PCT 2020 Day 32

Everybody Get Up

“After almost a year of being off the PCT, returning to the simple rhythms of trail life helped bring my heart much needed clarity and rest. It wasn’t just an escape. It gave each of us a chance to reflect on how we might push back against the darkness of this world. Out in the wild I remember that I am small, but also that I’m a part of this world. I can’t fix every problem, but I can take one step and then another towards the next right thing.” – Calzone

We all set out together this morning. Our hike had a good amount of uphill to some ski chairlifts and then a bit of shallow traversing to our goal.

It was a pretty hike and seemed to go quick. After only a few hours, there we were…

Calzone even got a random day hiker celebrating with us in her video haha. So exciting!

This was the spot that pieced together Calzone’s PCT trek! It was our end goal for this whole 2020 adventure and we’d done it in glorious fashion. In retrospect, who takes on the elevations of the high Sierra right off the bat? It’s crazy, but we did it and made it through. We got to visit the always spectacular Yosemite again and managed to minimize our time in towns, making it feel even more than usual that we were truly out in the wild. Our group of three came together and bonded through the tough times, the fun times, and the times where each of us stared in awe of our surroundings. Such an incredible journey!

The saying goes it’s not the destination that necessarily matters, it’s the journey, right? Maybe cliche, but in the thru-hiking realm, there’s truth there. I can’t speak for Calzone and Cheer on what it all meant to them on accomplishing their goals and completing the PCT. For me, it was a very personal journey and an internal collection of emotions that I still don’t fully understand. I think each of us would agree though, that it’s the day to day adventures and grind of being on trail that makes these treks what they are.

“The last bad one…that I had been looking for, nearly 1,000 miles – I thought: once past there my reward will begin, but now everything ahead seems kind of empty and I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing. The stars, the cliffs and canyons, the roar of the rapids, the moon, the uncertainty and worry, the relief when through each one, the campfires at night, the real respect of the rivermen I met and others.” – Buzz Holmstrom (First solo run of Colorado River through the Grand Canyon correct me if I’m wrong on that)

All that being said, the three of us were pretty stoked about making it! Going through something this big and achieving a goal this amazing is something Calzone and Cheer can hold onto and be proud of. We could feel it in the air… there was a real jam going down. We’d trekked the PCT expanse, it was time to seize our chance, here’s our epic dance…

I mean that pretty much sums it up, right!?

Well, the thing is, we weren’t completely done. There was still the matter of backpacking the side trail and figuring out our plans for town. It was a few miles down the steep Granite Chief Trail to Olympic Valley, a ski resort hub, which went quickly. We went straight for a little store to get some cold drinks and ice cream treats.

Eventually, we booked a place in Truckee (northwest side of Lake Tahoe), but I remember it being a stressful decision since everything around was a bit pricey. I believe Cheer came through in finding us an awesome place in a historic hotel. Plus, we were able to take a bus into town and walk from there. Bonus.

Here’s what one might look like after a month backpacking…

Scary.

After getting cleaned up and buying a new t-shirt for post-trail travels, it was time to keep the celebrations going… We hit the town for some pizza.

While waiting to get a table, I found what appeared to be a depiction of the Northern Michigan Dogman, who’s legend I had recently told my trail friends about…

Truckee was hopping. Our hotel was right next/above this place…

A memorable day and night celebrating!

(still more to come šŸ˜Š)

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