2 Day Hike at Walsertal

Dear friend, this post will be in German since I am describing a trail in german speaking area. If you’re interested about that tour or hiking information around this area, feel free to contact me via email. I am happy to help you out 🙂

Tag 1:
Die Nacht zuvor habe ich mich in Bludenz mit Freunden getroffen. Da der Startpunkt der Wanderung in der Nähe war und ich nicht 50km nach hause und am nächsten morgen wieder hinfahren wollte, hab ich auf einem Skilift Parkplatz im Auto geschlafen.
In Neuseeland hatte ich das gleiche Automodell und habe 3 Monate im Auto gelebt. Dies war sicher auch einer der Gründe warum ich mich wieder das Modell entschieden habe  🙂

Ich wachte am Morgen gegen 5:30 auf und machte mich gleich auf den Weg nach Buchboden, von wo aus die Tour startet. Noch schnell einen Café beim Bäcker, Frühstück was ich vorbereitet hatte essen und los gehts!

Ich muss zugeben, der erste Kilometer viel recht schwer, da er auch recht steil war aber ich war einfach nur glücklich zu wandern und in der Natur zu sein. Wie auch auf dem PCT letztes Jahr, hatte ich Glück mit dem Wetter. Ein Hagelsturm ging in der Nacht durch das Tal aber als ich los ging war der schon weg. Die ersten 10km ging es Richtung Biberacher Hütte auf knapp 1800m auf Wege durch Wald, Gebüsch, Hohes Gras und Weidenfelder. Alles war dabei und dazu die Aussicht über das gesamte Tal.

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Ich kam immer besser in den Tritt und ich merke wie sich meine Beine an die Anstrengung erinnerten: my hiker legs are back 😁
Nach knapp 3:15h hab ich es auf die Hütte geschafft und bestellte erstmal eine heiße Schokolade, es war schon frisch draußen daher wollte ich einfach was warmes! Die Besitzer sind recht jung und sehr freundlich, ich habe auch später von anderen gehört das es sehr schön sein soll, dort zu übernachten. Ich sprach mit der Besitzerin über den Klettersteig über die Braunarlspitze, die höhere und anspruchsvollere Route zur Göppinger Hütte. Ihre Empfehlung war die niedriger gelegene Route zu nehmen. Ich hatte kurz überlegt ihren Rat zu folgen aber der Abenteuerer in mir und das besser werdend Wetter hat mir keine andere Wahl gelassen, die höhere Routen zu nehmen. (Ich muss auch noch hinzufügen, dass man solche Entscheidung immer selbst treffen sollte auf Basis seiner Erfahrung. Da ich schon einige Kilometer hinter mir habe und auch in schwierigen Bedingungen nicht panisch werde sondern noch konzentrierter, habe ich meine Entscheidung sehr gut überlegt 🙂

Der Weg zum Steig hat mich auf weiter positiv gestimmt, da die Sonne mehrmals rauskam und ab der Kreuzung bot sich auch eine beeindruckende Aussicht.

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Die erste Hälfte vom Steig war leicht zu gehen, die Steine waren trocken, kein Schnee und ein sicherer weg. Ein paar Bergziegen waren auch Vorort 😉
Der zweite Teil war schon anspruchsvoller. Meisten Teile des Weges waren Schnee bedeckt und hatte einen schwerere Tritt.

Es war jedoch nicht mehr weit und ich merke wie es wärmer wurde, die Wolkendecke über mich sich immer mehr lichtete und das sah ich schon bei Sonnenschein das Gipfelkreuz.  Unter mir erstreckte sich das gesamte Gadental und ich fühlte mich einfach glücklich. Glücklich über das erreichen des Gipfels, der Aussicht, der Anstrengungen. Einfach wieder dieses Gefühl vom wandern, der Verbundenheit zur Natur und den Elementen.

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Ich sah das es auch langsam anfing zuzuziehen und begann mit dem Abstieg. Nach einer Stunde fing es dann auch zum regnen an aber das konnte mir gleich seines sich schon an der Hütte ankam 🙂

Ich checke ein, bezog mein Zimmer und musste mich erstmal hinlegen. Ich merkte die Anstrengung und mein Körper brauchte eine Pause.

