Adventurer and Long Distance Hiker. |
Irish woman, Olive McGloin, became the first woman in the world to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, from the borders of Mexico to Canada and back again, non-stop in 2014. (It’s the same 2,650-mile route (one way) that Reese Witherspoon’s character walks some 1,000 miles of in the film Wild.)
They call it the YoYo when you attempt the return trip in one go – and the test it presents is hard to imagine. With her husband, she left the starting point just North of Campo California, on April 25th, taking the first of tens of millions of steps that would bring them to the Canadian border and back. On August 3rd they touched Canada and immediately turned around and started walking back to Mexico, reaching it on November 5th.
Borders are powerful but it was what the landmass of the US offered them between these two borders that mattered. Desert, mountain plains, deep snow, sheer ice cliffs, volcanoes, and long tarmac roads. forests enclosed them and valleys consumed them as they hiked through California, Oregon and Washington State. They walked for miles through the smoke of forest fires, losing the bright blue shimmer of Lake Tahoe to clouds of smoke and ash and slept under skies of shooting stars, full moons and hard hammering thunder and lightning.
The ground beneath them was ever changing: sand, rock, ice, snow, water, and tarmac seemed to melt together along old pioneer trails and high mountain passes. The trail passes through 26 national forests and 48 wilderness areas.
Sixty percent of the trail is simply wilderness which makes the PCT one of the most challenging hikes in the world – and utterly seductive.
Irish Times article>>
Irish Examiner interview>>
Outsider Magazine interview>>