KODIAK — A woman who grew up fishing in Alaska’s Uganik Bay is more than halfway through her horseback journey along the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail.
Alina Dudding began her journey on the trail April 22 from Campo, Calif., near the Mexico and U.S. border, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.
“Somewhere I read that no woman had through-ridden the trail in a season on one horse,” Dudding, 27, said. “I decided that would be really awesome.”
Dudding’s brother, Cameron Dudding, is acting as his sister’s support team as she tackles tougher sections of the trail.
“I started researching it and I realized it was really difficult to the horse if you do it without support, so I recruited my brother,” Dudding said.
Cameron Dudding meets his sister and 7-year-old black Morgan horse, Valentino, with water, meals and hay. They also set up camp each night, a job that includes putting up a 13-panel corral for Valentino.
Alina Dudding has less than 1,000 miles to go.
Cameron Dudding is currently fishing in Uganik Bay, but will rejoin his sister for the final part of her trek. The target date to complete the journey is Oct. 5.
Preparation began summer of last year when Dudding and her brother scouted the trail.
“We were driving to all the road crossings to see which ones we could get to,” Cameron Dudding said. “You never know if you can drive on the roads.”
Horse and rider averaged between 10 and 15 miles a day while going through the California desert. They are now up to about 40 miles daily.
Challenges they’ve encountered include weather and finding horse-friendly places to camp.
“The whole trail is really big challenge, especially trying to navigate with the horse,” Dudding said. “There are literally hundreds and hundreds of downed trees. A lot of them you can’t climb over like a hiker, you have to go out and around.”