Gegen 18uhr wachte ich zu läuten Gespräch von der Stube unter mir auf, da auch die meisten Wanderer die übernachten da waren und die ersten Runden Bier fließen.

Ich war der einzige der sich kein Abendessen bestellt hat und hab mein Essen in einem extra für Selbstversorger gedachten Raum zubereitet. Es ist meine erste Nacht auf einer Alpenvereinhütte und ich muss sagen, ich bin etwas überrascht. Ich bin durch meine Übernachtungen ein anderes Bild vom Hüttenleben und die Alpenvereinshütten sind schon sehr geregelt, Deutschland halt. Es sind auch nur Touristen und keine einmischen über Nacht, was die ganze Stimmung auch etwas bestimmt. Es hat aber nicht lange gedauert, dass nach dem Essen welche rübergekommen sind, um auch etwas Ruhe zu haben und ich konnte mich gut unterhalten mit zwei Damen unterhalten 🙂

Jetzt ist es 21uhr und ich merke wie ich auch langsam müde werde aufgrund des Tages, auch ein schöner Nebeneffekt 😉

Tag 2: Ich stand um 6Uhr auf und packte meine Sachen schonmal zusammen. Ich habe mir am Abend zuvor 1,5L kalt und 1L warmes Wasser bestellt (ja, leider kein kostenloses Wasser) um was für mein Frühstück zu haben und auf dem Weg. Frühstück gibt es erst ab 7Uhr aber warmes Wasser habe ich trotzdem schon bekommen können.
Als ich fertig war und bereit zum losgehen war, kamen die ersten anderen Wanderer runter für Ihr Frühstück. Ich verabschiedete mich von den beiden netten Ü25 Damen (Insider 😉 und ging raus in das kalte nasse Wetter.
Auf dem PCT hat mich der Washington Abschnitt sehr an die heimischen Alpen erinnert, viel grün und unbeständiges Wetter, so auch Tag 2. Ich ging eine Trittsichere Route, was auch sehr gut zu traf. Der Regen hat überraschenderweise keinen Einfluss gehabt, da die Steine trotzdem recht griffig waren. Jedoch gab es schon 1-2 kleine Stellen, die etwas ausgewaschen waren.

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Der Regen machte mir nicht wirklich was aus, es kommt immer stark auf die Einstellung drauf an. Am wetter kann man nie etwas ändern, egal wie sehr man sich ärgert 🙂 Ich hätte mir jedoch sicher etwas mehr Aussicht gewünscht.

Nach knapp 2h war der steinige Abschnitt auch schon zusende, und der Abstieg Richtung Buchboden ging los. Zwischen hohen Bergwänden entlang des Klesenzatal bis zur Gleichnamigen Alpe, wo ich wieder für eine heiße Schocki halt machte. Die Pächter, ein Paar aus Berlin, waren ebenfalls sehr nett und erzählten mir einiges über die Alpe und das Sie letzten Jahr einen leichten Erdrutsch hatten, wo Geröll zwischen beide Häuser rutschte.
Nach einer guten halben Stunde ging ich weiter und folgte der Bergstraße bis nach Buchboden. Am Abstieg merkte ich auch schon meine Schienbeine, da am gestrigen Tag auch schon knapp -1000HM zurückgelegt wurden.

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Glücklich kam ich am Auto an, meine erste richtige Wandertour nach dem PCT abgeschlossen zu haben. Ich habe die Zeit genossen, war überwältigt über die Aussicht an manchen Stellen und das doch recht wenige unterwegs waren. Dies lag jedoch auch wahrscheinlich am Wetter 😀

Falls ihr Lust auf diese Tour habt, könnt ihr mehr Informationen HIER finden.

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A taste of nature

What could we do, to get closer with nature than just spending time in nature and why?
 
Tonight I watched the episode “Air” of “Cooked“, a Netflix documentation about how cooking food has evolved over the time and being used in various cultures. Air is everywhere, we breath it in and out and we couldn’t live without air. In case of cooking, it is a major “ingredient” for baking bread. After grinding wheat seeds and mixing it with water, it helps to unlock all the nutrients.
 
Three simple ingredients.
 
And now, due to quick and cheap bakery shops or supermarkets, this simple food has become a processed product.
 
