As you may be aware, I am planning to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) this summer. I start this new adventure April 22 (earth day!) and plan to hike into the end of September. The trail is 2,650 miles long with deserts, mountains, snow, insects, views, and whatever else the natural world has to offer. As a lover of the natural world, I’m incredibly excited to go be a human in nature for an extended period of time.
I’ve been intensively studying the natural world in my college experience for nearly 5 years, and now that I’ve graduated it’s time to go and encounter what I’ve spend so much effort learning. While I studied mostly water related life and have spent most of my time on the sea, I now turn to the mountains. To do this I’ve had to regretfully say no to some great opportunities out on the water. However, I value gaining a diverse set of experience, so the PCT it is.
I learned about the PCT about 10 years ago. Back then my now brother-in-law and I would spend hours in the library looking over books about landscaping and hikes (obvious combination right?). We found out about the PCT and I’ve intended to hike it ever since. Back in those days I thought to myself, “man, lots of people want to do this, but very few people do. Why can’t I be one of those people who do it?”
As it turns out, while very few people attempt to hike the PCT, even fewer people actually succeed at finishing it. I’ve heard that only 1/5-1/4 of PCT hikers actually succeed at finishing the entire trail. The reasons for this are numerous — injuries, boredom, exhaustion, family emergencies, etc. While I intend to be on of the 1 out of 4-5 people that finishes the hike, I realize that it is very possible that I may not make it and won’t be incredibly disappointed if I don’t make it.
The point of this trip is not to walk from Mexico and Canada. I think that if that was my goal I would quickly become unhappy about not being able to quickly attain my goal. Rather, I’m taking this trip to live differently for an extended period of time. I’ve found myself stressed from the hustle and bustle of Seattle and disappointed with what the city had to offer me. While I’ve needed to live in the city to accomplish what I want, my real joy is the natural world and the slower comings and goings of that.
My dream of a perfect world would be for humans to better integrate ourselves into the natural world rather than separating ourselves from the very source that gives us life. This experience will give me constant contact with the natural world, and I hope to learn lessons from what I experience.
I also will have plenty of time for introspection. While I developed incredibly fast while in college, I’m not completely sure what I’ve developed into. I’m looking for some quiet alone time and I think hiking the PCT fits the bill. I plan to write in my journal every night about what I’ve experienced and thought, and when I’m in town to pick up a resupply box and gear I plan to write blog updates on my phone. I’d like this blog to be a sort of dialogue between me and you reading this. I plan to ask questions and present ideas that I would like feedback on. So please, I’ll be somewhat lonely, please talk to me! haha.
In ending, I’d like to give the biggest most earnest thank you to everybody who has supported this endeavor so far. Support has come in the form of money, borrowed gear, encouragement, interesting ideas, and love. I don’t know how to thank you people enough.
My next post I will write on my train ride down to San Diego. I’ll tell you about my two-night shakedown hike I did with my friend Rachel in the Olympic National Park.