Smile with me


Wait… Don’t say „O I’m sorry to hear!“ or “ I told you so!” or “What? You gave up?” No don’t say anything like that. Instead smile with me and share my gratitude ‘cause I was able to walk a thousand miles! To some it may seem little, to some it may seem much, to me it is what it is and it’s been wonderful!

So yes come SMILE with me, be happy with me and grateful with me. Because every step I took through the hot dry desert brought me here. Every pass I climbed in my beloved Sierra Nevada brought me here. Every valley I walked through brought me here. Every tear, every smile, every meeting brought me here… Home!

Instead of flying to Seattle and start hiking southbound we decided to take the plane home. Why? There are many reasons (most of them are very positive), not just the crazy pain in my hips, about which I’ll write in a later blog post… There is so much to write after the journey we took that I need to gather my thoughts ;c)

For now I just wanna share the happiness and gratitude I feel in my heart. THANK YOU to everyone who supported me/us on this journey. THANK YOU to HQ for being my partner and my best friend!!! THANK YOU to the awesome people who donated to the PCTA via my fundraiser. You guys made a difference, hell yes! THANK YOU to everybody who got in touch with me before and during my hike, for offering a place to store our bike, for offering a bed, for offering rides. I won’t forget about you wonderful people. Please get in touch when you travel through Europe. You are always welcome to stay with us! THANK YOU Betty for your enormous amount of help during the first few weeks!!! We will never forget!!! THANK YOU Diane and Martin for opening your house to us and letting us feel at home in Santa Barbara!!! THANK YOU Wade for the amaaaazing dinner! It was the best dinner we had in years!!! THANK YOU to our friends and family, for your support at home and along the way!!! A huuuge THANK YOU to Gen Shimizu from Yama Mountain Gear for creating mYAMAdventure, for giving me the opportunity to participate, for your support, not just with gear! It was great meeting you in Yosemite Valley and we both hope to meet you again!!! THANK YOU to all my mYAMAdventure mentors, for your mentorship, for all the answers to all the questions, for your support! THANK YOU to my sponsors! Gossamer Gear, Trekking Lite Store, Yama Mountain Gear, Euroschirm, Bedrock Sandals, Dirty Girl Gaiters, the Mouse Works, Darn Tough, Leki, the Stick Pic, Lightheart Gear! You all rock!!! THANK YOU Ligia, Kiki, Allison, Jaxx, Erin, Dawn, Ruby and all the other women I got to know via the “Ladies of the JMT” group. You wonderful women are a constant inspiration! THANK YOU Stacey! You reminded me it’s not about the accomplishment but about nature! You are a blessing! THANK YOU John Ladd, once again, for sharing your knowledge about the Sierra and keeping me updated with snow info! THANK YOU to all the amaaazing people giving us rides. We actually met some of the most wonderful men and women not on trail but in cars haha! THANK YOU to Aquanaut and Little Bear for the craziest ride ever and for spending some great days on trail together. Come visit us guys! THANK you to everyone who gave us food, just out of nothing, maybe because we looked hungry (I bet we were). Karma will give back to you! THANK YOU to Toni and all the other climbers at Camp 4. It was wonderful to spend time with you guys, hear about El Cap and Half Dome and the other routes in Yosemite! THANK YOU to the PCTA! For preserving and maintaining the PCT. The work you guys do is incredible! (My fundraiser is still open, so come on, donate and make a difference. If you donate via my fundraiser or via the fundraiser of one of the other mYAMAdventure participants, you will receive one year membership for $25 instead of the regular $35!!!) THANK YOU to all the animals we met, each chipmunk, each marmot, each butterfly, each deer, each pika! You beauties made us smile! You are the ones we wanna learn from! THANK YOU to the plants, the wild flowers, the grasses, the trees, for sharing your colors and beauty with us, for offering shade. THANK YOU to the few raindrops, the sound of thunder, the wind, the sun, the stars and the moon. For nourishing us, our bodies and our souls, for showing us the way. THANK YOU for everything my eyes can’t see but my heart can feel, my soul can witness. There is so much more to this world than what can be seen with our eyes. The magic is everywhere!!! THANK YOU to our parents, and grandparents and ancestors long long ago. For giving us life!!! Truly the greatest gift of all!!! And last but not least THANK YOU to you my mother earth. For carrying us. People, animals, plants, nature… For being our home!!! Thank you thank you thank you, with all of my heart, THANK YOU!!!