If you watched that episode, you might get to understand that we are getting more and more distanced from the origin of food. This is one of my reason for a plant based lifestyle. To taste and benefit from the unprocessed and raw power of a plant. To be more connected with what we plant, grow and at the end eat which gives our body the nutrients and energy to live, work and grow. And for me, it is even a spiritual act, by now growing (sadly not enough to live from it), washing, cutting, cooking and at the end eating the food.
 
And thats kind of my answer to the question above 🙂
To provide you more information about what I have learned for me and read, you will find a new Topic in the header called “Taste of nature”. Check it out!
 

I am back! Update of my life and plans with this blog

Hello everybody,

after finally finding a new job, I moved to Switzerland and live next to the mountains. Beside the job, it was my wish to be closer to the Alps, after realizing I don’t have to travel 1000 of miles to have beautiful trails, views and those peaceful moments in nature.
Since I am working full time, my free time to explore is of course not as much as when I was traveling but I want to share some trails, hikes, thoughts on a weekly schedule.
I am also planning to ad a new topic to my blog, “taste of nature”, a collection of my favorite and sometimes self created plant based recipes. And yes, I wrote plant based.
As you might have noticed, i gained quite a lot of weight on the first months and I was kinda shocked. I do have some metabolism issues (thyroid in particular) but I realized (also due to research) that the high consumption of processed and animal food had a big share on that (I lost weight again after eating more whole foods while hiking).
I probably need more time, but I also share some of my research in the web about that topic but for now I present you some tasty, healthy and nutritious recipes.

This week I share you my note I posted on facebook yesterday. Its about how I found out for myself, that routine is not always a bad thing.

When I decided two years ago to quit my current job and go on a trip around the world, I also wanted to get out of the daily routine. I didn’t want to do the same thing every day, having no new “experience”.
during my time in Aus / NZL, I definitely had no routine. Once I decided to go on a hike, 1 week i was volunteering, working, then hiking again. I did what came to my mind and what I wanted to do.
From this “free” way of living, I am then immediately plunged into a certain kind of routine: walking every day. Every day, packing my pack, walk, check how much water I need, how much food is left, set up my tent, sleep. like every day going to your job, work and go home again.
What made the difference is the change of my surrounding. Almost every day I met new people, had a different landscape, a new place to resupply. This variety helped not to get “bored”. Nevertheless, I took a few days off after 2 months to break this routine.
I needed a bit longer to realize for me that the head and the mind are playing a decisive role. That you alone, by your attitude and thoughts you experience each situation differently. AND that routine is not always a bad thing.

Yesterday was for me again such a day, where the right mixture of routine, free time to do what I want and my “mindset” were simply in the right line.
Saturday morning my positive routine is: get up as during the week, drink 1L of water + Limits + pinch of salt to compensate for the loss of water during the night, drink my coffee and head ride my bike to the farmers market. At various booths I fill my 60L backpack with all sorts of healthy foods (vegetables, fruit, herbs), talk a bit with the farmers and I head back home again. Then it is time for a healthy breakfast on my balcony.

Every Saturday the same, but it has a positive effect on me, my body and my mind.
Now ask you: Do you have a positive routine? Something that helps you relax or what you are always looking forward to?

Post travel thoughts

 

Day by day passes by, I am in the middle of my application for my future job. And with each day, week, month… I started thinking more and more about my past journey and the hike. The month after finishing the trail, my Facebook page was full of posts of my hiking buddies. Remembering the whole time or a particular special moment. Since I started right away with job applications and visiting friends, the only real time I thought about the trail was as I retold my experience, feelings, memories to my friends again and again.

I am not a person who wanted to tell everyone about it. My parents suggested to write a article for the local newspaper. I felt uncomfortable with it. A part of me thought that it may seem kind of a brag, to show what I have accomplished. Everyone experience the time on the trail differently and as so everyone deals with the post-trail-time differently and thats how I thought about it. It felt like another trip like I did before. Indian three weeks, visiting my siblings as they studied abroad or a road trip. But it’s not.

