Officially Off Trail For This Year

I have recently finally made a decision and am officially announcing that I am off trail for good for the rest of this year. By this I mean that I will not complete my thru-hike of the PCT this year. Nevertheless, I will complete it! The trail will always be there is what I am told and what my rational mind reminds my restless heart of on a daily basis.

As for my injury, the cause of my need to get off trail in the first place, I have recently tested my hiking abilities in Yosemite and realized that I can hike, but not with a heavy pack on, not with my back still healing. I have still not healed up and might not be 100% for another couple of months. I have a deep bone bruise in my tailbone, and possibly some temporary nerve damage, as well as some inflammation in the left lumbosacral joint, and that takes a while to heal. I am going to take care of that for these next months while I plan my next grand adventure! I will be resuming my PCT thru-hike in 2018, as I have something else amazing planned for 2017 (I will announce that later!). My restlessness will eat at me and drive me insane, and my heart longs to be back out there, but as reckless and impulsive as I sometimes am, I also know how to choose what is best for me, and at the moment, it is not carrying 35lbs of survival gear on my back.

So, as difficult as this is, I am saying goodbye to the Pacific Crest Trail for now. I have hiked from the California/Mexico border to Yosemite National Park this year, and last year, I hiked from Tahoe to Burney Falls. With these two totaled together, and about 160 miles subtracted for a few sections I skipped this year, I have hiked about 1,220 miles of the PCT. When I first got off trail, I felt like I had failed, but revisiting Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite last week caused me to feel like I’d come back to face my failure and come to terms with it. I am pretty happy with having hiked close to half of the PCT and have taken so much from the experience. I am grateful to nature and for how good it was to me and what’s it taught me, I am grateful to everyone I met along the way, and I am grateful to God. I have discovered that I absolutely love long-distance hiking, although I already knew that since last year and that is why I came back this year. I promise you, I will gain back my strength and health and try again soon.

Thanks for following along and caring and worrying for me from afar. I feel so loved. I am happy. No post-trail depression here. I wholeheartedly believe that everything will turn out okay. The PCT is waiting for me to come back to it so it can bestow more of its magic on me again, later, when I’m ready to experience it again, when I need it the most. I believe that there is a time for everything, and right now is just not the time. I’ll be back out there when it is. The PCT has taught me so much, and maybe right now it’s teaching me patience. I welcome the lesson.

(I will soon post journal entries of my last couple of days on trail. It was too difficult to do so earlier.)


About elinatravels

I’m Elina Oliferovskiy, a Russian-born 26-year-old restless soul who’s never really found a place to dig her roots in deep ever since I moved to the United States in 1998. I’ve lived in a 39-foot RV with 8 people and a Chihuahua and road-tripped around approximately 38 states for 1.5 months. I’ve packed my car and headed north without a destination and ended up in Big Sur, CA and lived there for a bit. I recently moved to Bend, OR without ever having been here prior (simply went off of the recommendations of others). And I just came back from a trip to France, Luxembourg, England, and Ireland and have many fun stories to share. My alter-ego is Free Spirit (my trail name on the PCT) and I am an aspiring solo female Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker, who’d hiked half of the trail in 3.5 months in 2016 and a did a one-month section hike in 2014. I started this blog to chronicle my attempt to get from Mexico to Canada on foot via the PCT. I have also hiked in England, Luxembourg, and hope to hike the Camino De Santiago (St. James’ Way) in Spain and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, as well as many others. I love challenging myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, exploring and meeting new people who introduce me to their perspectives on life and allow me to be part of what they hold dearest to their hearts, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in order to try exciting new things, and seeing, tasting, smelling, experiencing all of what this wonderful world I live in has to offer. This is why I travel. This is also why I move frequently. I’ve been moving somewhere new nearly every year, and I absolutely love my lifestyle. Now, I am deciding between teaching English in Vietnam, working remotely from New Zealand, or moving back to CA and woodcarving for a season. We will see what happens in the fall/winter of 2017. For now, I plan to stay in Bend, OR another few months and absorb all I can from this wonderful little (though rapidly growing) town. Feel free to follow along my journey by reading and commenting on my blog, adding me on Facebook (search for Elina Oliferovskiy and write me a message telling me you are a follower of my blog), or emailing me at
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16 Responses to Officially Off Trail For This Year

  1. William S. Miller with Spike the Poodle says:

    Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Take care of your spine, as if you do not, you may find in 20+ years that it has degenerate likely due to an “old” injury.

    You are a great writer, and many of use, me included, will miss your “mis”adventures. Keep us posted, and if you are ever in or near Ventura, CA (e.g. Surfers Point,) I will take you to lunch and check on you are holding up.

    Best of luck to you, Elina

    Bill Miller and Spike the French Poodle

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hope the healing continues rapidly. Have really enjoyed reading your blog.


  3. Yermo says:

    Adiosito for a little while. You did great. Thank for writing your blog and letting this guy be in on your adventures.
    All the best, take care, & heal up for more trails in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It will be there for you when you’re ready to go back. I had to bail on an AT thru hike due to crippling plantar fascitis, but then finished it up a year and a half later.
    Happy Trails

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Meg Garbutt says:

    Thank you for allowing us to come along! First off, there is no failure in living passionately and with loving, wisdom, joy, awareness, weakness, kindness, tears, strength, courage, fun and integrity. You embody and live these in every breath, every step, every, heart you break and heart you grow No one walks the Way you do, and no one, not one could have walked 10 steps in these last months you’ve ***1300 miles (more like 3000). …Congratulations for the incredible adventure, you have reached the heavens, truly, my wild and brave friend! Be gentle with yourself! I will meet you somewhere else on the PCT, just as you have met yourself here, and now. Welcome home! Be proud, and peaceful, you Divine Goddess! Keep going! xom

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It took me two tries to finish the AT (plantar fasciitis). You’ll get there! Happy Trails


  7. Moon says:

    The hotnsey of your posting shines through


  8. Janessa says:

    “a great photo of a girls's ass”? When my friends and I were in our twenties, hanging in bars, hearing people older than 40 (who still hung out with our age group) talk like this, we referred to them as “Dirty Old Men” and “Dirty Old La82#s&ed2i1;. We assumed they had never progressed emotionally past their teen years and pitied them.Poor Penelope. Poor Farmer. Innocent Poor Children. How truly pathetic.


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