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Hello fellow hikers, family, friends, and blog followers!
I just wanted to give a huge heartfelt THANK YOU for all of your support on my journey from Mexico to Canada. Thinking back, I can't imagine ever making it as far as I did on my own. Actually, when people ask me if I hiked alone, I have to think for a second before I answer because even though I didn't have any extended hiking partners, it never really felt like I was completely alone. Lonely at times, but never alone.
So here's to my family for all of the e-mails, goodies sent in care packages, and sponsorships. To my parents for joining me multiple times along the way to trail angel me. To my aunt's and uncle who gave me rides, helped me edit my website, sent me vitamins, and showed up at trail heads with cold beer and smiling faces.
And to my friends who sent me letters, listened to my trail weary blues over the phone, pepped me up on Facebook, and assured me they were with me the whole way. A special shout out to Hill-No, Hank, Data, and Huckleberry for joining me for a couple days, and to the beautiful and talented Lane for following along the whole time.
And to my fellow hikers out on that thin long line. I'm not the best at making friends but I am certain I will keep in touch with some of you for years to come. From making jokes about the way our packs smell, to hitching to the nearest milkshake, you were by my side- even if I didn't know your real name. We hiked our hike, stayed strong, and were there for each other when someone needed to borrow some blister tape or send a text message to a worried mom.
And to my blog followers! It's funny- I followed Craig Griffen's blog last year for his entire hike and never once commented or wrote in his guest book. Yet out on the trail I would tell stories from his hike and adopted some of his hiker lingo. I can't say that I was a stalker because I was never really interested in meeting him, but I was obsessed with the trail and so happy to live vicariously through his blogs. It made me more comfortable stepping into the unknown abyss of my journey. And although nothing can prepare you to hike the PCT, it made me smile when I would reach big landmarks I'd seen through his blog pictures months' before when I was still a greenhorn.
People have been asking me what it was like. It was HARD. Really really really hard. It took lots of on and off trail logistics to make sure I was fed and made the right moves to save a buck. It was physically demanding and even more emotionally demanding. But on the other side it was rewarding. I learned to trust that my needs would be taken care of, that money would work itself out if I was conservative and smart, that my body would bounce back after a good night of rest, and that as long as I kept my chin up and kept walking better days would be ahead.
It's been less then a week so it seems unfair to speak to how well I am adjusting. I made a To-Do list of all of my real-world chores and have been knocking those off. Go to the dentist, DMV, car insurance, find a place to live, find a good winter job, get computer fixed, etc. But those are all of the tangible hurdles. I think the upcoming struggle of finding my place back in the real world will be the tough one. I am super thankful to finish out the fall guiding season with Naturalist At Large, and have a place squared away to live up in Portland this winter but beyond that... well.. time will tell!
I will try my best to point positive. It's what we alway do on the river. I am going to surround myself with inspirational, driven people and keep my life upbeat and busy. I know the post-trail blues are inevitable, but it's up to me what shade of blue I let paint my picture. I am setting intentions of snow shoe yurts with wood burning stoves, babe watching out of portland coffee shop windows, a descent paying work environment with good people, history pub monday's, mushroom hunting, and reconnecting with other pacific northwest pct alumni.
Hiking the trail reminded me of the immediacy of life and all the fruits it has to offer... literally and metaphorically. The table has been set. It's time to feast!
As always, you can find a better layout and more photo's on my tumblr blog: www.SoleToSoil.tumblr.com
You can find my website at www.SoleToSoil.com
You can follow me on instagram @trevormckee85
And please don't be shy to sign my guestbook here on postholer!