I am home now since almost 2 month and by that time on the trail I had difficult phase. I took about 6 days off because I just didn’t wanted to hike anymore and I can still remember those feelings. A month later, I started hiking with Morning Glory and arrived 2 more month later with her in Canada. 2650ml. 4400km. Just numbers and even for me now hard to recapture what they mean. But most important is what is between mile 0 and 2650. Panoramas, challenges, laughs and cries, joy and pain, friendships, insights and much more…

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment (Buddha)

Concentrate the mind on the present. That is what you do while you hike and thats what I have learned and  added to my life. At the moment I am in Hamburg visiting friends and walking through the busy streets I realized what i means as well by seeing people rushing from one store to the next one, tick of their checklists and not enjoying the moment.

Think about it for yourself. Take a quick break. Look outside or around you and try to feel the moment. Your thoughts, feelings. They don’t have to be always positive but listing to your self and sense your surroundings helps you to be present in the moment.

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Recapturing Oregon -22 Days and 455 miles

Oregon… I heard many things about the state before I got there. Flat state, Crater Lake NP, Cascades, 0% sale tax and its legal to smoke grass (if you know me well you know that I’m not smoking 😉 Beside having the chance to see more of California while hiking 1700miles I also looked forward to hike in Oregon and Washington, but first to Oregon.

After a long, rough and hot stretch in Northern California, I was planning to take a break at the first town in Oregon which is Ashland. Close to the pct is a great and hiker friendly hotel which treated us very well: all you can eat pasta for dinner, Endless pancakes, camping on grass and a soft robe after showering were definitely worth the 60$ and the time I spent there. For the next days I decided to go to Ashland, also because I needed to resupply and send a few packages ahead with healthier food then what I bought before I started the trail.

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Shower, ropes and all you can eat pasta. You can tell I am happy

(It definitely saves a lot of time and energy if you prepare all boxes and having somebody to send it to you but you’ll definitely getting enough of some food or in my case just want to eat less sugar and more healthier food/snacks)

Morning Glory (MG), who I’ve been hiking with a bit in the beginning and going to hike with all of Oregon, got to town the day after and I took another zero and headed out with her the day after. Two days off the trail are definitely enough and I wanted to hike again.

We both left Ashland after an amazing breakfast at a place called “after her” and we even had some leftovers which we decided to save for dinner. A hiker at the campsite was first really surprised as we packed out the asian take away boxed and got really jealous as h realised whats inside 🙂

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Breakfast for 4 I mean 2 hikers 🙂

Knowing about the upcoming PCT Day festival at Cascade Locks, we hiked three 30 mile days and I was really of Morning Glory to keep up with me 🙂 Most of the timed I was ahead of her but I never had really wait for her. As we passed Fish Lake Resort she got a text from our dear friend Aunt Petunia that he is at the resort with Zombie dusk and Ladybug, who are also really good friends.

We had to leave due our schedule after breakfast and headed right into an obstacle trail of blow downs (fallen trees). Another fellow hiker, Proton, even created a poem which perfectly describes the section and our feelings Click here

Another reason why I stayed longer in Ashland was because of a fire near Crater Lake, one of the big highlights in Oregon. South bounders were telling us that they soon reopen the trail and as we got to the base of the Crater we heard it reopened. I was really happy and the next day, MG and I took the shuttle bus to get up to Rim of the Crater. As we got up I was stunned…

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For me, it was like walking the first time along the rim of the Grand Canyon. I couldn’t kept my eyes of the Crater and almost walked into a group of people. We stopped almost every mile, just being amazed by the views, even it was the same every time. At the end of the day we hiked only the Rim trail which reconnects with the Pacific Crest Trail after 12miles. My shortest day so far and I couldn’t kept my mind of what the trail has provided me so far. On one hand those untouched, wild and breathtaking views and places, on the other unforgettable moments with people on and off the trail. It has been 8 months since I left home, traveled around the world and as I have written in my post (click here) I felt just happy.

