing, ride shares, and SNOW. In the end, my plans took a full circle and ended up matching my original ones so it all seemed rather silly. 

I flew into Bellingham on the 5th and was hoping to start my hike on the 7th. I started talking to a fellow SOBO Riley, who was also looking for a ride to Harts. She was planning on starting on the 9th, so I decided to wait so we could start together, split costs and be more eco friendly. Trail angel Chris is driving us and we will be meeting Bert “Detour” who is driving 4 other hikers to Harts Pass as well. We’re gunna have a full party! Riley is going North but the other 4 hikers are heading South so we decided to start together and see how it goes! 

One thing that is incredibly important while planning your hike is to just go with the flow and don’t get too attached to plans. There are always so many different options and solutions. Things will always fall into place as they need to! 

A Little Pre-Adventure

Oh my, I have so much to talk about and my trip hasn’t even really begun. I’m just going to go through the last few days since so much has happened already! 

Tuesday: Left at 2am to the airport and was definitely feeling the nerves kick in. Lots of emotions and I’m sure no sleep didn’t help. 

Final goodbyes 😢


When I was waiting to board, I was going over my maps and a girl came up to me asking if I was hiking the PCT. She did a section hike in the Sierras last summer and recognized the Halfmile maps.  Awesome! It was really cool to talk to her and definitely was settling my nerves a bit! Really happy I ran into her. The rest of the day consisted of many flights and layovers, finally landing in Bellingham around 3pm PST. I made arrangements to stay with Alyssa and Nick who I found on Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is a great, safe tool for travellers on a budget. They are so sweet and I am super happy and thankful for the hospitality they have provided me! Anyways, In typical Natasha form, I met a few friends in the short time frame of landing and getting picked up by Alyssa. Safe to say it was a long day and I was exhausted by the end! 

Wednesday: I met up with Luke, one of the people I met the day before, who showed me around Bellingham a bit. Later we went to Lake Whatcom and hiked some trails with gorgeous views.

Lake Whatcom


After I went to REI to get some last minute things. I talked to one of the employees for a while who was really cool and I ended up running into him again later that night! Later on we met with the others and went out downtown to a few of the bars and the Downtown Sound. We had a great night other than the fact that the one bar wouldn’t accept my Canadian ID haha

Tomorrow I am getting a hotel for the night and am filling/mailing some of my resupply boxes so I’ll have another busy day! Then off to Harts Pass Saturday morning to begin my PCT journey! Wooooo!