Week 6 & 7 Recap

June 11 - June 25, 2023

This post is written on behalf of Madelynn by guest blogger Dan Bolliger! 

I am hoping to provide short updates every two weeks detailing Madelynn's progress on the PCT and sharing some highlights.

The past two weeks

Madelynn and her crew have made great progress on the trail. They hit a number of huge milestones and had to make some big decisions. I am getting less information from Madelynn now as she is in Northern California and cell service is much less reliable. I will still provide an update but it is certainly missing a lot of the details and stories that I know she wants to tell. I am hoping that she will get some time soon to write a longer blog post about her first month and a half on trail.

The first big milestone on the PCT is finishing the desert section. This section of trail consists of the high deserts and mountains of southern California, stretching from the US/Mexican border North into the Mojave and on to the Sierra Mountains. The desert is a tough section because it is hot, sandy, and there is little water. It is also not flat like you might imagine a desert - rather there are many long climbs and descents, some over 5,0000 ft. Madelynn was very excited to complete this section two weeks ago and head back into the forests and mountains. The photo to the right shows the Sierra mountains, taken from the desert far below.

The second major event has been Madelynn's decision to drive around the Sierra mountains and continue straight into Northern California. The Sierra have seen a HUGE amount of snow this year which makes PCT travel extremely slow. Madelynn decided that her time would be better spent hiking through Northern California and Oregon while the snow in the Sierra melts, because it will be easier to come back and hike the Sierra later in the summer when there is much less snow. This plan seems really smart and seems to be a really popular option this year with many hikers choosing to do the same. Once her and her team finished the desert, they rented a car and drove from Tehachapi North to Donner Pass, where they have continued their hike. They even stopped in Truckee for a rest day and went climbing!

Madelynn and I have been shipping items like food and gear back and forth as different things are needed. Often, Madelynn includes a small note or drawing in these shipments, and I wanted to share one. This is a sketch I really enjoyed of her campsite, done on a folded over paper towel. While it is fun to follow along with Madelynn from Seattle, I am very excited because I will be joining her for a week of hiking in July. I'll fly in to Medford and hike with her for five or so days. I need to start training! I look forward to spending time with her and experiencing some of the trail life that she has been living since May.

Lastly - Madelynn passed the halfway mark! There is a sign indicating the point on the trail that is 1,320.7 miles from both Mexico and Canada.

That is all for now! See y'all in two weeks.