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Mount Washington

Another great place I won’t forget is Bend and why I went there is also a great example for how something bad turns into something good. Due maybe a prior injury I got problems with my foot after I accidentally twisted my ankle twice and limped to Shelter Cove, a big campground at Odell lake. I asked people if they were driving to Bend and found a couple who’s daughter could give me a ride. Somebody else drove me over where they were camping. It turned out that she and her friend planned to hang out for a day in Bend and I had really a fun time checking out a couple brewery. With 22 breweries, Bend has a lot for its small size. I stayed a night with a families friend of the girl since everything was super expensive. For the next day I got a room since I knew a couple friends where coming in town and picked up also a rental car. I booked the smallest car but since they had any left the employee gave me an upgrade to a mini van!!! I felt very american 😀
I drove to the trail to leave some trail magic and picked up Morning Glory and Frost. With 4 more hikers we were 7 in a two beds room (luckily I got the upgrade to the van 🙂
The rest of the day I drove everybody to REI (where we picked up hiker nr. 8 in the room), a couple breweries and grocery shopping. MG called me funnily a “Soccer Mum” but I prefer “Soccer Dad”.

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The next day, everybody except MG, Frost and me went back to trail and Digger, Aunt Petunia and Zomiedusk joined our party in town. Since we haven’t booked anything, MG got in contact with a couple, Lian and her husband Aloha (who hiked the PCT last year) and they hosted us for one night. Luckily, Aloha is a chef and made us an awesome breakfast and drove us back to the trail as well!
Three days in Bend, three complete different days with different people and so much fun! Thank to everyone sharing this memory which I’ll never forgot since I changed my trail name from EarlyBird to SoccerDad!

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Lava field after Bend

100 miles to Cascade Locks, the state line of Oregon and Washington and we were on track for the Pacific Crest Trail Days, a festival with outdoor vendors, the PCTA, lot of hikers and more! Digger, Frost, MG and me hiked mostly together and we made it to another food highlight on the trail: Breakfast buffet at Timerline Lodge!

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Happily fed, we went back on trail and had a last big natural wonder on the trail: a tunnel waterfall! I saw some videos before but you have to see it in real to fully enjoy its beauty.

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The trail leads behind the water fall

I was ahead of the others as I got the trail head in Cascade Locks and I knew my friend Moon Song, who sadly had to leave the trail due an injury was there as well. Due the festival, many hikers planned to be there the weekend and others hitched forward or back to attend and meet everybody. Some families were there as well and MG parents came to visit. After getting all my packages (3 in total), I got a texted from her that there is place at the cabin and I could stay with them instead of camping with about 200 hikers and I was really happy about that since I did not wanted to around big party crowds…

Note: I thought about to write about a sensitive topic but just gonna keep it short: The drug “problem” on the trail. There is a big controversy in Germany about Marijuana but in the west coast it is already more socially accepted. I knew that, since I also studied abroad in CA but I was still shocked how many, in what quantity and even the reason hikers are smoking or drinking alcohol. I expected that it’s going to be a bit “wild” at the campground and I was kinda right. Hikers who did not joined the party had trouble finding a quiet place. It is of course everyones choice if and in what quantities they drink and smoke but just because its legal it does not mean its good for you. I used to drink a lot pre and during my college time, so much that even friends were concerned and I did not wanted to listen to them but as you get older you might get a bit wiser and I am sure it was sometimes to much. 

PCT Days is also a opportunity for non-hikers to get informations about the trail or just to meet up with dirty hikers who have a lot of stories to tell. It is a great opportunity to learn a lot about what it means to hike the trail since we everybody is only one state and 500miles away from the finish line 🙂

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Buy a beer for a hiker! Thank you!

Frost, MG, and Digger left on Sunday but I decided to stay a bit longer since a had some personal reason to stay a bit longer. On Tuesday morning I got back to Cascade Locks and walked over the Bridge of the Gods to cross the Columbia River which separates Oregon and Washington. Thinking back, it seems there are as many great memories like California but it was such a shorter time. It was my first time in Oregon and it blew my mind. The landscape was breathtaking but the people in this state made it so much more an unforgettable time. Thank you!

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Knowing the last state is ahead of me, but not knowing what happens next

Everything needs time and energy 

I guess you realized that it has been lately quieter on my blog and it might look like I left the trail after the last post but I am actually just 260 miles away from the Canadian border.

I’m having a great time now hiking with really close friends and I am enjoying every bit of it. Sadly, I am not so motivated at the moment to write about my whole journey on the trail and about my thoughts.

