Although the trail possesses immense amounts of natural beauty, it is the people the make the experience as special as it is. With that said, I feel I have neglected this part of my experience in my blog. To fix this, I will introduce you to the people that I have shared the past few months with.
From mile 263-788 I backpacked with a guy named Harry. Harry is a 19 year old from Houston Texas. As it just so happens, he will be starting Trinity university in San Antonio this year. Harry runs cross country and ran for a D1 school but didn’t like the grind so he decided to go to trinity. His cross country skills show in his hiking and I had to work hard to keep up with him. The only thing better than his hiking pace are the constant and terrible puns. Sadly, he had to get off trail to train for his upcoming season so in Bishop, we split ways.
Prince is a 20 year old from Denmark. Having never backpacked a day in his life, he decided to do the pct and has been on trail ever since. Additionally, he wins the award for carrying the most candy of anyone on the entire trail. Because of this and his generous spirit, he is a easy person to like and quickly makes friends wherever he goes. I started backpacking with Price at mile 702 and split up with him less then a week ago.
Hummingbird just celebrated her 21 birthday on trail. She is a graduate student at University of Rochester and is studying molecular genetics. Despite meeting much criticism for the idea of attempting the trail, she went anyways which is just one testimony to her drive as an individual. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a more driven person. Even though her hiking pace is slower than mine, she is over 80 miles ahead of me on trail because she keeps going after everyone has stopped to rest.
Lone Wolf is one member of my trail family that I don’t know as well as I would like. The little bit I do know is very intriguing though. With Lana del Ray as her soundtrack, she spent two years living on a sail boat and sailed around the world. You name a place and she’s been. After that she has worked cool jobs at ranches and resorts in exotic places. She is currently with Prince a few days ahead of me.
I started backpacking with Nick at mile 788 and have been with him ever since. Not only does he have a great taste in music and an impeccable eye for photography, but he finds a way to see the beauty in every situation. When I am tired and slightly angry at the world, Nick’s romantic view of the world rubs off and lightens my mood. Additionally, this 22 year old from Sweden runs a pct blog and is a better writer than I am by miles. So go check out his page. or don’t because it will make me look bad.
People come and go on trail. My time with them is short but their impact on me is great. The trail bonds people in a way normal society fails to. I have only known them a matter of weeks, yet I am closer with them than people I have known for years. They give it character, variety, and meaning. Most importantly, they share in this crazy goal and I feel blessed to call them friends.