Thoughts and observations collected after walking 2,650 miles in the wilderness…
My feet STILL hurt.
It’s been almost 5 weeks now since we finished the Pacific Crest Trail and my feet are still swelling and aching. Usually pain comes first thing in the morning, when I’m at rest, if I walk too much (go figure) and when I sit for long periods of time.
Not exactly sure how long this recovery will take.
It’s really loud.
I went from hiking 12-14 hours a day to 1 hour of focused exercise a day (if I’m lucky). Before we embarked on this adventure, I thought I was a pretty active person hiking on the weekends and training for marathons. But even if I had a 20 mile run, that’s still only a couple hours out of my day moving.
I get why sitting is the new smoking. You don’t have to run marathon and you certainly don’t have to walk from Mexico to Canada. Just move.
I think about the trail every day.
There’s something about living with what you can carry and sleeping under the stars every night. Life was simple and every day was FULL! I saw and experienced so much in a 24 hour period. I was never bored, always challenged and felt spiritually connected.
I experienced profound, unexpected kindness from complete strangers – some became friends, some I don’t even know their real name and others I will never get to see again. People entered my life, blessed me, inspired me, befriended me – and then one lunch break later, we never saw each other again.
I learned to turn fear of the unknown into an exciting and positive experience. In the real world, that’s something I would normally stress about, but out there, it was always an adventure.
I could talk about the trail all day…
I miss my husband.
Jake and I were together, joined at the hip, hiking single file, for 4.5 months. The conversations we were able to have, the laughter, the trials we faced, the simplicity we lived, the exhaustion we shared, the trust and relationship we built… I will never forget those moments. The trail will forever be a part of us and he will always be my Jake Rabbit.
Decreasing calories has been an adjustment.
Going from 5,000+ calories a day to 2,000(ish) throws your body into a whirlwind. No, you can’t eat whatever you want anymore.
I can’t talk.
Jake and I talked to each other all the time but never to the extent where our voices went hoarse. Now that we’re back to reality with jobs, coffee dates, family visits, weddings, church – I’m talking a lot!
We’re also struggling to explain the trail in its entirety. So far, it goes a little something like this:
“How was the trail?”
“It was incredible!”
How am I supposed to sum up a 2,650 mile journey????? Talking is hard.
The news is shocking.
Social media, politics, news, TV – it hits you pretty hard after taking a 5-month break. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
Fruits and veggies are life.
I missed FRESH food. It was hard not having access to fresh fruit and veggies, dairy, lean meats or eggs. Even if you did have access to fresh food, you couldn’t pack it with you. It’s too heavy and only keeps for a couple days.
Eating wholesome again is a total blessing. I won’t be eating tuna packets, instant mashed potatoes, trail mix or peanut butter anytime soon. No thank you.
My Grandpa was one of those people who expressed thankfulness and gratitude where ever he went. My Grandpa loved the Lord, lived for the Lord and this summer, he went home to be with the Lord. He chose a thankful heart to better glorify Him.
God walks with us through every situation, every experience, every trial, every blessing.
This journey and my Grandpa’s passing taught me the importance in appreciating the little things, NEVER taking what you have for granted, and being thankful in every circumstance.