A lot happend since my last post and I am still taking notes to not forget anything important so I will cover everything when I have finished the trail in about 13 days. I am actually really looking forward to finishing the trail and to start the next chapter in my life. My whole journey helped my personally to figure out how I want my life to be and what’s important.

I hope you can wait a couple more days till I update you on the rest of my Pacific Crest Trail journey and wish you all the best!

Where my trail is leading me

The past week changed a lot in me. I wasn’t expecting it to happen now but I am glad it did. This moment, this day, this clarity when the fog on the way which we call life starts slowly to disappear. I have been trough a lot of mental challenges since I left home 9 month ago. Pushing yourself into the wild, where you leave your comfort zone. Not in a physical way where you try to push yourself or maybe just get off from the couch and do a short run instead of watching another episode of your favorite show. 

I mean going somewhere where it is just YOU. Your body, your mind, your thoughts and your feelings become one, you. 

If you follow me already on my Facebook page you might have already read that I got to the stage where I found what dragged me out of my regular life. Friends have been asking me what it is, how it feels but I needed a couple days to find the words. 

For a long time I thought that I am going to figure out which way I want to go when I am done with my trip. I was waiting to find the answer but I figured out I need to ask the right question. 

Questioning what you want from your life might be not right, you should figure out what you are expecting from it. 

I still haven’t really figured out what I expect but I learned a lot to get closer. I learned to take sometimes a step back and take a look around at where I am and think about if I still go this way or another. I learned to not fixate one thing, one goal and be open for other options which I probably never thought about. To take time to listen more and speak less because we can learn so much from the people around us or we just met once in our life. It is good to have a rough plan like hiking from the Mexican to the Canadian border but not to plan each day. To listen to your heart, your beliefs, to let them lead you.

For the future, I don’t know what is going to happen, if and where I start a new life but I know how to walk this way we call life. To look left, look right, to ask yourself if this is the wright thing for me. I might will fall, might do some mistakes but I do them by myself and I will learn from them. I know if it’s gets rough, I have a helping hand reaching out to me. I know what’s/who important to me, what I don’t want to miss again because I felt as it happened once that I don’t want it to happen again (for this I give you an example: Not being with my fam on Christmas)

First, this page should be a travel blog for family and friends, for people who be interested in trails in Australia, New Zealand and the PCT but I want to share what I learned because there are many out there who struggled as well in life, trying to find them self and if I motivate even one person to make their first step out of their comfort zone, I am happy. Not for me that I helped somebody. I am happy for you, for you that you found trust in you. 

Recapturing California – 101 Days and 1689 miles

Here I am. The California/Oregon state line. It took me 101 days, mostly hiking, to get to this milestone of my Pacific Crest Trail Truh-hike. The past couple days I was trying to recapture every day, every night camping, every zero in town and all the people I met. It made me laugh so many times and also realise that a lot of stuff happened.

Last time I was in California, my brother and I did a road trip and it was also the time i decided I want to come back, but not only for a couple weeks…

Southern California or how I call it “The Honeymoon phase”

April 22nd, about 20 hikers got rides from Scout and Frodo (my first trail angels of many many many more) to start their journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. For most it is their first long distance hike including me. I looked forward to this date since I left Germany in November and it was finally their. Of course, I was really excited as the others and that excitement stayed for a long time. Trail magic almost every day, ever changing nature, reaching milestone after milestone and always having the snow situation in the sierras back in the head.

I made quickly really good friends who I was hiking with but later I realised I am also hiking to have the time for myself, make my own decisions and deal with those which where bad. I wanted to get out to challenge myself and grow stronger. Luckily, I met many other hikers while solo hiking so I never felt really lonely. I had the chance to meet up with a old friend from my time studying abroad and always kept contact to my family at home.

Getting closer and closer to Kennedy Meadows (the last stop before entering the Sierras) I realised there is not really a need to take my time for waiting till more snow melted and decided to get there as soon as possible. Sadly, it was a bit to late and I had to skip a section due a fire on the other hand I caught up to some old friends and many hikers I now were at Kennedy Meadows.

