On April 11th, 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.
I am walking 2,650 miles to End Polio with Rotary International. Support my journey!
My First Gear Purchase
When it comes to gear, you have to start somewhere. For me, I have chosen to focus on my backpack first. For my first gear purchase, I bought a Smartphone Backpack Shoulder Pocket Strap. This little thing will be able to hold my phone, water, or anything else I need quick access to out on the trail. This little convenience means a lot to me. As my first purchase, it was my first step toward making this wish of mine reality. Now, I either continue accumulating gear or I face buyer’s remorse which becomes a higher level of disappointment. I am choosing to go all in!
16 lbs. to Go
When I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, I knew instantly that I had to get into better shape. At the beginning of this journey, I weighed 207 lbs. Now, I weigh 196 lbs. with 16 lbs. to go to reach my goal of 180 lbs. I feel so accomplished working out five days a week, lifting weights, riding my bike, running, and of course, hiking. I can feel my confidence and endurance increasing with each passing week; both of which I hope to serve me well out on the trail.
Feeling Generous? Here is my Amazon PCT Wishlist…
4.6 Million Steps
The greatest cliché I have heard in relation to the Pacific Crest Trail is the 2,650-mile journey begins with one step… To which I would add, then another, and another, and another. 4.6 million steps, give or take a few, gets you from Mexico to Canada. At first, this can seem like a daunting task particularly when you consider these steps are taken through a desert, mountain passes, uneasy rock, mud, sand, snow, bridges, roads, and water. When that seems impossible, I remind myself of what is waiting for me on the other side; a life profoundly changed by a journey few have dared and most see as too great of a challenge.
If you’ve been keeping up this series, you may have noticed something different in the opening sentence. I changed our launch date from May 1st, 2020 to April 11th, 2020. My reasoning behind the decision is based on a lot of research:
· I want to avoid as much of the desert heat as possible.
· The fire season in the west has gotten longer, if I want to do the entire trail, I need to make it through the northwest before fires break out and spread.
· I will need another full paycheck from Skid Row Housing Trust.
· I want to get back to Seattle by the end of September.
Of course, this means my entire schedule for this trip has been shifted forward by 20 days. In my mind, I don’t see this as impossible. It just requires careful planning and a new sense of urgency.
North or Nothing
On April 11th, 2020, I am heading north. In the months leading up to that date, I am placing all my earthly possessions in a moving truck, winding down my job, cherishing each moment with Brandon, saying goodbye to friends, disconnecting myself from Los Angeles, turning my life over to a hiking trail, and embracing the idea of life in Seattle again. 2020 will be a year of monumental change for me. It is also a moment in time that has become a consuming thought. I have never wanted anything so badly as I want this. I am going North with all that I have.
Be good to each other,
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