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  • Writer's pictureBlaine Hoppenrath

Happy Halfway

Holy S**t! I have made it halfway. Clearly halfway brings me back to the swimming days of 100 x 100s or 10 x 400 IMs where my teammates and I would get halfway and either give each other encouragement by singing a few lines of Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” or if we only had a few seconds it was a simple “Happy Halfway.”

So, to all my fellow PCT class of 2019 who has made it this far... HAPPY HALFWAY!

I have walked 1,325 miles. Before this my longest trip was 42 miles so that is crazy in and of itself. Since the trip began I can now walk for three to four hours without stopping, have my gear locked in, and my favorite trail meal is a tortilla with peanut butter and Oreos!

But repetition for effect, while my drive and own two feet got me here I would be remised if I didn’t send a few shoutouts.

To Big Gulps and Diamond, getting halfway with you two is the best. You both push me to get outside of my comfort zone and help me handle the big miles.

To all my extended trail family. R2, Anita, Bart and Tart, Sponge, Cousin Eddy, Taco Salad and Tight Buns, Lakes, 2:30, and Stats. You all are simply more than I ever could imagine.

To Anna, Audrey, Julie, and Brandie, my biggest cheerleaders at home. Checking in on me has meant more than any of you will ever know.

There are so many more people to thank and just know that I have thought, am thinking about, and will be thinking about how much you’ve mean to me.

And finally to my parents and brother. I would never ever be able to be out here without your support. You are the best family that I could ever ask for.

I also want to take a minute to reflect on my Top 10 Highlights from the first half of trail.

10) Making it halfway: Because I MADE IT HALFWAY

9) April 24: Because just starting the trail was a pretty big deal

8) Quad Zero in Kernville/Birthday Weekend: Because turning 30 on trail followed by three days of rafting with new friends and trail friends was a birthday I will never forget

7) Cajon Pass: Because having my two worlds collide was emotional but reminded me that I have the strength to overcome any obstacle.

6) Leaving Scissors Crossing: Because we may have slept under a bridge the night before but the rainbow I witnessed the next morning was stunning

5) Summer Solstice: Because hiking naked

4) Wrightwood: Because the hats

3) Eagle Rock: Because we could totally be on an album cover

2) The Sierra: Because its the Sierra

1) Summiting Mt Whitney: Because it was such a high

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