I was just talking to a hikertrash friend when we started chatting about how beautiful thruhikers are. That’s when the idea came to my mind to write a loveletter to a thruhiker. No it’s not just dedicated to one particular thruhiker, it is written to all thruhikers, the ones that hiked in the past, the lucky bastards that are rocking the trails right now and the ones in the future. Now this might be a bit cheesy, but hell, I don’t give a fuck, you know that ;cP

Here’s to all of you thruhikers, men and women: MY LOVELETTER TO YOU:


How beautiful you are. Your wild eyes, your dust-covered body and your heart thirsty for freedom. Your feet leaving your tracks on the trails around this world. They’re scarred but strong. They take you where your heart wants to go. No one knows exactly where you’ve been and no one knows exactly where you’ll go. But you go baby, o you go! Sometimes you’re fast like a wolf, concentrated, head down to the trail, still fully aware. Sometimes you’re slow like a turtle, stopping every second step to drink the wild air, still never losing a race. 

Look at your hair, it’s all tangled up and sticky and dusty, but the sun makes it shine like gold. 
Look at your face, it’s weathered like a tree shaped by the wind. The lines and the wrinkles tell the story of the places you’ve been, of the people you’ve met and the battles you’ve won. 
Look at your hands, colored with dirt, they’re both empty and full, they receive and they give, they hold a whole world. 
Look at your mind, it’s wide open, it’s searching and finding at the same time. 
O and your heart, have you looked into it? It’s thirsty, growing bigger and stronger with each mile you go, beating like crazy, wild and untamed. 

How real you are. How the trail stripped you down to the core of your being. Dirty and smelly but honest and real. Thruhiker, meeting you, one gets what one sees, that’s for sure. The smell of sweat and a dirty hug, yet also shiny eyes so alive, expressing joy and wonder and revealing all your wild dreams, all the steps you took in life.

How strong you are. Getting up every morning, deciding it’s a perfect day to live your dream and by doing that, maybe disappointing others, not following the given paths in life, doing your own thing, getting away from it all (O we both know you’re not running away from it all, you’re diving right into it). You should know that even those who would want you to do things differently, still secretly admire you. You inspire your enemies and your friends. You inspire the people that cross your path. You are brave enough to live what many people dream of.

How wild you are. Human still, but getting closer to where we all come from. How the trail blurs the dividing line between you and the earth, between you and the trees, between you and the wind, between you and the wildlife. You’ve become wildlife yourself now, you’ve become the earth and the trees and the wind that tangles up your hair. 

How crazy you are. Absolutely mad. The kind of madness to fall in love with. Laughing and joking and turning the world upside down. How I love the way you do that. Making fun of life, not giving a fuck, and still loving it more deeply and fiercely most people could ever imagine..

O Thruhiker, how beautiful you are. Your wild eyes, your dust-covered body and your heart thirsty for freedom!


PS: You are my hero!!!


20 thoughts on “Loveletter to a thruhiker

  1. I dont think we hiked together….but your posts keep popping up in some of my friends' feeds and each have been as delightful as they are candid…pct14!

    amiththan “swami bittergoat” AT nobo 2013


  2. Thanks Swami bittergoat!!! Happy you like my writings! Na we haven't hiked together but then in a way we did/do all hike together. We're all in the same boat (well boat ain't the right word for a thruhiker hahaha), making our way through deserts and mountainranges, through forests and snowfields. We're all leaving footprints somewhere, may it be in the mud of a rainy trail or in other people's hearts :c) So actually, yes we hiked together ;c)
    Love, Cat


  3. Cat,
    Really well conceived and well written poem. I like verse that doesn't rhyme and tells a story the way you have. I posted your link to Muk on her site. I started reading your blog after you posted your mountain lion story on her blog.
    I provided some trail magic and I met her briefly on the PCT here in Washington State just before the rain and snow last year.
    I'm glad you guys hooked up, at least on the blogs.


  4. Tim, thanks so much for your kind feedback!!! At first I wasn't sure whether I should post this loveletter or not cuz I kinda made me feel vulnerable. But now I am so glad I did. I think it's great you thought of Muk when you read it! I hope to meet her some day too! Love and thanks for following my journey, Cat


  5. Hi Vincent, I thought of it but I'm not all sure yet… First in row is the PCT, my next dream is the CDT and then there is the Te Araroa Trail and hiking from the most northern point of Europe to the most southern point. O well I guess if I haven't slowed down by then, I might hit the AT too. But first things first. PCT 2015 and then we'll see what happens. Cuz if there is something I learned in the 31 years of my life, it is that you never get what you planned for :c)


  6. Beautiful description of the heart and soul of a hiker. My heart is starting to warm to the idea of getting out the old hiking boots and hitting the trail again. Maybe to tackle the CDT. You have truly been an inspiration to me. My heart wants to go now but my body must get ready.


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