Britt Howard, PGF owner/founder, recently returned from a solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail from Santiam Pass to Mt. Hood (that's over 100 miles, folks!). Today she shares her PCT FAQ:
1. Were you scared?
Not at first, or leading up to the trip. I possess what can only be described as an evolutionary glitch, which manifests as a lack of sensible fear. It's pre-fear that I lack, to be specific—I often end up terrified only in the moment. On the PCT, I was fearful only when on the fourth night there was a very large animal (or two) outside of my tent. I tried not to breathe and didn't catch a wink.
2. Did you see animals?
I saw a mountain goat within the first three miles which I took as a good omen. I got super close and took a picture. I was like, "ya, that's right goat, it's just me and you out here."
3. What was the food like?
The food was pretty horrible. I will do it differently next time. I wasn't precious enough to vacuum pack salami and cheese like some other folks, and I pooh-poohed bringing junk food as a comfort—both things I will be reconsidering....although I do have a pretty good recipe for dehydrated veggies and solar heated, lukewarm Top Ramen!
4. Are there bathrooms on the trail?
Only the holes you dig yourself, my friends! Don't forget the T.P.!
5. Did you have any visions?
I laughed out loud a lot because I was making up jokes and thinking about how crazy it all is—the hike itself and life, and "just what the hell do I think I'm doing?" kept crossing my mind. As far actual "visions," I didn't meet Jesus or come to any life altering decisions, other than committing myself to being outside and hiking more than ever. I did find subtle connections between life and nature while zoning out staring into ripples in a creek....ultimately it was a personal journey that left me heartbroken (to leave the ol' trail) and full of confidence in myself as a woman, mother, and leader.