Something About Linda

Gottago on trail

Why would a 57 year old woman want to thru-hike?

The idea was likely germinating when I turned 45. After a silly fight with my husband, I went out for the day alone and, as it turned out, I had a very, very good day in the Malibu Mountains. I learned that day that I did not have to depend on anyone else to make me happy, but rather it was pretty much up to me. I loved my husband that day, and still do, but I knew that it wasn't his job to make me happy.

No, I didn't decide that afternoon that I was going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. But, what I did decide that day was that I was going to find out what spoke to my heart and go for it without concern for what others might think.

I love to read books on self-improvement and growth, and my reading at this time took a spiritual turn. Several books have been instrumental in the changes that have come about in my life, most notably, An Unknown Woman by Alice Koller; The Artist Way by Julia Cameron; and Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, which I still read on a daily basis. Inspired by the message of these books, I considered going on a silent retreat, but wasn't sure I could be quiet with others around. The wilderness seemed to be calling me as a place to be alone, but I was afraid. My next decision was a watershed moment.

In 1997, I went on an Outward Bound trip. This was the real beginning. Knowing I was hooked on this type of adventure and backpacking, in 1998 I went on Women In The Outdoors in Malibu State Park. And later that same year, I went on Carol Latimer's Call Of The Wild, a 6-day Mt. Whitney backpacking trip.

I've taken many 5-day trips with my friends, Cindy and Tina. I began going on annual backpacking trips with my friend Lamont, whom I had met on the very first Outward Bound trip and who has become a dear, dear friend, financial advisor, and wonderful backpacking buddy. One of my most confidence building trips (1999) was a cross country backpack Lamont and I took out of North Lake, up Piute Pass, over Alpine Col and Lamarck Col, guided by Marilyn, one of our Outward Bound teachers.

In 2001, I did the John Muir Trail, more than half of it alone. Then, in 2002, I hiked all 2,658 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. I was hooked. I went back for more and did 900 miles of the PCT in 2003. In 2004 I hiked a bit of the Continental Divide Trail. 2005 found me hiking a section of the Colorado Trail.

In 2006, my path included fracturing my hip in a bike accident. As I write this, I’m deep in the planning for my 2007 PCT hike. Wish me luck!