Cocoa (Veronika)

Mile 2,591

 
 
 

(1) Where are you from?

I’m from Germany.

 

(2) What day did you start?

22.04.2018

 

(3) What day did you finish?

05.10.2018

 

(4) Do you have a trail name?

Cocoa

 

(5) If so, where did it come from?

I have a passion for chocolate – which I couldn’t hide from my trail family.

 

(6) What did you dream of when things weren’t going well?

Of course, I pictured myself being at the northern terminus. But what helped me the most getting over difficult times was singing along – just every song I know.

 

(7) Did you experience anything miraculous?

There are a couple of encounters, that are kind of magical. For example, there was one when it was raining, and we tried to make it to the Highway to get a hitch from there to Packwood. It was already pretty late and getting dark. We felt very miserable being all wet and cold, especially after doing Knife’s Edge in a very bad weather. On the last climb to the Highway, a woman shouted from above whether there were hikers who needed a ride. So we shouted back. It turned out that she was Mamma G., a well-known trail angel. She even let us pick up our packages at the Kracker Barrel. It was a perfect timing and without Mamma G., we might have not ended in a hotel room with hot showers and a place to dry our stuff.

 

(8) Any memorable encounters with the elements, or wildlife?

It was in Washington at the end of September. It was already pretty cold and rainy, so we decided to set up our tent when we took our lunchbreak so that we could stay warm. When we wanted to hike on and opened our tent, it was snowing in huge snowflakes! That view was incredibly beautiful, and we didn’t expect it at all.

 

(9) Think back to your “pre-hike self.” Now think of yourself here at the end. Has anything changed?

The trail has definitely left his marks. It changed my way of thinking and I got more self-confident in facing difficulties. It’s hard to name it now, only a few weeks after finishing, and I have yet to figure it out what exactly it was that the PCT has changed.

 

(10) Now that you are off the trail, what do you miss most about it?

It’s very simple – I miss being outside, in the woods. I miss the freedom.

 

(11) Before you started, what were you most afraid of?

I actually started with a knee injury so my fear was having to quit the trail after a few days! But then, with wearing a knee brace and keeping a slow pace, it turned out that that wasn’t a problem.

 

(13) What’s the difference between life on the trail and life off the trail?

The life on trail is all about the simple things: How you get food, water, a place to sleep. This can really clear your thoughts and make you focus on the more important things. There are also less expectations from the society.