O ya… Am I gonna finish the PCT at some point? Does it matter? Walking all the steps from A to B? I guess it doesn’t. Like I once wrote… It’s not the distance, it’s not the “one path”, it’s the way we walk through life in general… But ya, I think if I’m still able to walk in a few years or when I’ll be able to walk again in a few years, I’ll return to the PCT. One day. For now I am very happy to be at home. It’s time for something else now… like planting a cherry tree and a walnut tree and growing crops in the garden (I better get to it so we have food for the winter haha) and more nice things like that ;c)! As for hiking… as long as I can still walk I will hike. We’ll see what the rest of the summer will bring. Maybe the GR20 or the Tour du Mont Blanc or just one of the mid distance trails in Germany. Or maybe I’ll just stay at home.

Thank you all for following along. It’s been wonderful!

Love, Cat

PS: I’ll try to get a gear review and my favorite pictures up soon, but first I need to get the garden ready ;c)


23 thoughts on “Smile with me

  1. As you finished this long read ! Get the garden ready as you will be spending the first weeks there, at least I did after my 1700 kilometres hike two years ago. 😉
    And thanks for sharing this wonderful adventure Cat.
    Looking forward to you pictures, and hope to follow your footsteps one day.
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your joy is infectious, more need to learn to follow your lead. Life is best when lived as a journey and not a destination. More times than not we get caught up in the finale when it’s really the chapters that we’ll remember. You’ll always get my vote! Stay in touch and remain the positive motivator for the many others following in your footsteps. Rest well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cat, you are my inspiration. My lower spine is held together with titanium hardware. The pain manifests in my hips. But I hike when I can. I enjoy every trail, every pebble, every blade of grass, every marmot, everyone I meet on passes and valleys. You are a treasure of goodness, Cat. I am so happy that I found you on the internet. Thank You, Dear Person, Jim Jarvis, California

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim, thank you so much!!! Your message makes me smile 🙂 Keep on enjoying the great outdoors cause even when we are in pain, isn’t nature a band-aid to it all? She soothes and heals like only a mother can. Good luck to you!!! Cat

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cat,

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us once again. I am happy to hear that you seem to have gotten what you wanted to out of this trip; that is what true success is, not hitting some finish line. Best wishes for all things to come.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice to read that you are happy and you made your decisions! I am very much with you on many views you’ve shared Helen. I’ve followed most of your postings since some time before you started the PCT. And enjoyed to take part a little bit, i liked your pictures a lot. Thank you for that, wishing you all the best for your future – and i’ll still have a look here from time to time 🙂 Doris

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Welcome home!!! And THANK YOU for sharing your great adventure!

    If you start the GR 20 in the next couple of weeks, let me know. I’ll be there from the 11th to the end of August 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for for sharing your journey in the States. Thank you for inspiring people to appreciate and make that connection with mother nature.
    All the best from the west coast.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Congratulations on your adventure, Cat! You are a success, no matter what, with your super positive attitude. So happy for you that you had your adventure. Maybe it wasn’t what you originally thought it would be but it was the right one foe you at that time. Good luck with your hip surgery!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ahhhh I love this post so much. I think you’ve achieved something wonderful and amazing: to truly appreciate the experiences you’ve had. And you never know where life will take you in the future 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy to hear you like it. Ya you’re so right, you never know where life’ll take you, so we better just smile and be happy right cause I bet something magical is waiting for those who enjoy the little things in life ;-P

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Just catching up with your recent posts, thrilled you got to hike the Narrows!
    Big hugs to you and HQ, and much respect for the phenomenal truth and beauty, shining through your pain, in all your experiences on the PCT this year. –Betty

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s