It has been exactly a week now since I finished the Pacific Crest Trail. One week already! Time is flying in the real world as well…

After a long session in the shower, sauna, the hot tub and the restaurant we caught the night bus back to Vancouver.

Wow. It was weird to come back “home”. Even though I had been gone for a year now it felt like no time at all. I got off the bus and no five minutes later I bumped into the first friend – Chloe!

And guess what?! Apparently I totally in style with my shorts. Chloe also has tons of holes in hers… 😂

After exploring downtown for a while and showing Kaylee around who hadn’t been to Vancouver before…

 

… I reunited with my old VBB – The Vancouver Bearded Brothers. My buddies from last year still live in the same house we had rented together. So we just crashed in the basement. No more tent. No more freezing night. But still our air mattresses and sleeping bags so that re-integration would not be to sudden. My cave for the last week 😂

The Cave

The main task for Saturday: returning to the real world. Transformation from hiker to hipster 😎 I love my hiking gear. And I love the simplicity of it. One shirt. One pair of shorts. One pair of shoes. One (disgusting) smell. No one gives a f… It makes life easy. But I have been looking forward to getting some nice looking cloth during the last week. To get back into the hipster mode. It’s not only the cloth itself but more to that later.

So what do you need? Some cloth. And someone who takes care of all the hair and marmot in my face. So we set off on the mission. That’s the starting point.

 

Well and after the stroll through a few stores and a visit at my trusted barber it was time for The Return of the Hipster! 😎

 

I have to admit. It feels great. As much as I like the hiker look I also like the hipster mode.

The hiker hunger has not disappeared yet. I am still in the as much as I can eat mode. I guess my body is still catching up and asking for healing of the last days. The cold and wet weather did cost a lot of energy. But the good thing is -“ze machine” is fueled with good stuff now. No more shit! I have dreamed of the blender in our house for many nights during the last weeks: unlimited smoothies! Stir fried veggies, coffee from my favourite cafe “Bump ’n Grind” in Vancouver…

 

And what else? The days have been busy with catching up with the boys, sorting out ten thousands of photos, washing and cleaning gear and organising the next steps. Of course I couldn’t resist running the Grouse Grind. Missed my best time from last year by 30 seconds. The feeling I had already last year: a long distance hiking doesn’t help you to become fit for short distance sprints. Well, there will be a challenge remaining in Vancouver and will add a reason to come back…

And then – something I had looked forward to during the last month. Getting back up in the air! I had looked up into the sky every time that I heard a prop engine flying over us on the trail wanting to jump into a plane myself again. So I took Kaylee, Kassandra and Alex on a little two hour cruise around Vancouver. Beautiful weather, a few flight manoeuvres to get back into the routine, an orbit over downtown and approved mid-field crossing of Vancouver International and a few touch and go landings to get back into it. 😍

Back in the cockpit. Orbiting over downtown. Missed flying…

 

 

 

The good news – I can still do it. Even the first landing was actually a pretty good one. Especially considering I hadn’t done a single one in almost 10 month. Now I am waiting for the frontal system to pass through so I can do a couple more flights taking the boys on a “road trip”. I have really missed it.

What else? My body is starting to feel better. But the general stiffness is still there in the morning. The swelling of the feet has just calmed down during the last two days. But the achilles tendons are still stiff as hell, some of the joints still squeak but the wobbling is getting less and less.

What next? The big question…
Many have asked me during the last days and weeks “So what are you going to do after the PCT?”. Well, if I would only know 😂

For now I will stay in Vancouver for a few more days and enjoy this city and fly around a bit more. And then? On my journey on the PCT I more and more felt that it was time to do something. Something tangible. I could continue traveling. But I don’t really feel like packing a backpack again and strolling through hostels and all this at the moment. I think I am ready for a change again. I feel great and balanced. Even though the impact of the PCT doesn’t feel as strong as the one which the Te Araroa had on me last year. But still I know that everything which had started to change in New Zealand continued and manifested itself during the last month. And in this state I do feel ready to create, design and do something again. I can sense I am full of energy and enthusiasm to do something productive. What that could be. I have no clue! That’s something I will have to find out in the next weeks and month. But I am super excited to do so! No limits, no restrictions. So if you have any creative ideas let me know 😉

What does that mean for the next weeks. Next week I will come back home to Frankfurt for a while. Yes. Back to the motherland for now. Why? I had never intended to be gone for the long. So there is quite a sh*tload of grown-up stuff waiting for me: tax statements, insurance policies, family affairs and many more. So I will take some time to straighten those things out and try to find out what I am going to do with myself in the meantime. I am excited!

Arriving at 11am with LH493 on 4th October in Frankfurt. Back in the land of Ebbelwoi and Dummgebabbel 🤘😎

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