Over Christmas break, I put up selected pictures from the hike in a facebook album. That album is public now, so anyone should be able to view them by clicking on the following links:
PCT Part 1: Mexico Through the Sierra
PCT Part 2: Northern California, Oregon and Washington
Here are a few pictures from those albums, just to whet the appetite:
Anecdote about hiker mindset ruining everything IRL: I'm currently in the market for a new smartphone and this morning I was comparing iPhone models online. Unfortunately, I happened to see this:
In most other respects, I disengaged very cleanly from the PCT. I had a stable set of circumstances to return home to at the end, so I did that, and got on with things. Lots of hikers aren't in a position to do that: they start the hike at a juncture in life where they are adrift, and they feel even more adrift at the end. Then it's winter and there are therapeutic blog and facebook posts, a sense of disorientation and/or depression, and a very receptive audience in the community of hikers. I'm receptive and understanding of those feelings, too--I just don't have a reason to be feeling them at this point.
I very consciously don't let the hike bleed into my normal life--I shaved my facial hair immediately, I don't wear hiker clothes (even though that's totally normal in Eugene), don't even really walk around that much normally. I do write about hiking still, but in the form of practical-advice-giving on WhiteBlaze, hiking subreddits or for Yogi's 2015 guide. I think that's my own personal therapy, my chance to do a little woolgathering about the trail. And then every now and then something like the iPhone situation above comes along and my now deeply-ingrained hiker instinct forces itself onto a largely non-hiking-related decision.
So every now and then the hiker within me, who is usually ignored or even a little suppressed, breaks out and shows himself. That's fine. I've spent 11 months of my life on long-distance trails. Better to be surprised by reminders of those experiences from time to time than dwell on them to the extent that I can't cope with normal life, or on the other hand forget about them entirely.