WHY DOESN’T BEV WRITE ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE?
I received that question the other day in the comment section, so let’s quickly tackle it.
There are many PCT hikers who are heavily into social media. YouTube is overflowing with PCTers and their chronicles; a portion of that group even have their own websites or keep a blog in addition to their videos. Some are excellent; some are not; it’s a mixed bag, just like society.
Bev is not one of that group, and I doubt she ever will be. Occasionally, I have to remind her to take videos so I will have something to post for the both of us. I suspect she would be perfectly happy if there were no videos at all.
So, to think for one moment, that she would take the time to write a blog about this epic journey, well, it just ain’t going to happen. This chronicling was my idea. Bev was supportive as long as she did not have to do anything even remotely close to actually making the content.
I’m the writer.
She’s the hiker.
A perfect division of labor.
Would it be interesting to hear her perspective about the things she is seeing? Most definitely! Will it happen? LOLOLOLOLOL
I wouldn’t bet on it.
AN HONEST ASSESSMENT OF BEV SO FAR
I can attempt to give you my assessment of Bev so far after 273 miles of hiking (now over 500 at the time of this posting), based on what I see and what I hear. I think I can come fairly close to accuracy in my description.
Most days, Bev is exhausted, and she is in some degree of pain. That is not a reason to be concerned. Long-distance hikers are usually exhausted and have moved into the Pain Neighborhood, where they will reside for six months. They burn off an enormous amount of calories daily, and the joints were not made, I believe, to handle the demands put on them hiking over uneven trails, climbing over fallen trees, braking downhill when your body wants to free-fall, and pushing uphill at ridiculous angles. Only the elite of the elite can truthfully say that they are not tired, and do not ache, after a twenty-mile day of thru-hiking.
None of it is serious injury but there is hurt all the same.
So, in the morning, pre-trail, she is considerably more alert and fresh than at the end of a ten-or-fifteen mile day. When she comes off trail at the end of a day, she looks beaten down. She is pale, it is difficult for her to put one foot in front of the other, and her ability to have a conversation is overridden by her desire to simply collapse in her tent.
I would estimate that every six or seven days, she and her tramily take a zero i.e. a complete day off. It’s necessary, especially at sixty-two. The body needs time to recuperate. The body needs copious amounts of food for energy. The mind needs a shower to feel human again. And, after that zero, she is gung-ho and ready to go again.
Her strength seems to be uphills. She settles into a rhythm, digs down deep, and navigates some serious elevation gains quite well. The downhills are tougher on her.
She is averaging about ten miles per day, maybe twelve, which was the loose plan at the beginning, especially for the first month. I suspect that will increase to about fifteen per day in the near future, but her body still needs to acclimate, and at sixty-two that takes longer than at twenty-two.
Having said all that, she is having the time of her life. Yes, she hurts, and yes, it is grueling, but she can’t imagine doing anything else at this time of her life, and she is as enthusiastic after a month of hiking as she was when she first began. Her attitude is fantastic. Her ability to find the wonder in this new life of hers is a joyous thing to behold.
I am appropriately impressed, and not worried one iota.
THE FRIENDSHIPS JUST KEEP ON PILING UP
I met two young women from New Mexico today and had the most enjoyable talk with them. After five minutes the conversation just flowed, old friends flowed, you know, with laughter and heavy topics and solving the wrongs of the world, but most of all laughter, two thirty-year old twins and an old codger, reveling in an improbable new friendship.
I most likely will never see them again; they are only doing a section hike, this section, so there is no chance of randomly running into them again somewhere along the trail. And that saddens me.
I already miss them.
Isn’t that amazing?
Saw Fivrr again today. I had not seen Fivrr since March 21st, at Lake Morena. I have a picture of her, with three guys in their tramily, and that’s the last I had seen of her until today, at the KOA in Acton, and it was so nice to see her. I had actually been wondering about her the other day, in that “I wonder what ever happened to Fivrr” sort of way, and damn if she just didn’t appear out of the hiking netherworld.
I don’t think I can accurately describe what that feels like for me. Most of you reading this probably have copious amounts of friends. Most people do, don’t they? But making real friendships comes hard for me. I know a ton of people, but the number which I would classify as close friends . . . gosh, maybe five, and that might be a stretch.
So to suddenly meet people, spur of the moment meetings, nothing really in common other than this singular common thread of hiking, and to call them friends, and to actually think about them AND care about them, well, it’s really quite strange and, dare I say, wonderful.
It’s an improbable and wild ride I am on.
Sis, I wish I had thought to hike the PCT twenty years ago, but I was too busy trying to get my shit together. Now, I’m quite happy writing about someone else hiking it. Quite frankly, I get tired just thinking about doing it nowadays. 🙂
Thanks, Irish! I’m amazed by the hikers who can hike a grueling trail and then, at the end of the day, edit videos. Super human, me thinks.
Bill, it was wonderful hearing about how Bev is doing on the trek and perfectly understandable the last thing on her mind would be social media. Please do pass on my congrats to her she is doing a great job! it is lovely hearing to hear it from your perspective and from hers as it is all teamwork too. Have a great week guys !! Ciao!
Bro…That is the LAST question I would think to ask! Bev, as you so aptly said it, is the Hiker. Although she might have plenty of stories in her bonnet, I can’t even imagine her feeling the need to record them! That’s what her Bill is for! You’re so accurate that you 2 are the perfect team. I’m only assuming but I’ll bet her primary needs when it’s time to rest from hiking, are certainly the most basic….refreshment, relaxation, and rest! A snuggle with my brother, goes without saying! Whatever she chooses to do, she earns it in spades! Bless you both and your family/friends, at your side. Looking forward to more wonderful tales. What a positively WONDERFUL experience you’re enjoying! Love ya, Sis