PCT: Post Trail day 13


We left the trail in California and went straight to my parents home in Colorado. Pretty much all of our non-hiking possessions are in storage in Portland.

Our first week here in Colorado was just crazy. Moving my parents into an assisted living/memory care facility. (My dad was aware of the impending move and my mom was unaware.) Stress. Oh my gosh the stress.

I wore my hiking garb pretty much everywhere. It’s all I have! I did put on my hiking trousers for a meal that we shared together before my folks “walked through the double doors” at the Assisted living/memory care facility. It was surreal. It’s one thing to plan this kind of “event”, it’s another thing to make it happen, but it’s a whole different animal to live with the consequences or reality of the decision.

I still haven’t cut my hair or trimmed my beard. It’s a connection to the trail. When I cut it off, or trim it up, the finality of the situation will be unavoidable. I’m not returning to the trail. I’m all done.

I finally broke down and purchased two pairs of pants and six pair of underwear. How very odd to change underwear each day! How odd to wear underwear! It’s been a week of wearing underwear each day and I’m still not accustomed to it. I miss my hiking shorts.

We (myself and Noelle plus two of my siblings) celebrated my sister’s birthday at a sip and paint. It was my first sip and paint. I don’t recall the last time I celebrated my sister’s birthday with her, so it was quite nice.

Celebrating my sister at Paint Nite!

The amount of plastic waste all around us is appalling. It’s crazy, on the trail I’m using the same water bottles, day in and day out. Out here, in “civilization” my drinks arrive in plastic cups. So much waste. I am enjoying my Keurik coffee though, so I suppose I’m not loosing that much sleep over it though.

Love the name of this bar

I’m immensely enjoying my daily showers, but sort of miss how special the showers were when I was hiking the trail. Bathing is just part of my daily routine now. I don’t see big rivulets of dirt going down the drain. I don’t need to go crazy with a washcloth.

I’m wearing deodorant. That’s quite nice. I would notice my smell when I went into town, but not so much on the trail. Now, each morning I’m putting on my deodorant. It’s nice for everyone around me, so I suppose I can live with this hassle.

I bought a slim leather wallet, but I prefer my ziplock bag wallet. It’s just another nail in the coffin of my thru-hike, the acclimization back into society. I need to carry my identification and credit cards in my pocket. On the trail my ziplock remained in my pack most of the time.

The noise, the people, the commotion and the personalities overwhelm me. It’s so noisy.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, inch by inch, trail life is becoming dimmer and dimmer in the rear view mirror.

This afternoon we edited a video for YouTube. Oh my gosh, how wonderful for me. (Not so wonderful for viewer, but that’s ok.) The pictures kind of bring it back, sort of, not really. It’s already like a different life.

What I really want to do is put on my gear, hit the trail, plug in some tunes and crank out some miles.


  1. Ashley

    I’m sure it will never be the same, but I hope you’ll find time to hike and connect to nature because it’s so special to you!

  2. Heidi L Halverson

    Now I see it – Bob Ross. You’re almost there.

  3. Heidi L Halverson

    Yeah. You’re a badass. Don’t change a thing.

  4. Tony and Kathy

    We have missed starting our day with your blog. We have followed you in awe of your experience. We will never walk that trail, but we have walked the parents-in-assisted-living/memory-care trail. It takes you in a different direction. Keep in touch, dear ones.

  5. Gregory Fast

    When I was 17, I left home and went to live in Europe for a year. As I left, a friend gave me the book, “You can’t go Home Again”, by Thomas Wolfe. Your writing reminds me of the experience of the character in the book and also some of the major life changing experiences of my life. Some of these are so momentous that we are forever changed. We can’t “go home”, because it no longer exists, because who we are can’t return to who we were.

  6. Anonymous

    Sharing your memories brings trail hiking alive for all of us. Thank you. Praying that your memories stay vivid for you & Noelle. Clive & Marilyn

    • Chainsaw Manlove

      There are mileage alternatives you could try out. Don’t wear any underwear, skip the deodorant, pop in a podcast, slip those hiking shoes on and bang out a good 20 miles on the treadmill at your local YMCA while you watch Fox News. It will be 99% your thru hike experience, I’m certain.

  7. Patricia Krajewski

    Steve and Noelle you have a “standing ovation” from me👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *