Monday, October 22, 2012

So Many Thanks....

I have so many people to thank, and if I have left you off here I am truly sorry, it's been an amazing six months, so much that certain details have already started to evade my memory. THANK YOU TO: My parents, Keith and Toyka, and Alesia for endlessly allowing me to be me, and supporting my decisions, for showing me your love and making me feel how proud I made you. Such a great feeling. My brother Casey, for your hard work and dedication to helping me with re-supply and always being a rock in my life. Keep up the great work, you are an excellent father and role model for Donovan. Dana, for opening your heart to me, and for showing me how to be happy again, making me feel good about myself and what I have to offer the world. And the kisses. All the kisses. Sara, for being such an amazing, giving, and strong person. Your toughness inspires us all. I am so glad to call you one of my best friends in this world. Jason W, for being there, opening your heart and life to me, helping me get in touch with some major skills for coping, dealing with, and moving past tough situations in life. Our talks have helped shape me into a more well rounded person and I am forever thankful. Cpt. James (zZz), for being a friend, for making me feel like this WAS something I can accomplish from the very beginning. You are awesome bro, and I miss you a lot. Scott and Paul, for being such amazing guys, so open, you were there for me when I needed you, you made sure that I was on the right path, and were instrumental in regaining some confidence that was lost long ago. Thanks for pushing me, for having confidence in me, I owe you two big. DIP and Becky, you saved me two times from some serious heat. You opened your home and family to me like I was your own blood. I will never forget it. You are truly part of my trail family and I can not wait to see you awesome folks in the future. The Coffmans, for being my friends, supporting me endlessly regardless of how good of a friend I may or may not have been for sometime now. I owe you guys many thanks as well as some apologies for not always being the best of friend I could have. Lynne and Phil, for sticking with me, supporting my decisions from day 1 and always being solid. I miss you two and the family dinners more than you could ever realize. THE PINKSTONS, Summer, Zack, Aaron, for being 3 of the best friends a guy could have. You three make me so happy and proud to be your friend, and I look forward to spending so much more time creating amazing memories with you three. Thanks for making me feel like another sibling. You are such an amazing group. and to all the other hikers, angels, friends, family who have followed, for opening your homes, or giving rides, or who have lend me kind words of support, liked or commented on my site here or on facebook, who have texted, called, wrote, or made me feel like what i was doing was something special. none of this could have been accomplished without all of you. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world with so many amazing people in my life. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. KRISTO

well, now I am done and onto something else...

I have needed to wrap this up for the last week now, but have been putting it off. I don't like this feeling that this part of my life is over. I learned and experienced so much in the last six months, and for the last year my entire life has sort of revolved around planning for, and executing a thru-hike of the PCT. Well I am so proud to say I have accomplished what I set out to do. I hiked from Mexico to Canada in just under six months. I met so many amazing people. I lost over 60 pounds while getting into the best shape of my life. I found a new zest for life that was seriously missing before. I learned a lot about myself and what makes me happy. I have to thank everyone who has followed along, supported, donated, and helped me out along the way. If it wasn't for you amazing people, I guarantee that this would not have been possible for me to accomplish. There were many trying, stressful, crazy situations that arose, but the trail was always there, to help me get back on track, in the right direction. Through sickness, heartache, physical struggles, mental breakdowns, I always knew there were people who were jealous, envious, thankful, appreciative, proud, wishful, a whole number of emotions, that wished they could be right there with me, struggling, and that is truly what helped power me on the hard days. So thanks to each and every one of you who contacted me and let me know I was in your thoughts. To my friends who actually stayed in contact, wondered how I was doing and if there was anything they could do to help be a part of this adventure. To my family for allowing me to be me, to follow my dreams, to choose my own path and to show that I am a little bit crazy, a little unique and capable of being happy without falling into a societal routine that seems to get me down and needing more out of life that working for a paycheck. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. As to what is next, I am still struggling to find what that is, or where I want that to be. I am currently looking for work, in a few different locations. I would love to keep traveling, to keep experiencing new things, meeting new people on a daily basis. The transition back into a life not spent on the trail is proving to be another test. A test I wasn't quite expecting to be so tough, but it is a test nonetheless and I know I have the skill set now to pass and be able accomplish whatever it is that I put my mind to.... Thank you all for following along. And please keep checking my site for updates and to see what I am up to, what gear and trails I am conquering now that this is over, to see what my next adventures are and the ones after that and the ones after that.... Peace, Love. Kristo

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stehekin, 80 miles left.

Well, it's almost over. Only 4 more hiking days and this PCT journey will be behind me. It's nearly time because it is getting COLD. Last night was around the mid to low 20's through the night, but I am still a happy guy these days because lately my hiker family has been so great. Mainly because I have been hiking with 2 lovey ladies for nearly 600 miles now, Damsel (dana) and her awesome dog Lucy. We met at Big Lake in Oregon and have walked every mile together since. It is going to be hard to leave them when the hike is done and we return to our 'off-trail' lives a thousand miles apart. That is making this last week much more difficult. Not to mention all the other cool friends I have made in Oregon and Washington like Trip-le Hands, Hollywood, Extra Credit and her bf Cactus, Shakespeare, Navi, Bloodbank, the Up-Chucks, knees, Natty, Sunshine and T-Rex, Hotwing, G, xana and panorama, pebbles and Magellan, so many awesome and amazing folks along the way. So proud and happy to be part of this hiker community.
And speaking of falling for things, I fell SO HARD on the trail 2 days ago. Going downhill, I lost my footing, and slammed hard to the ground ~ face first. To this day, my worst hiking injury. I sprained my right thumb really bad falling on it, it is about 2x normal size and tender to the touch, not to mention the swollen/blackened right eye and cuts I was left with as well. I think I have fallen close to 10 times while hiking this year, but this was by far the worst. I must have been laying there in the trail for what seemed like 10 minutes picking dirt and pine needles from my eye socket and spitting dirt from my mouth before even realizing my right hand felt pretty much useless. I had to then scramble to catch up with Damsel to get some ibuproferen from her. What a day. I proceeded to fall once more that day (in the mud)!plus tore all newly sewn areas on my clothes and well, let's just say it was a 'tough' day. D and L always seem to make everything better and all the little things seem insignificant and minute, I was able to laugh it off and enjoy the rest of my evening thanks to them.

I can't believe it is only 80 miles left! Insane! It's been so long since I started this in April. I am ready for THIS adventure to be over, but totally ready for the next one to begin. I wonder where or what it will be....


10 more days...

Well I just spent 2 days at the Dinsmore's hiker haven in Baring/Skykomish, and both Jerry and Andrea are amazing people. This was our last real relaxing stop before finishing, and right now there is one amazing group of hikers about to finish. There were almost 20 hikers at the haven ready to start their last 10 days of hiking towards the border.
It has been getting bitterly cold recently, and the days are getting shorter, but since we are so close to Canada and the end, it's time to just get it done, regardless of the variables.
In other news, I have heard that the Sun has been pretty active recently and that with the clear conditions, it may be possible to see the northern lights here in the next couple weeks as well. That is most definitely on my bucket list, so it would be rad to experience that as part of my last few memories of this 2012 PCT journey...
So, as I type this I am 170 miles from Monument 78 on the U.S - Canadian border, and 178 until I am done hiking....some exciting stuff coming up soon for me!!

Thanks for all the support and for following along!!