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“Someday” becomes reality

Marmot

When I was 11 years old I went to a family friend’s home for what turned out to be one of the most memorable evenings of my young life.

The night featured a slideshow and stories from a hiker’s journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. At the time, I didn’t know that a person could still do that! I thought the days of the Oregon Trail and traveling America by foot had sunset with the railroads.

Images of brilliant orange tiger lilies, vibrant green forests, and iridescent paintbrush have been seared into my memory ever since. I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea of hiking this long trail, so enthusiastic in fact that at recess the next day (and for years to come) I proclaimed that someday, I would thru-hike the PCT.

Gabriel

Gabriel first walked the 500-some mile section of Washington’s Cascade Crest Trail (as the PCT was known in these parts in 1979) when he was four years old. His mom only carried him on the first day for the 12 miles out of Cascade Locks. After that, he took every step needed to reach Canada. Some of Gabriel’s most vivid memories of his growing up days recount being roped up to his mom and dad as they traversed the Knife’s Edge in the Goat Rocks, hunkering down for a day in a mid-summer snowstorm, and hiking 15 miles with his shoes on the wrong feet. Gabriel was keen on someday hiking the Washington section of the PCT again and perhaps, someday, the trail in its entirety.

Marmot and Roo

Thankfully “someday” became reality in 2011.  We set out to walk the trail that winds 2,650-some miles from Mexico to Canada. We started at the PCT’s southern terminus in Campo, California on 2 May 2011. Four months and 28 days later, on 30 September, we reached the northern terminus of the trail in Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia. This journal is a collection of our stories, photos and adventures from living and walking the Pacific Crest Trail.

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