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The Sierras – now its getting serious

The mileage per days dropped and the elevation gain increased. Before reaching a section with crossing a pass daily, I wanted to climb the highest mountain in the 48 contiguous states, Mount Whitney. After reaching this milestone another was just ahead, Forrester Pass, the highest point on the Pacific Crest Trail. It was the first real Pass to cross which had a lot of snow and after achieving all those goals you start to fell more and more confident. Every day you got those WOW-moments, standing reaching a pass, walking along alpine lakes or beautiful meadows. Still hiking mostly by myself I enjoyed the freedom and felt more and more confident. As I reached Yosemite NP, I planed to hike do some side trails with some friends and we got lucky to climb one of the most famous monument of it: Half Dome.
After taking my time and doing shorter mile days I was looking forward to challenge myself again. I hiked 150miles in 5,5 days to meet up with friends and thought already thats my limit.

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Northern California – from a physical to a mental challenge

I don’t know what it was. If it were because I was hiking still hiking by myself, not climbing a high pass and having an incredible view again or just if I was just getting tired. I struggle more and more to get out of my tent and had a couple nights thinking if it is still what I want to do. I decided to take a couple days off and stay with a friend I met while my travels before. Those were also my first zeros after hiking about 500 miles in 3 weeks. It was nice to sit in a cafe shop not thinking about the trail, watching the whole game of thrones seasons in one day and it helped. I started missing the trail again and luckily I had just to go back 🙂

I was not getting bored again even the views weren’t that stunning anymore but I was just on another mindset. The “trailcation” filled my batteries and I felt really strong hiking many miles. High 20ies went to 30ies and the past week I did two 40ies (Probably the only time :D). A couple days without any distraction like listening to music helped me to process some stuff i wanted to think about and somehow I got to the CA-OR state line.

Right now I made it 20miles into Oregon and sit on a cozy armchair at Callahans Lodge, a Tonic&Gin next to me and background music by a guitar player. It is the perfect place to kind of recapture the past month, full of happiness and dissatisfaction, tears of joy and sadness, share their most rememberable moments and more. 101 days… 1716 miles… and I am more then ready for the next days 🙂

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Don’t be controlled by your feelings 

The past week I was not writing down about how the trail is since I was thinking about lot of other things. I forced myself also to not listen to music for a while to not distract my mind. 
What follows now has nothing to do with the trail but in another way it has….

As I scrolled through my news feed on Facebook after a couple days with no reception, I saw two posts of friends. One friend expressed his sadness about what happens in Munich lately (a shooting in a fast food restaurant which has what I know so far no terrorist background) and a picture of a friend with his wife after their wedding. 

Just think for a moment for yourself how you would feel….
I was really sad and concerned as I heard first of the attack since I studied in Munich in know a lot of people who are living there. But then, after seeing the other picture of to people who found them self, love each other and decided to be together for the rest of their life, I felt happiness in me. I know, it is horrible what happens in the world and this year it seems there is every day a sad news. Sooner or later, if you surround yourself with negative news, you might start to feel and think like that every day. It is hard to not surround yourself with negative news but we can still control our feelings. 

And this leds to a second story I want to share with you. 

Yesterday, I listed to my first podcast for a week and it was about two police men in Denmark who found their own way to “fight” against terrorism and about a young men who almost became one. 

As more and more young men run away from home to join the “holy war” in Syria, the policemen didn’t know how to react with all the parents coming to them and said their son ran away. They saw in the news how most of the governments started to take away passports and answer hostility with hostility. 

They realized that there should be another way, a peaceful way and also wanted to start to talk with the local muslim community why that happens. 

Long story short, they created a center where they invite Muslim boy for a cup of coffee and with just talking and showing them that somebody listens and care about them.

The Boy for example, is from Somalia and as he moves with his parents to a small Danish community he was the first black kid. First he felt set in a wrong place but he thought being good in school will help his situation and it did.. Until they had a discussion about Islam at school. A girl, talked really bad and negative about it because of that what she heard from the news. She was afraid and that made her go to the teacher and tell her she thinks that the boy is dangerous. He got picked up by the police who was also acting wrong because they just did not know about him and his religion. All is online accounts were checked, the police took his parents house apart and after a week they said we found nothing and you are clean. That happens all during the graduation exam week where he could not attend. Sadly, his mother died shortly after that and he became angry and drifted away in a bad direction. He was one of the first kids who got helped by this program of the policemen and it made him realize that he is welcomed in this country. 

