Saturday, September 25, 2010

Northern Terminus

We woke up antsy, excited and very, very cold just before the sun peaked over the distant ridges to the east.  It was September 22nd, 2010 and it was our last day on the Pacific Crest Trail.  From our camp that morning M, Rising Sun, Charmin and I walked out on painfully cold feet, 7 miles to the Canadian border and the northern terminus of the PCT.  As the border monument came into view we erupted in cheers of victory and savored this moment which we had all so vividly dreamt of for over 2600 miles and 5 months.  There were congratulations all around.
The end of such a journey leaves each person with a unique experience of thoughts, feelings and emotions because even our reasons for starting such a journey are different as well.  For me, the end is bittersweet but mostly sweet.  The beginning of this journey forced me to step outside of my comfort zone when I left Virginia on a bicycle in the middle of winter 8 months ago.  There were certainly times when I felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew, but I never lost the drive to keep trying.  The feeling of accomplishment is great, but above all else, I am glad that I got to share so many different parts of this trip with so many people, even through this blog.
Right now I'm in Bellingham, Wa with Anna (Charmin) who has decided to join me for the Bellingham Bay Marathon before she returns home to Switzerland. Sunday we run. Why? Why not?
The forecast for race day: Pouring rain. All day. Bring it on.
Thanks for following along, and thanks for all the support from my family, friends and random kind strangers.
"The tallest tree begins as a sprout and a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
-Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching
Ryan Hasty
Bellingham, Wa

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rivers in the sky.

Tunnel Falls, OR. Plain Slice treks on.

Mt. Adams, Wa.  I've got to come back and climb this one day

Another cold rainy day in Washington

"At least its not the desert"  I'm sure there
are mountains around here somewhere
Goat Rocks Wilderness, Wa

Beads of water on Huckleberry leaves

Readhead (Front) and Danny (Rear) guide ZeroZero (Middle)
across wet logs in the rain in Washington.  By the end of the
trail, ZeroZero will be the first blind person the complete the
PCT and by next year, the first to get the triple crown.

For a moment, the clouds break in the Goat Rocks Wilderness

Washington is mousey. Very mousey.

Alright, I've been slacking on pictures lately, so here are some since I last posted (above)

Crater Lake, OR
 With less than 200 miles of the trail left, its hard to believe that we've come this far.  A few days of sun have lifted the spirits of many as the rain has fallen steadily for nearly 2 weeks since we entered Washington.  I hitched into Skykomish, Wa today at about noon, after another wet night, motivated by the thought of food and new shoes.  Thanks so much the Harrisons for the new shoes- with nearly 800 miles on my last pair, my feet were starting to really hurt, but now the footprint factory is running at full bore once more.

Ryan Hasty
Skykomish, Wa

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Boreal Existence

Whew.. its been a while since my last post.  Internet access has been hard to come by lately. Right now I'm nearing central Washington.  After 9 straight days of very cold steady rain and big mountains, any sunshine is reason to celebrate.  I'm feeling great and happy to be hiking strong after enduring and overcoming the most unpleasant and incapacitating intestinal parasite in the Mt. Hood wilderness.  Keeping with our 25 mi/day average, we should be hitting the border by September 20-22.
It's been great hiking with Team Farsight, fire marshall, and zero zero, the first blind man to thruhike the PCT and by next year after the CDT, the first blind man to get the Triple Crown.  Redhead, Danny, Charmin, and Neon are close by as well.  This will be a great crew to finish with, awesome people all around.  An early and unseasonably wet winter is setting in that will make a thruhike impossible for many this year who have already walked over 2000 miles.  We've already had snow and are in a race against time to tag the monument while we still can.  Onward!
Ryan Hasty
18 mi south of Snoqualmie, Wa

Monday, August 9, 2010

State lines and testing limits.

