Dear Family and Friends,

Dear Family and Friends,

I’ve now been home for five days and have had time to think about my Pacific Crest Trail experience. Although I have a small lingering disappointment in not having completed the trail in a single attempt, I have no regrets in going back and finishing it this year. Going alone was also very satisfying in that I was solely responsible for the daily decisions of mileage, rest stops and campsites. I loved my trail family last year but I was perfectly comfortable being on my own. Last year I learned a lot from the extensive experience of others and I was able to put it into practice to manage my days. Thank you especially to Nancy Huber. What an extraordinary mentor!

As you all know by now the state of Washington is engulfed in many massive wildfires. The PCT Is now closed from where I made the detour at the Suiattle River Trail all the way to Canada. The Trail is modified every year because of fires, bridge washouts, or floods. This year the hikers behind me won’t get to have the satisfaction of touching the monument at the Canadian border. But, you take the trail as it is offered. We can’t control the weather or natural disasters. Only our reaction to what we face. Thank you all for believing in me. Your support was felt each day and helped me deal with the pain and daily grind. I tried to share my thoughts, the views and the lovely characters I met. I’m still not walking straight, but, heck, my life has never been a straight line!😃 Adventures await me. Thank you all for being a part of my life. Love to each of you,
Poco Loco

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On my second to last day on the trail I ran into K

On my second to last day on the trail I ran into Kelsey just south of Harts Pass. We took a break outside the Ranger station and while enjoying the respite a Ranger came out and posted signs closing the PCT behind us. A new fire had started as a result of lightning the night before. The air was heavy with smoke but going north the sky looked clearer. We decided to hike an additional 16 miles. At camp we each cowboy camped and were about 25 yards apart. It was a long day and after 7pm before we had stopped. Shortly after it got dark a parade of elk started coming right through our camp! Most of them stopped to lick the salt from where each of us had peed. They were big beautiful creatures and a fine sight to end the day. I was on the trail at 5:20 the next morning knowing I had just shy of 24 miles ahead. The mountains are now less dramatic than the Cascades of the past three weeks but the anticipation of the finish kept me energized and excited. I reached the US-Canadian border around noon by myself which let me savor the moment for 15 minutes before Kelsey arrived. We took photos then took off. There was still almost nine miles to hike to get to the road and Manning Park. Kelsey’s father was to pick her up at the lodge at Manning Park that evening and she told me I was welcome to a ride with them back to the Seattle area. That sounded so much better than taking a Greyhound to Vancouver and a flight home from there.
I am relieved and happy that my Pacific Crest Trail adventure is over. I will think about it for a couple days and compose my final thoughts. I know that I have once again realized that I have hidden strengths that I must appreciate. Digging deep reveals parts of ourselves that we rarely see. I am enjoying that feeling right now. Smoky skies

Looking back at the trail about 6 miles from the end.

Poco Loco finished the Pacific Crest Trail. 2660 miles from Mexico to Canada.

This was truly a rude awakening! I’m camped at St

This was truly a rude awakening! I’m camped at Stehekin waiting for my resupply to arrive this morning so I can hike out. My tent is up and I was just starting to wake up. The light is hazy because of all the smoke in the area from the Wolverine Creek fire. I instantly recognize the familiar sound of a rattlesnake! It is VERY LOUD! I look through the mesh screen and there it is! I knew he wasn’t coming in so I just stayed still. He moved but not far. I eventually came out an am sitting at a picnic table twenty feet from my tent and that damn snake is still one foot from my pack. I was able to take a a couple pictures but I’m not sure how good they are. My hands were shaking! I’m glad he isn’t IN my pack! I’m drinking coffee waiting for him to have someplace else to be. I can’t take down my tent or pick up my pack!! I’m trying to be respectful of it and not do anything to get myself hurt.
Now…as I keep sitting at the table having breakfast a white truck drives by. It’s a park ranger. He used a grabber and took the snake away! I lived to tell the story! My new friend

Bye bye!

