3 surprises in my first week hiking the PCT

Noelle here:

The biggest thing that has surprised me during this first week of hiking is my smell. I am stunned, literally stunned by how much I stink and how dirty my hands and feet stay. I switch out socks and underwear daily. And by switch out I mean trade for the other smelly pair, which has hopefully aired out some. I’ve only brought two pair of each. I use hand sanitizer and wet wipes, yet all they seem to do is smear the dirt around. I simply smell.

Two. I’ve been surprised by how quickly we developed friendships out here. And then equally surprised by how much solitude there is through out the day. Three of our group went home already. Two of them sped up a great deal, so we’re in between groups right now. I’m sure we’ll meet more people who hike at a pace similar to ours. But right now I’m just enjoying Steve.

The third thing that has surprised me this first week of hiking is how beautiful the views are. I’m not sure what I thought it was going to look like but it’s been so fantastic. The uphills are still slaying me, but I am getting stronger and walking around a bend and seeing a huge valley in front of me has been crazy! Today felt hard for several reasons but then Steve warmed up some water and I took a little sponge bath. It doesn’t get much better than that!

7 thoughts on “3 surprises in my first week hiking the PCT

  1. So jealous of you guys! My wife and I plan on hiking the PCT together as well but won’t be for a few years at least. Looking g forward to following your journey and living vicariously through the two of you. Good luck!

    1. Remember ‘WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER’. Including b.o. 💕 Mom n Dad

      1. Haha. Some day hikers have passed us on the trail and it’s been clear from their faces, that the smell is killing them! N

    2. Thanks Ryan! Glad you’re enjoying our journey so far!

    3. Hi Ryan-
      We’re glad that you’re following our journey! Hopefully you’ll find the information applicable and helpful.

      Thanks for following us!

  2. Finally catching up on what you kids have been up to. Well done! Steve, I’m impressed you’re still shaving. I think I’d of given that up and just gone for the beard. Have you guys noticed any bodily changes yet? We did some pretty long/exerting trips when I was in high school. I remember around the first week or so, starting to notice calf muscles I didn’t know I had, and dropping lots of weight from the calorie deficiency.

    1. Hi Brady, thanks! Steve’s not actually shaving 🤣🤣🤣. He did get a really short haircut and a completely smooth face the day before we started. I think he’s lost some weight but pretty sure I have not. I haven’t been hungry yet though, people say it takes a little longer for women to get hiker hunger, we’ll see! We’re both noticing quite a bit of soreness. Getting out of the tent in the morning was much easier in our 30’s. Ha! Noelle

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