PCT SOBO DAY 134 – she believed she could so she did. Twice.

Tent site – Mexico 
11.3 miles. 1440ft up. 963ft down. 

I didn’t sleep well. I had that nervous feeling, like when you know something big is going to happen the next day. I woke up several times, and I had really weird dreams. I’m not sure if that’s because of the light sleep or the cheese. 

There was a bunch of gunfire in the night, and we are pretty close to the Mexican border so it was a little unnerving. Catwater had said last night that she was most nervous of people out here. I just didn’t think about it. Sometimes that’s the best way. 

I hiked 10.3 miles without stopping. Through a burn area, past some discarded clothes, past a few people who stopped to high five me for being almost done. My fuel for the day was haribo and adrenaline. 

I had a message from my 2015 friend Ladies Man. He was going to meet me at the border. Awesome! I had a nervous butterfly feeling in my stomach. It’s really nearly over. 

I walk along. Not thinking of much. I have a song from Wicked the musical stuck in my head. I reach the mile 1 marker and sit to wait for Catwater to catch up so we can hike the last mile together. I don’t think I can quite get my head around the fact it’s nearly over. 

We hike on and soon we see a bunch of cars in the distance. There it is. The Mexican border. As we go up the hill (heavy eye rolling here) I can see Slide Rule (Catwaters husband), Ladies Man and The Ravens! Mama and Papa Raven had come to surprise us again! There were also a couple of bewildered tourists who came just to see the monument I think. 

They all graciously gave us stinky hikers great big hugs. What an awesome celebration. There was champagne and Ladies Man even brought me an American thanksgiving dinner. It really was amazing that he came all the way down here just to see me. I felt quite overwhelmed. Of course no one can replace my mum and dad, and it would have been nice to have seen them, but as it goes this was a fantastic substitute. 

We signed the book, chatted and caught up on life and the universe, reminisced and reflected. And of course we had a photo shoot! 

When I stood here in April 2015 and looked north I had no idea if I could walk 100 miles, let’s alone 2,650. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. I didn’t think I would ever be stood here again. I didn’t think in a million years that I would be stood here again just 18 months and over five thousand miles later having completed my second thru hike of the PCT.

But here I am! A lot of people questioned my desire to do the same trail again but, as I have found out, going south is a very different experience to going north. I will at some point try and put it into words but I’ve loved every minute of it.

Then it was time to go. The Ravens left and so did Ladies Man and as Dan drove Catwater and I away from the monument I wondered if I would ever be here again. Never say never right? 


I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps. 


58 thoughts on “PCT SOBO DAY 134 – she believed she could so she did. Twice.

  1. Congratulations! What an awesome experience. Following you these last few months has been inspiring, entertaining and a learning experience. I have enjoyed sharing parts of your adventure with family and friends. I hope you do a blog for your New Zealand Hike! I recommend you figure a way to change your diet while on the trail though! Cheers and walk on!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Puff Puff,
    I loved reading about your adventures. I had been reading about the NOBO but your blog was fascinating. The SOBO hikers provide an interesting
    perspective on the trail. I was totally rapt and rooting for you and Catwater.
    I would check everyday for new postings and to see if you could really do the hike on crisps and cheese. Continue to enjoy your Sprite and Twix.
    I will now have to go out, hike and create my own adventures till your next trip. You are a real inspiration. I’ll miss you.



  3. Puff Puff,
    Nice blog and congratulations what an accomplishment, just to do it one time let alone both directions. I enjoyed following your adventure and I’m a little sad that it is over.

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats! You’re my hero Alex. You are the epitome of what a woman is capable of, and have given me the courage to plan my first 2 week trek by myself along the JMT next summer. Thank you for allowing me to be a tiny part of your journeys. You will never fully understand the impact you’ve had on me and, I’m sure, to so many others. I wish you a most peaceful transition as you find your spot in everyday life outside of the mountains…..even as they continue to call to you, to pull you back. The mountains will call you back. ❤️🗻 THANK you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m as proud of you as if you were my own daughter. Over 5000 miles. Wow and more to come. I’ve been keeping Billy Goat up dated on your progress. God keep you safe on trail and off.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous, Alex! Thanks for sharing your adventures, your emotions, and your dubious menus. So looking forward to the NZ blog! Time for a Just A Drop donation to start you off on the new leg. x


  7. As us Yanks say too often, awesome! I enjoyed following your NOBO trip so much I was disappointed when it ended. When you’re blog popped up again it was great to see. Years ago I would have thought of you as an amazing woman but you’ve proven the fairer sex can do whatever they want…regardless of what others may say. Congratulations.


  8. Well done, Puff Puff. I’m equally amazed at your hiking and your writing. How you manage each day to summon up the energy to write after having walked for eleven hours is beyond me. Thank you so much for gifting us with this wonderful blog!


  9. Well,you did it. I knew you could. Never had a doubt. Good job ! I’m curious which direction you liked better. I know you started SOBO a bit late which made it a bit of a rush, but besides that ?


    1. Thanks Pete! I’m still working on the Nobo / Sobo comparison, they were such different experiences, but I think in terms of the trail and the weather and the views sobo edges it. I met loads of awesome people on the sobo, but nobo is definitely more of a social experience


      1. Hope you’ll do soon… one of the things that was holding me back to start a NOBO hike is the enormous amount of fellow hikers. Don’t get me wrong, I love socialising, but when hiking, I like to be out in nature, preferably alone. When googling for the PCT SOBO, I found your blog 🙂


      2. Ooh cool… so does this mean I can start looking forward to it…? 😉 And many questions. Most obvious: which way did you prefer (and why)? Also wondering if SOBO is really more difficult? In respect to that, I read that SOBO gives you a more narrow time frame and was wondering if 25miles per day is doable? (I know speedy hikers are quite okay with it, but to me – having done parts of the TA in New Zealand and lots of hiking in hilly Europe 😉 it sounds like ALOT). Am also wondering about the social aspects of SOBO / NOBO: does SOBO give you the solitude / nature experience? Would love to have that and I think NOBO won’t be able to provide that (unless going out of season; which would imply hiking in hot desert, many mosquitos in the sierra and so on). About the desert, super silly question, but am super afraid of spiders and snakes: is it really better in autumn? Less spiders and snakes for SOBO hikers? 😀 And how were the water sources when you hiked sobo? Anyway, LOTS of questions, am also just curious to read your general perspective on the differences. I think your one of the few people able to give this perspective which is rather awesome! PS. sorry for any spelling mistakes, it’s midnight after a long day and English is not my first language.


  10. There is a story told of a Native American woman who, when told by a US Government agency to move to a different area, adamantly refused. When asked why she didn’t to go, Her answer was “The wind won’t know my name”. There is a trail in America which will forever know yours. Many, many thanks for sharing.


      1. Thank you. I’ve started the NZ, but will put it on hold and start 2015.
        Again, I hope you can find the time to put your adventures in book form. I believe you will find a wide audience.


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