Pacific Crest Trail Adventures – April
No matter my daughters’ ages, they will always be my babies, and I will always worry about them.
So, when Courtney—our thirty-year-old daughter—announced she was going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, my husband and I worried. Initially, my concern focused on human attackers, wild animals, and hiking accidents. After watching several YouTube hiking accounts, I realized that
1. Hikers do not carry very many valuables.
2. Bad guys would have to hike rough terrain to attack hikers.
3. People in cities are much more at risk to be attacked than hikers on the trail.
However, wild animals and trail accidents are worrisome.
From our phone conversations since Courtney has been on the trail, she is in her element.
I enjoy the outdoors and a day hike, make that a half-day hike. But I see nothing appealing about a long-haul hike. I have no desire to walk ten miles or more a day while carrying survival necessities, eating dried food, setting up camp every evening, sleeping on the ground, taking care of business in the wild, packing up camp each morning, and then repeat. Plus, at my age, I can slip a disc when I tie my shoes. For some strange reason, Courtney is determined to walk from the California/Mexico border to the Washington/Canada border. And since this is important to her, I am supporting her and rooting for her success.
Since starting the trail in early April, she has walked through the desert—probably wishes she could have been on a horse with no name, but was on foot—enduring the heat and winds in the day and low temperatures once the sun goes down. She has forded rivers, detoured around closed icy passes, and trekked through snowy passes all in the first 250 miles of the trail. She heard there is a fire ahead of her. Hopefully, it will be extinguished before she gets close. If not, she will detour around it.
Her luck for selecting hiking dates has been unfortunate. In early March 2020, after receiving her PHD, she headed to the Appalachian Trail. Due to Co-vid, she was only able to complete half of the AT. After she made all the arrangements to hike the PCT, California received the highest accumulation of snow in like forever. The heavy snow resulted in the closing of some trail passes. When the snow melts, it will cause higher river levels, making river crossing more difficult at the best and risky/impossible at the worst.
Hikers tend to be nice people. They have the crazy need to long-haul hike in common, and they look out for one another. In addition, the kindness of people who live near hiker towns is amazing. Usually, the towns are a few miles from the trail and many residents pull over and offer rides into town to hikers. The hikers truly appreciate the kindness. I guess I have watched too many movies and television shows where anytime a driver picks up a hitchhiker, either the hiker or the driver has evil intentions. Most hiker towns offer a free dessert, drink or something nice for hikers. She posed for a picture with the mayor and vice mayor of
Idyllwild, California. The mayor and vice mayor are dogs! The mayor is on the left.
We are looking forward to meeting up with Courtney at a couple of different spots on the trail when she gets close to Oregon.
Prayers for her adventure are appreciated!
Angela L Gold is the author of The Lion Within and Kill Shot.