Already in good shape and had always been into athletics and fitness, but did nothing in particular to train for the thru hike.
Got dropped off at Harts Pass on July 9th. Went straight south.
Date Reached So. Kennedy Meadows
Made it to the US/Mexico border
Bright Eyes had always wanted to explore Western America, many spots which were on the PCT. She had never imagined doing a thru-hike, however the timing was right and the ambition was there.
Although she had no backpacking experience, Bright Eyes set off to do the PCT solo with little expectations of what was going to become of it. At many times she left trail to venture off into new things, thinking she had reached the end of her thru hike, but the trail always called her back. Bright Eyes got to see everything she had imaged plus more, completing her thru hike and falling completely in love with the PCT.
“Before I even set off, I got a lot of negativity and criticism towards my decision to hike the PCT from family, friends, and other hikers because of my lack of experience. It is really easy to let that stuff get to you but the important thing is to not let it. Yea, I didn’t have any backpacking experience, but I knew what I was getting into, did my research, and had the confidence, motivation and ambition I needed in order complete the PCT. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how you do it. People always make excuses why they can’t thru hike- timing, age, experience, etc. None of that matters. You just have to be able to put yourself out there and say “I’m doing this.”. It’s possible no matter what. Hike your own hike and make it the experience you hoped for and everything more.”
HER TRAIL ADVICE
“Just enjoy everything and every moment on trail. Take a million photos. Embrace your blisters, the days you want to quit, stressful town stops, soggy Washington weather. Everything. You’ll miss it when it’s over, even more than you think.”
“Everything is going to work out how it should. You didn’t do enough miles one day? You had to take an unplanned zero? Your box didn’t show up on time? It’s okay. There are going to be a few bumps in the road but each bump is going to get you to a new place with amazing people. Each bump is going to change your journey and craft your trip. One thing is going to lead to another and it will all work out. Some of my favorite moments on trail came out of things not working out how they were “supposed to”. So don’t stress about it, it isn’t going to matter in the end.”
“Take advantage of the mental and physical capabilities you have during your hike. The PCT allows you to surprise yourself in a million different ways… so let it. You have a clear-cut goal that might seem impossible some days, but so doable others. Challenge yourself, be spontaneous, set goals, do things you didn’t think you could ever do. Take full advantage of the shape and state you are in because the outcomes will be amazing.”
“I spent an abnormally long time hiking by myself and had felt I was missing out on the social aspect of thru hiking, especially when hitting the NOBO heard. Don’t let mileage get in your way of missing out on these types of moments. If you find a group you want to camp with, cut your day short. Stop and have lunch with a NOBO passing by. Stay at the Dinsmores and the Andersons even if you didn’t plan on it. Finish your hike with a group even if you had a different end date in mind. These things are parts of the PCT. Skipping these moments just weren’t an option for me and they are easily some of my favorite moments on trail. Mileage is important, but don’t fly through your hike and miss out on these opportunities, because those moments are what you’ll remember when it’s over.”