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.

Dirty Hiking Feet
Dirty Hiking Feet

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.

Steve at a Memorial Site
Steve at a Memorial Site

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!

PCT vistas
PCT vistas
It's our first week hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. What surprises me most about our time out here so far? Come check it out.
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