On May 1st, 2020, I will begin hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. This ongoing series is an attempt to document the entire journey from beginning to end.
Why the PCT?
Such a simple question, yet it gives birth to a thousand complicated answers. The simplest might be for the experience. I am choosing to hike over 2,600 for the experience. Still, it is more nuanced than that. I want to test myself. I am hoping to learn invaluable things about myself. I am hoping this is the genesis of something grand; a defining moment in my life. I want this to be ground zero for a significant change; a point in time where I never doubt my abilities again.
Well, it isn’t happening right now. We aren’t scheduled to leave until May 1, 2020. Beginning the planning process two years out will give me plenty of time to train, plan, and get my life in a comfortable spot. Hiking the PCT isn’t a free experience and neither is putting your life on hold. Two years allows me some time to grow more comfortable with the entire endeavor. When I hit the trail, I want to only worry about the miles before me and taking advantage of every opportunity. I don’t want anything else clouding my mind.
My biggest fears?
In no certain order, I am worried about the following: hiking for four months, getting sick or hurt, having enough money for the trip, not seeing Brandon, finding a job when the journey is over, food, water, shelter, wilderness hiking, camping, carrying gear day after day, buying the right gear, using the gear properly, being away from family and friends, assimilating back into the real world, and taking advantage of the experience.
How to even begin preparing for such an exercise?
This is one of the most daunting challenges. Luckily for me, the world is now filled with resources on everything you need to know about hiking the PCT. Books, articles, blogs, and more are currently serving as my education. Over the next year, it is my hope to take in as much information as possible. Over the same period, it is my hope to do as much hiking as possible to get my body ready for such a feat. As I get closer to the actual launch day, I am hoping to ramp up all these efforts.
What does the end look like?
This is something I think about daily. What does arriving in Canada look like? Who will I be at the end of that journey? How will I look at society differently? Where will my journey go after the trail is finished? The answering of these questions is why I truly want to take this journey. I cannot wait to see what is on the other side. I cannot wait to see what version of myself is on the other side. As I begin this process, I want to thank you in advance for joining me on one of the most daunting exercises of my life. It should be one hell of a ride.
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