Australia to the real Emerald City.

After 3 hours sleep, I made it to the airport not feeling anywhere near as worried as I was last night. I am exhausted, but that's my own fault. Aside from a severe difficulty to sleep on planes, the fault lies in me for packing my backpack at the last minute (you'd think after all these years of touring, I'd be able to pack a suitcase at least a few days prior to departure)! I know why I procrastinate with packing. I never procrastinate on anything else in life. I make fast decisions (like this GREAT idea of hiking the PCT) and I am generally a good go-to option/opinion for those who require help in making decisions. Just ask Jack Chambers! Haha

But I'm beginning to understand my procrastination to pack and the common factor. It's always whenever I get to a place that feels like home. I'm a true home body. And quite often 'home' is associated with my family. Not a place with great shopping, cafes, movies etc but a place that involves family. 

For those who don't know, I have 5 siblings (all brothers) and a Mum and dad. As a big family, the friendships that have formed over the years are more than siblings and parents. They are my best friends. Add to that, the sisters-in-law that I have picked up over the time, and the additional nieces and nephews. As exciting as travel and new experiences make me, I find it most difficult to leave these people. Of course, as I get older, the sadness sets in more to leave behind what I associate with my heart. But the best thing about that is I take them with me, because they are my heart.

So I have arrived safely in the land of Hollywood and ironically the city I should most likely be heading to. Instead, I have chosen the woods. I am only at LAX for the stopover and continuing on to the Emerald City (ah, the pun for any of the Wicked followers)! Seattle. The real emerald city. I'm staying in Seattle for two nights at a fellow hikers apartment. I then go to the mountains for the weekend for a mountaineering course, then back to Seattle for the next 3 nights to hit the trail on Wednesday the 12th July. 

Travelling, food and medication is one thing that comes up a bit when preparing for this hike. As old mate sits next to me here in the gate lounge with a smart bacon and cheese burger, a full cream iced coffee and a doughnut, my morning tea selection LAX floor picnic looks something like this... 

Fruit and veggies as fresh as possible, medications and hydration. And a passport, because I'm getting nowhere without that! Ha!

It's a reason why resupplying for the trail has been a VERY involved concept for me. Knowing what to put in each of these packages to: 

a) get through a full day of hiking, which is roughly about 10-12 hours a day
b) have enough choice to not get sick of the same food for 6 months and 
c) not have it affect my health and medication.

So, my resupply boxes are filled with gluten free, dairy free, soy free, refined sugar free and meat free foods. And of course, no alcohol. Yep! It's known as the Fun Free diet. Ha! But in all seriousness, all of those requirements listed affect something in my body, one way or another. I know that looks intense, but it actually makes me require more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, oats along the trail, rather than dead calories in picnic bars and pop tarts. It seems like a rather dramatic menu to deal with, but as far as I'm concerned, health comes first and it is the way it is. Something I'm taking baby steps to accept...

It's called HYOH (hike your own hike) and my belief is that there is not one rule on how to eat along trail. This thing that's called hiker hunger strikes somewhere a little into the trail where people just absolutely gormandise on food. Not great food either. Huge pizzas and pancakes etc and not just one serving! My body will actually get extremely ill if I do that to it. It would take me off the trail for sometime and I can't afford to lose days (considering having to be through the high sierras before the first snow storms in October). So by feeding my body with servings of dehydrated vegetables, soups, gluten free oats, gluten free pastas, vegan protein shakes, green superfood powders and dried fruits and purée fruits, I will be carb-ing up in ways that hopefully my body won't get to the end of the day and need to down 9 burritos. Why 9, you ask? Because 10 just seemed like a little too much. Ha

I'm not going to bore you anymore on the topic of food selection, unless someone comments below asking to know more of a detailed breakdown of my foods for trail. 

I'm about to land in Seattle now. From what I see out the window, I think I'm going to like it here. It's green. The mountains. The landscape. I have a feeling the pacific north west will steal my heart. Mentally, it's nice to feel a little more at ease with my choice of doing the PCT now that I have exited Australia. I'm feeling an abundance of support from so many wonderful people in my life and I hope this journey is decent for everyone reading and that you all might take a little something from it.

Thanks for the love
- Gx


  1. Hello, Gretel! I realize this posting is way old now, but I just recently listened to both parts of your wonderful interview on Hiking Thru. I really enjoyed it. The parts about food really fascinated me. I did the AT eons ago now, and I went the “traditional” route of high carbs and sugars, calories in whatever form etc. Now that I’m older and considering some mid-length hikes like the JMT or Washington PCT, I’m really interested in dehydrating my own fruits and veggies. I eat quite healthily normally, and I’d like to try to replicate that. I’m also recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic, like you were. Grains, nuts and the like are part of my normal diet.
    Any details about your meals would be awesome. Thank you!


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