So why do I tell you all about that here… First I wanted to get away of all the news etc. being out in the woods, save and just myself. But I realized that this is also selfish. We share the same earth, breath the same air and I think it’s a critical time in the world where everyone who has some sense and a good hearth should show that every day. I see what might could happen in the US, that somebody who want to build walls instead of bridges (Pope franziskus) might be leading this country and ONLY because he creates fear. Fear mostly makes us stop thinking and behave in a different way. And way are we afraid? Because we don’t know. 

There is a quote in a outdoor movie: “Fear the unknown is the greatest fear of all” 

(Die Angst über das Ungewisse ist die größte Angst)

It has for sure a different meaning in the movie but you can usw it well to many other situations. 

The girl in the story before did not know and was scared and it almost lead a nice friendly boy to join a war. 
I am kinda glad that I go back to Germany where the majority is still supporting a government who don’t want to shut their doors and I hope there is still a majority in the US as well. But, it is a difficult time now and it is important that everyone should show that they are not afraid and have a open heart. 

I really recommend you to listen to the story. The podcast is called “Invisibilia” and the episode is called “Flip the Scrip” or read it Here

Day 78-88: Trailcation and getting back on track 

As I mentioned in my previous post, i had some mental problems getting back on the trail. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore and it felt more like work then fun. The plan in town was also to catch up with friends I have been hiking the first weeks and watching the latest season of game of thrones 😉 

Bliss (who I picked up with the rental car while I was trail angeling) and wanted to take the bus shuttle back north but it wasn’t running anymore. Lucky us, I gave a lot of hikers a ride while I had the rental car and as we waited an hour for a hitch, a fellow hiker called digger stopped while he was renting a car 😀 karma really exists 😉 he was also the guy who gave us a ride to Kennedy meadows as the Fire happend and he also writes for Appalachian Trials, a well know website for hiking the AT and other trails. 
We had dinner in Truckee where bliss wanted to hitch to donner pass and I to Sierra city but it was already quite late so we decided to stay overnight. It’s a really nice old town with wooden houses and a couple handcraft souvenir shops. Sadly, I can’t buy anything because I am hiking on a budget and don’t want to carry extra weight :p

The next morning we said goodbye and it took me 5 hitches and 4h to get back to Sierra city, which I left 6 days ago. 
I felt also a bit changed. I was really looking forward to get back on the trail. The next 10 miles was going just up and had to take it slow since I haven’t hiked for almost a week. 

The next days I hiked between 25-30 miles, which is still quite a lot but I just listened to my body and just hiked. 


To my surprised I caught up to some hikers I knew well and hiked a bit with them but I was doing more miles so it was a short hello. I kinda want to stick to my schedule and routine. I talked to a hiker lately and he was waiting for friends but wanted to keep on hiking. I’m sure it’s nice to hike together but I think you should have the same plans. 

As I got to the 8mile descent to Belden, I saw another hiker ahead of me and it was Digger again! He hiked some crazy miles and happens to pass me last night. We hiked into Belden and got picked up by the local trail angel. Her place has beds for 5 hikers and everything what we needed. It was nice having some trail magic again and being taking care of somebody. 


The next section of 45 miles to one of the last towns for a while starts with a 6,000ft climb for 15miles. I was looking forward for another challenge on the trail since the past miles were easier. After a couple feet up the trail I heard some branches cracking and a bear was again running away from me. It’s like back in Australia, where I realize there is a kangaroo as it jumps away. After 5,5h I got to the top and was really stocked. I wanted to push further and finished the day around 8pm after hiking 35miles and an elevation gain of about 10,000ft.


Today I had only to hike 10 miles but after 2,7 was a special spot, the halfway mark. It was my goal since Sierra City to get there and I was really happy. In 88 day I hiked 1320.7 miles (2124km) with a total up/down of 246444ft/249111ft (that’s like about climbing Mount Everest 9 times from sea level). 


I got also some motivational notes from family and friends which really gave me a push and made me realize more that I am not hiking alone at all 😉 some nights I read them again and again.  thanks for that!!!

My plan now is to get to seiad valley in about 1,5 weeks for the pancakes challenge (5pound) and then to Ashland August 1st.