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Home » Track & Field News

POLSON ALUM HIKES PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

August 21, 2013
Northwest Montana A Conference



 

TREKKING  THROUGH TERRITORY ALONG A TANTALIZING TRAIL: TREMENDOUS  TERRAIN, TAMING THE TREACHEROUS & TENDERIZED TOES
The Pacific Crest Trail jaunt of Northwestern Montana resident Bree Fuqua
A cursory synopsis by John Heglie
 
There is an oft cited adage which says, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (credited to Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, alternatively spelled Laozi, circa 604 - 531 BC).  In the case of once-upon-a-time Northwestern A athletic participant and Polson graduate Bree Fuqua, who now teaches at Glacier High school in Kalispell, the mileage she is on the verge of completing is two and a half times that millennial distance as she closes in on the final hundred miles of her 2663-ish mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail.  Based on projections, she should finish her course with the approach of this upcoming weekend around August 23-24.  The Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT for short, begins at the border of Mexico/California at its southernmost terminus and ends with its northern terminus at the Canadian border in Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia. 
 
To better acquaint NWA readers who may be unfamiliar with Bree Fuqua, it was thought citing some of her past athletic accomplishments would be in order.  To this day she still retains several of the meet records from around the northwestern Montana region in track & field:  Whitefish A.R.M. Invitational - shot & discus; Archie Roe - discus; Russ Pilcher TOP 10 - held shotput record for almost a decade until Taylor McNally of Ennis reset the previous mark in 2010 with a throw of 45-10.  There may be others, but that information was unable to be ascertained in a timely fashion.  For several years, Bree Fuqua held the Polson school record in all the throw events of track & field until Melinda Owen extended the mark for the javelin in 2003.  To the best that has been able to be ascertained, Ms Fuqua still holds the best PHS mark for both shot as well as discus to this day.    At the collegiate level, she also retains the marquee mark as the all-time outdoor leader in the shot put for the University of Oregon Ducks according to their media guide from last season. .In the discus, she almost cracked the TOP 10 of the UO all-time list. Some of the publicity blurbs have been included at the base of this article. 
 
Bree Fuqua’s past athletic accomplishments have been cited in part to better acquaint readers with the fact that not only is she familiar with maintaining an athletic regime along with associated disciplines in order to pursue a goal,  but also that she is acquainted with stretching the boundaries of physical endurance to accomplish a task that lies before her.  But it should also be pointed out that her endeavor is not merely one person matching whits with the likes of Mother Nature.  Ms. Fuqua has a fairly organized logistical support team.  She makes periodic pitstops at post offices along the trail to retrieve resupply packages that are sent to her from home at strategic segments of her journey.  Digitized pictures of some of those vital vittle supplies can be viewed that accompany some of her blog entries.   Another somewhat supplemental support system is occasionally derived from encountering other hikers along the trail.  Then there are what are termed “trail angels,” folk who occasionally offer support to trek hikers.  For example, one “trail angel” might meet up a traveler, shuttle them to their abode where the hiker is allowed to use their shower while they wash one’s soiled garments.  Another might give the hiker a lift to a more distant post office so a package can be retrieved. 
 
Vaulting back into matters relative to PCT hiking adventure of Ms. Fuqua, she began this ambitious hiking adventure on May 6th, taking that first step that evolved into averaging close to a couple dozen miles a day.  It took her 73 days to traverse the entire length of the state of California, taking a slight detour to hike Mt. Whitney, crossing into Oregon in mid-July.  On day 90, Bree crossed the Columbia River Gorge at the Bridge of the Gods into the state of Washington.  In the final pair of sections of the PCT, Ms. Fuqua is traversing some of the most challenging terrain yet encountered in the North Cascade mountain range, hiking inclines with steep grades that ascend for several thousand feet only to descend into a valley another several thousand feet only to begin the process all over again with the next piece of  mountainous terrain. 
She has been keeping a blog of her journey which can be viewed at the following website:
http://breehikes.com   > [note: no www!] 
Due to the steepness of the terrain, limited if not nonexistent cell phone coverage as well as inclimate weather patterns, she has been unable to post her most recent entries as of yet.  But for those who would like to cast a glimpse into the realms of a long-term trek hiker, her commentary as well as digital photos will convey much for the viewer who may never aspire to take on such an ambitious adventure.  Playing around with the date entries will allow one to gain access to earlier postings. 
A cursory chronology of her travel bloggings will assist readers in accessing earlier portions of her travelogue. Often subsequent postings take place in next day increments, but not always the case:
Day 1 began upon May 06 at the southernmost terminus along the border of Mexico.  The posting for Day 25 is dated June 01, whereas  Day 57 is posted July 01.  Day 73 brings her to Oregon on July 17.  Entering Washington takes place on Day 90 on August 04.  To access blog entries inbetween, one can play around with scaling the dates and days.  Note that not every entry will sequentially take place the subsequent day, but is dependent upon her ability to access the internet.    For other articles covering some of the accomplishments of Bree Fuqua, the following is provided below:  
 
8 May 2013 issue of the Flathead Beacon inaugural article about her hiking the PCT:
11 Jun 2013 issue of Flathead Beacon followup article by Dillon Tabish entitled “Where’s Bree? Climbing Mount Whitney with Her Sister”
17 July 2013 issue of Flathead Beacon article by Dillon Tabish entitled, “Where’s Bree? Down to the Final 1,000 Miles”
20 August 2013 issue of Flathead Beacon article by Dillon Tabish entitled, “Where’s Bree? In the Final Miles of an Unbelievable Journey”
 
13 June 2013 article featured in the Lake County Leader
 
athletic bios of Bree Fuqua as part of the University of Oregon Track&Field team:
 
 
University of Oregon Ducks 2013 media guide:
 
Polson High School Track & Field all-time school records:

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