The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the greatest long-distance hikes in the world. It’s a highlight of a life well-lived. I look forward to sharing my story with you when I walked the PCT in 2019 with a stranger and type 1 diabetes.
April – September 2019
Pacific Northwest, USA
California, Oregon, Washington
4 to 6 months as a continuous thru hike
The challenge is to complete the PCT in a single calendar year, but most hikers are section hikers returning each holiday season to complete new sections each year.
The Pacific Crest Trail, officially designated as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT), is a long-distance hiking and horse trail closely aligned with the highest parts of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, which lie 100 to 150 miles (160–240kms) east of the US Pacific coast. It is 2,650 miles (4,265kms) long and ranges in elevation from just above sea level at the Oregon–Washington border to 13,153 feet (4,009m) at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada.
The trail’s southern terminus is just south of Campo, California by the US border with Mexico, and its northern terminus is on the US–Canada border on the edge of Manning Park in British Columbia. It passes through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, 25 national forests, seven national parks and dozens of wilderness areas.
Most hikers walk the PCT in a northerly direction. The challenge is to start around April, to avoid the searing summer heat of Southern California’s desert, and to push on at a consistent pace to make sure you reach the Northern Terminus Monument and border before Washington State’s first snowfall in late September. Six months is a reasonable timeframe in which to complete the trail, but it could take longer.
The PCT Association (PCTA) describes it as one of the best trail experiences on Earth. Majestic images of mountains, valleys, rugged terrain, wildflowers, and wildlife leap out at you from your computer screen. I could not envisage a better hike. Visit the PCT Association PCTA Website for full details on how to make it happen for you.
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Love all the flowers, can’t wait to read your book when it’s published! What an epic walk.
Thank you Sarah. I can’t wait for you to read it. There are plenty more flowers to engross you and one mighty great story to tell. Keep checking my website for the latest news of upcoming release date.
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You are one inspiring lady and I’m pleased you are my Sunday golfing partner. Your PCT hike kept me entertained for hours and I’m sure the book will be a terrific read. I do hope it gets published so that you can get some well-deserved acclamations. I wish I had half of your stamina.
Thank you, Graham. After hiking, golfing is my next favourite pastime. I enjoy picking your brains for invaluable tips on how I can improve this area of my life too. You also inspire and I enjoy our weekly battles on the course.
My daughter was diagnosed with T1D 6 years ago as a young adult. We have no family history and I have tried to learn as much as possible so that I can be as supportive to her as possible. I can only begin to imagine the extra challenges you had to face on the PCT with the impact of elevations and exercise on your glucose levels. Do you go into those challenges in your book? I would love to read it when it comes out. My daughter has managed her disease very well (she will be graduating from her Masters program in a month) but this disease still scares me. Thank you for the fund raising you are doing! It is greatly needed!
Hi Deb, Thanks for reaching out. Yes, walking the PCT with type 1 diabetes had its challenges but they were not insurmountable. When I publish my book the story will detail how Shepherd and I managed our diabetes in all conditions ie. how we managed resupply of our insulin and stored it on trail and how we treated frequent low Blood Glucose Levels (BGLs). We knew how to treat our condition and needed to constantly readjust our dosage downwards with hefty mileage each day and the impact of high altitude. I look forward to sharing my journey with you and your daughter and will keep you informed of likely publish date. Congratulations to your daughter for managing her disease and getting on with her life too. Best wishes, Katrina ‘Kit Kat’ Hemingway