Five Miles on the Pacific Crest Trail

I went for a hike today on the Pacific Crest Trail. It might not have been the sort of epic adventure that thru-hiking the entire trail would have been, but it was a lovely experience nevertheless.

Pacific Crest Trail

Practically each foot of the trail had a uniqueness of its own, whether rock stair steps,


hidden caches of water that I was so very glad I didn’t have to drink even if I had a filter,


tiny baby blue eyes flowers peeking up us from the side of the trail,

baby blue eyes

bush poppies entwined with manzanita berries

bush poppies

vibrant surprises of color painting the path

and stunning panoramic views.

I still dream of traveling long distances by foot, but for now, it felt good to get back to a comfortable house with clean water to drink, a refrigerator full of tasty food, and a cozy bed upon which to collapse.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

10 Responses to “Five Miles on the Pacific Crest Trail”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Ah, now you’ve made me nostalgic. Makes me want to visit Israel again. We took such lovely hikes. I didn’t appreciate them enough at the time–too much heat and dislike of exercise–but I wish I could do it all again. Maybe someday I will.

  2. nakularora Says:

    I want to do the whole trek someday. 🙂

  3. Suzette Says:

    Pat, thank you so much for your book on grieving and your blogs. My husband crossed to the other side 10 months ago. Your book and your blogs have helped me through the darkest path if my journey.
    The strength and willingness to go on has been fueled to a great degree by you.
    A couple of months after he crossed over I decided to go on a camping trip up north with his cousin that he and I was suppose to do, but fate did not have it planned for him. I packed our little motorhome with a few things including two little ten week old puppies and my two cats. I bought two puppies to replace my husband during those knee jerk reactions you have after your spouse of 46 years decide to make a left turn, that doesn’t include you. BIG MISTAKE!!!
    Taking that trip, driving a motorhome that I usually never drive was the hardest thing I have ever done. Most people probably said, “wow she didn’t waste any time…..little did they know why I was taking the trip. One night as I was screaming why am I doing this, my husband said , “I now know you will be okay”. I settled back down and realized why I was on this trip. Then I yelled at him, ” yes I will be okay, buy don’t you ever ask me to do anything like this again”. He replied, ” your biggest mistake was not in taking the trip, but taking two ten week old puppies”. I grinned for I knew he was so right.
    Then I took the camper to Florida for the month of January and February. I needed to get away from the house where he was so sick for two years. And I needed to be in warm weather to help my body physically heal. Here again, the comments wow she wasted no time. Little did they know.
    My puppies and I chose to stay alone most if the time in Florida though we were camping with five hundred retired couples all of which seemed to still have their spouses. Watching them walking around holding hands and laughing made my heart break wide open even further.
    So my puppies and I walked the Everglades a lot . Physically and mentally I began to heal. In February as I was preparing to come home my brother passed away. The arthritis , and the heart ache returned with a vengeance . He was my last sibling , my parents crossed over a long time ago.
    Emotionally I feel I have made tremendous progress, but for some reason the body has not let go of the last two painful years.
    So now I am working on releasing. Your blogs and referring back to your books help.

    Lie you, All I want to do is hike again, travel and soak in all Mother Earth has to offer. My husband and I use to hike the Appalachian Trail and the mountains of N.C.. those were the happiest times of our lives. Whenever we camped out West we would leave our motorhome, take the jeep and tent camp on top of a mountain somewhere.
    Mother Earth is our greatest healer……………I think I will go lay down on her and let her do her magic.

    Sorry for the long “comment”.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your journey with fellow travelers going down your same road.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      No need to apologize for the long comment. I like hearing people’s stories for the same reason people read mine — it brings comfort to know that we are not alone. In the coupled world, there are thousands of reminders of aloneness. At the beginning, it about killed me to see older couples walking hand in hand while I walked alone, but I don’t notice them so much any more.

      We all have to find our way through grief however we can. It takes so long — years — it’s amazing any of us find any sort of happiness again. One of those things no one talks about is that grief is not just emotional. It’s very physical, manifesting itself in upsurges of long-standing ailments and the onset of many more.

      When my father died a few months ago, it brought back all the old grief. Now that I am free, I want to go home to Jeff again, but . . . well, that’s not possible. So somewhow, like you, I will find my way forward.

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