Horseshoe to Kearsarge

by Gillian Larson | posted: August 24, 2014

The last week or so has been a complete blur. After Takoda and I rode south from Agnew Meadow to Vermilion Valley resort, my mom's friend Jason met me there with the camper despite having to negotiate his way around a wildfire that was burning in the area and had created some road closures. We raced home for the first meetings for grad school and my T.A. position at CSUN, finally arriving about 6:00 am on Wednesday. I had meetings with my graduate advisor that day and the next, as well as some orientation sessions to attend, then a T.A. meeting on Friday, after which my mom picked me up with the truck and trailer and we drove to Horseshoe Meadow so that I could do another short section over the weekend. I rode north up and over Forrester Pass at 13,000 feet, the highest point of the entire PCT, and one of the highest of all the Sierra passes. We also went by Mt. Whitney (which isn't all that much higher than Forrester), and then Mom picked us up at the Onion Valley trailhead after we came off the PCT via Kearsarge Pass. Just a few hours later, early Monday morning, I was back at CSUN, teaching my first lab section as a grad student and T.A. I have more teaching on Tuesday, as well as some classes that I am very excited about, and then one last section of the PCT to finish up before I can say that I've done it all, when I'll be going back over Kearsarge to the PCT to ride the rest of the way north to Vermilion Valley Resort. It is a very stressful juggling act to combine these last few PCT miles with the new responsibilities and challenges of grad school and teaching, but I've come too far at this point not to push through and complete this ride. However, I look forward to being able to turn my full attention to the next important part of my life, which is beginning even as I am bringing this amazing adventure to a close.


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