The Pacific Crest Trail is a National Scenic Trail that spans 2,660 miles from the Mexican border in Campo, California, to the Canadian border in Manning Park, British Columbia. In California the trail crosses through the dry southern deserts, then the rugged Sierra Nevada, and finally the mountain ranges comprising northern California.
In Oregon, the trail becomes more enclosed under the large evergreen trees and makes its way around Crater Lake, through the Three Sisters Wilderness, and around Mt Jefferson and Mt Hood. Finally, in Washington the trail takes on the stunning Cascades and often tumultuous weather, traversing up and down the steep mountains before terminating in British Columbia.
My very first solo long-distance ride was completing the entirety of this trail in 2014. The Pacific Crest Trail first broke me down, scraping every plan I had devised; but then just as quickly it built me back up again. I arrived at the Canadian border utterly confused as to what the last 5 months on that trail had actually done to me. It didn’t take long at home, however, for me to realize that what had happened was that I had fallen in love with the trail. I had fallen in love with the good and bad moments, the hard and easy days. I had fallen in love with the entire experience that entails a journey in the remote backcountry on horseback.
In 2016, I set off again on the Pacific Crest Trail hoping to test all that the trail had taught me in 2014. My 2016 ride was a once-in-a-lifetime experience; I had far fewer bad days and the good days were even better than in 2014. The second ride on the Pacific Crest Trail forever solidified my passion for traveling in the mountains with my horses. I will be forever grateful to all that the Pacific Crest Trail has given me.