I arrived at the northern terminus at 10:10 AM. I thought I’d be an emotional wreck. Instead I was calm, stoic, collected. I walked down to the monument and took a few selfies. No one else was here to help take photos, but I was quite alright with that.
I sat near the monument for an hour. I signed the trail register, read other register entries, and reflected on my experience. It was really hard at times. It felt really long at times. It felt perfect at times. But my experience was overwhelmingly good almost the whole time. It was one of the few things I’ve done in life that gives me pride. I actually feel accomplished, and I feel accomplished on my own terms.
I drank a few swigs of Jack Daniels as my celebratory imbibement. The weather was perfect, the breeze kept me cool while the sun kept me warm.
We spend all our lives seeking answers and meaning. Maybe there are no answers, and maybe meaning is self-assigned. But I feel like hiking the PCT was the answer to a lot of my questions, and the experience gave my life and values a lot of meaning. Not in the grand, cosmic sense of “What is the purpose of life?”, but more in the sense of, “If life is short and you could do anything, what would you do?” I chose to hike the PCT, along with thousands of others. It’s not something I’ll ever lose the feeling of. It’s etched into my being.
I’ll never forget the summer of 2019 when I walked from Mexico to Canada.
Main Photo: The northern terminus of the PCT on September 6.