Good Morning! Yesterday was Sunday and nothing sh

Good Morning! Yesterday was Sunday and nothing short of perfect! The rain never materialized Saturday night and I slept well. On the trail at 5;00 needing my headlamp for the first 30 minutes. Unusual elevation profile day. Up “only 4400” feet but down over 7000 overall. Really beautiful with lots of glacial streams. At 2 pm I reached the mandatory detour at mile 2535. This is due to the still uncontrolled Wolverine Creek fire. The detour required taking the Suiattle River Trail for 6.5 miles to a trailhead. That made a total of 27 miles for the day. But, at the trailhead was a woman named Monique with a trunkful of magic! She gave me pasta salad and chips. Also there were two hikers with a car. They offered me a ride to a motel where I am now. Today I will get to Chelan, then Stehekin where I have my final resupply box. Only 89 miles to Canada but I don’t think I’ll be back on the trail before Wednesday. A rest is needed. I’m not the profile demographic of the trail. Most people are male and in their 20’s. This bird needs a spa day! Hope you are enjoying my journey.
Poco Loco

One of the many trees I had to climb over.
Glacier Peak
Morning selfie. Not exactly a glamour shot.
Mountainside trail

Saturday! What a day! Left Reflection Lake at 5:

Saturday! What a day! Left Reflection Lake at 5:30 and finally got to my destination of Mica Lake at 4:00. Threatening rain so my tent is up. I cowboy camped last night which is my preference. Today had 6100 feet of climbing but was really beautiful. Another day of good miles. Just under 21. I’m sitting in my tent and the rain has started. Very lightly. Big Dave just arrived and he’s scrambling to get his camp set up before the rain gets heavier. I really am a fair weather gal but right now I’m safe and secure and believe I will stay dry. My tent is made of cuben fiber. Very strong and also very lightweight. Great for my purpose.

Early this morning.
Broken bridge but fine to cross!

View from the final pass today.

Mica Lake where I’m camped.

Friday, Happy Birthday to my sister, Judy!! . I w

Friday, Happy Birthday to my sister, Judy!! . I was too tired to write last night and still haven’t had a cell signal since leaving Stevens Pass at 12:15 on Thursday. Yesterday was great! About 5800 feet of climbing and hiked 21.5 miles. Met Big Dave who when he reaches Canada he will have completed all of Oregon and Washington in sections. Shortly after meeting Dave at a creek I went ahead. In the bushes eating blueberries I saw a bear! He took off after I started him. So, no picture. When I left camp yesterday morning it was cold and lots of dew. Wore gloves and my puffy for an hour and a half before stripping down to my normal minimalist attire. The wet grasses and bushes were like a car wash for my legs. Who says hikers don’t bathe! I camped at 5700 ft elevation at Reflection Lake. More of a mud hole than a lake. Hard hiking but satisfying.

Valley view

Friday, Happy Birthday to my sister, Judy!! . I w

Friday, Happy Birthday to my sister, Judy!! . I was too tired to write last night and still haven’t had a cell signal since leaving Stevens Pass at 12:15 on Thursday. Yesterday was great! About 5800 feet of climbing and hiked 21.5 miles. Met Big Dave who when he reaches Canada he will have completed all of Oregon and Washington in sections. Shortly after meeting Dave at a creek I went ahead. In the bushes eating blueberries I saw a bear! He took off after I started him. So, no picture. When I left camp yesterday morning it was cold and lots of dew. Wore gloves and my puffy for an hour and a half before stripping down to my normal minimalist attire. The wet grasses and bushes were like a car wash for my legs. Who says hikers don’t bathe! I camped at 5700 ft elevation at Reflection Lake. More of a mud hole than a lake. Hard hiking but satisfying.

Valley view

Good Evening! And a very good day as well. Hung

Good Evening! And a very good day as well. Hung out at the Dinsmore Hiker Haven until 10:00am when Jerry drove a group to Skykomish for breakfast. I choked down pancakes and bacon before hitching alone to Stevens Pass–about 15 miles I think. Was then picked up by identical twin girls on there way to their own backpacking adventure!. Hit the trail a little after noon. I hiked 14 miles to the summit climbing 3700 feet. About midway I met to women and a beautiful lab. They gave me a chocolate bar! I’m having a part of it while dinner cooks. It’s cold so I’ve set up my tent and I’m quite cozy in it. There was a good rain last night but I was snug in the hiker dorm. Slight chance of rain tonight so another good reason for the tent. Elevation here at the top of Grizzly Peak is 5561. I’m feeling better with my aches and I wish you all a good night. Poco Loco

Morning at Dinsmore’s Hiker Haven

Water stop

View from campsite.