The final post?

People often ask me what the most difficult aspect of the trail was. Around central California I began to have an answer to this question: saying goodbye, or not getting the chance to. The trail puts you in contact with fantastic people, and a couple weeks on the trail together feels like years of friendship. Trail family/friends come and go, sometimes with warning sometimes without.

I’m learning though that this means I am living, that I am doing great things which puts me in contact with other people doing great things in their lives. I would rather this be the case than to never have met these people at all (yikes!). My life is one where I see shooting stars in every night sky, metaphorically. Bright bursts of color light up my world, and can be gone just as quickly. Many see a long trail as a metaphor of life, or life condensed down to a six month period, and in our lives important people come and go. There is no avoiding it, and I thank the trail for teaching me this lesson.

I’ve also learned that you can’t tie a neat bow to sum up the end of a grieving period. Yes, I am overwhelmingly joyous that I have finished the PCT, I’ve hiked it all… just as I set out to do. However, the feeling of release and happiness I was hoping to feel at the monument didn’t come that easily. My grandfather is still gone, and I am still grieving. My PCT journey is not your typical one. Entwined with the hiking and adventure are memories of sorrow, pain, and loss. I have zero regrets, and I am happy, but I am still grieving. 

The PCT is a life-changing experience, for the better. Who wouldn’t prefer a night sky full of shooting stars and wonder? Putting myself out there reminds me that I am truly living. I’m grateful for all the friends I’ve met, memories made, steps taken… and all the lows in between. I put a question mark in the title of this post because this will likely be my last post about the PCT, but the PCT is more like a chapter in the book of my life, not the entire story. I’ve got more adventures to live, more stories to tell, more stars to wish upon. 

I just found out I was accepted to one nursing school so far. I’m so excited for this next chapter in my life, and doors it will open for me. 

-Ashley 

**It’s now February 2019, going back in time over two years ago when I stood at that monument, flew home, started a new life… Every follow-up post seemed inadequate. Coming from who I am now, I think I summed it up better than I ever would have thought. Enjoy and peace, Sunshine.

The final post?

People often ask me what the most difficult aspect of the trail was. Around central California I began to have an answer to this question: saying goodbye, or not getting the chance to. The trail puts you in contact with fantastic people, and a couple weeks on the trail together feels like years of friendship. Trail family/friends come and go, sometimes with warning sometimes without.

I’m learning though that this means I am living, that I am doing great things which puts me in contact with other people doing great things in their lives. I would rather this be the case than to never have met these people at all (yikes!). My life is one where I see shooting stars in every night sky, metaphorically. Bright bursts of color light up my world, and can be gone just as quickly. Many see a long trail as a metaphor of life, or life condensed down to a six month period, and in our lives important people come and go. There is no avoiding it, and I thank the trail for teaching me this lesson.

I’ve also learned that you can’t tie a neat bow to sum up the end of a grieving period. Yes, I am overwhelmingly joyous that I have finished the PCT, I’ve hiked it all… just as I set out to do. However, the feeling of release and happiness I was hoping to feel at the monument didn’t come that easily. My grandfather is still gone, and I am still grieving. My PCT journey is not your typical one. Entwined with the hiking and adventure are memories of sorrow, pain, and loss. I have zero regrets, and I am happy, but I am still grieving. 

The PCT is a life-changing experience, for the better. Who wouldn’t prefer a night sky full of shooting stars and wonder? Putting myself out there reminds me that I am truly living. I’m grateful for all the friends I’ve met, memories made, steps taken… and all the lows in between. I put a question mark in the title of this post because this will likely be my last post about the PCT, but the PCT is more like a chapter in the book of my life, not the entire story. I’ve got more adventures to live, more stories to tell, more stars to wish upon. 

I just found out I was accepted to one nursing school so far. I’m so excited for this next chapter in my life, and doors it will open for me. 

-Ashley 

**It’s now February 2019, going back in time over two years ago when I stood at that monument, flew home, started a new life… Every follow-up post seemed inadequate. Coming from who I am now, I think I summed it up better than I ever would have thought. Enjoy and peace, Sunshine.