I must say.. I am so tired of buying shoes.  Its taken 7 different pairs since the trip began but I think I've finally figured it out: first of all, Keens aren't awesome.  Secondly, I learned what 'medial posting' is and that I need shoes with that.  Thanks to 'Drugstore' for helping me out with that one.  My main limiting factor each day is intense pain on the top of my foot right that is the result of chronic pronation over a span of about 28 miles, I was limited to low 30's at my max.  Gleb 'Drugstore' ( is an Ultra marathon runner from Oregon, we hiked for 2 days together out of Seiad Valley and covered some ridiculous miles.  Yesterday was the biggest day yet for both of us.  We got an early start a few miles north of Green and Cook Pass, pounded caffeine and rocked 50 trail miles unsupported over the next 18 hours out of California to I-5 that leads into Ashland, OR.  His parents met us there at 11:30pm with lots of great food and I was ever so grateful to get to sleep on the floor of their hotel room.  What wonderful people they are.

Crossing the first state line was a great feeling of accomplishment, but for some, it's a grim reminder of the fact that there is still a very long way to go.  We are catching word of many of our friends behind us dropping off and going home due to injury or just no longer feeling the urge to continue on any further.  Looking back on how far we've come, it's truly difficult to grasp the distance we've traveled up the this point in terms that do justice to the experience- 1730 trail miles from Mexico to Oregon, I guess that will have to do.  The distance from here to the end can now be expressed in one triple digit figure, about 925 miles. Strange.  At that point things are going to change in a big way for me; finding a job, a place to live and readjusting to 'civilization' again all at the same time- but I'm not the only one.

 Here is my next mail drop address:
General Delivery
Ryan Hasty
Cascade Locks, OR 97014
Please hold fro PCT hiker ETA: Aug. 24
Note: the ETA date is an estimated date of arrival I could be there up to 4 days before that.

And also, thanks to everyone who has supported me/us in any way on the journey so far.  The kindness and generosity of everyone we meet along the way continues to replenish my faith in the future of humanity. Thank you.

Ryan Hasty
Ashland, OR
Mile 1730

Friday, July 30, 2010


Still a long way to go

Seeing Mt. Shasta crest the horizon was a very refreshing sight.  Now that we are out of the High Sierra the familiar aspects of the desert are slowly returning.  From 100 trail miles away the snowy volcano dominates the landscape.
Mt. Shasta 14,163 ft.

I drank my last liter of water and pushed on over Hat Creek Rim- a 26 mile exposed waterless stretch- the acrid sun oppressed.  I kept a keen eye on the cumulus clouds boiling to the south,  we had been warned about lightening on this leg and heard many stories of hikers caught in storms on the ridge.  The day passes without incident and we camped near a small water cache on the trail as the ridge drops off into the valley.  The next morning around 10:00am the clouds begin to rise over the rim and the first bolts of lightening are seen in the distance.  I watched carefully and kept hiking with memories flashing back in my mind to Sonora Pass when Charmin and I got caught in a electrical storm on the red volcanic rock of the north ridges, but back to reality: I checked our position against the darkest clouds and stopped to look back up at the knife edge of the rim just in time to see it getting hammered by massive bolts of lightening.  I knew there were other hikers up there on that section of trail, I could only hope they were ok.  Being caught in lightening is a very helpless feeling, the sensation of the static charge crawling over your skin reminds you that every moment you are alive is amazing.  It can also make you wonder why you may have decided to go on a ridiculously long walk through the mountains in the first place.  It's good to have a solid answer for that question, even if it can't necessarily be expressed in words.  For me though, I'm still having fun.

Shasta at sunset from Hat Creek Rim
I'm taking my second day off in 800 miles here in Mt. Shasta, visiting Casey, Kyle, the gnomes that live on the mountain and reworking the contents of my pack a bit.  The past few days have felt pretty good with 25-30 miles average, but shedding a few pounds off my total pack weight would be the key to sustainable movement at this rate.  Pretty soon I'll be in Oregon! Wow!
Mt. Shasta, Ca
Mile 1,510