"Hike your own hike", as the saying goes. You may never catch us through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), but we're always interested in reading about others' hiking experiences. One book that's been on our radar for a while recently showed up on our doorstep thanks to Read and Share, a series of events put on by Whatcom County Library System (WCLS). It's a book with a strong connection to Bellingham and the local trail community, so we were excited to read and review it.
The author, Heather "Anish" Anderson became a legend in the through-hiking world when she set the unsupported fastest known time (FKT) on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013. An unlikely contender, this zebra dress-wearing woman from Bellingham crushed the previous record by four days -- hiking 2,600 miles from Mexico to Canada in 60 days, 17 hours, and 12 minutes. It was an incredible achievement, and we sincerely hope she enjoyed a cold beer afterward.
Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home
Years after setting her record, Heather took on a new challenge: writing a book about her experience. In "Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home", she tells the story behind her record -- why she set out to achieve an FKT in the first place. "Thirst" isn't just about an epic through-hike, it's about realizing a childhood dream. It's about determination, self-talk, and stubbornly sticking to a goal despite dehydration, wildlife encounters, severe fatigue, and any other obstacle the trail (or life) might throw your way.
If 2020's relentless volley of obstacles are getting you down, this may be the book for you. "Thirst" provides a healthy helping of inspiration -- something we could all use a little of these days. We enjoyed armchair traveling the PCT with Heather as she hiked an average of 40 miles every day for 2 months. We can't imagine the strength, stamina, and perseverance Heather needed to pull off such a feat. Truly incredible.
If you'd like to purchase the book, check out our Bookshop link below. Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home is also available on Amazon. Thanks to the Whatcom County Library Foundation for providing our review copy!
On a final side note, Brandon has hiked roughly 30 miles on the PCT since 2016 -- almost certainly making him a strong contender for the slowest known time :) Cheers!