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.
5 Months Without Brandon
Being stuck in preparation mode is harder than I thought it was going to be. Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail has become a consuming thought. I read blogs, articles, and first-hand accounts. I watch videos from those who are or have been on the trail. I research, research, and research some more. The anticipation of the beginning has become a lingering thought. I don’t want to wish my life away, but I am ready for 2020 to be here. Then I am reminded of a simple thought. I will soon be without my partner for 5 months. Sure, there are lots of reasons I don’t leave next season; financial, work, civic obligations, preparation… Despite all of those, the one that keeps me grounded in the present is the thought of not being able to talk to Brandon every single day. Such a simple thing, yet something I cherish dearly.
What If I Don’t Finish
As part of my research, I have been listening to hiking podcasts. 99% of the stories are about people looking back fondly or those currently on the trail. They all speak of the unmatched experience that comes with hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Then, there are stories of those who don’t finish. There is a myriad of reasons people give for getting off the trail: physical pain, loneliness, financial reasons, family situations, etc. These reasons weigh heavily on my mind. I am choosing to take this journey for a couple of reasons. I am hoping to raise some funds for Rotary’s effort to eradicate Polio, but I am also hoping to learn a whole lot about myself. The thought of not finishing feels like a betrayal to both of those aims. While I know I have no way of controlling the future, I know I possess every intention of seeing this journey through to the very end. My motivation? Because some things are just bigger than me.
5 Days A Week
By no stretch of the imagination, am I a morning person. I am a busy person, though. I prefer to workout after work, but thanks to my schedule that can sometimes be impossible. So, I have started getting up every morning to workout. I am doing this for a few reasons. I am trying to lose 20 lbs. and get down to 180. I want to boost my confidence. Finally, I want to be properly prepared for the trail. Hiking 2,650 miles will the most arduous physical journey of my life. Now, is the time to invest in me by focusing on my legs, back, stamina, and endurance. My hope is early mornings will mean a more enjoyable experience free of those injuries that seem to sideline so many.
Water, Sweet, Perfect Water
Finding, accessing, and carrying water is my number one concern right now. Food is secondary. The hunt for water in the desert of California weighs heavily on my mind. I live in LA and I know how hot it can get out there. This fear to overcome leads me to a request for anyone who stumbles across this post. Does anyone know of an online guide to finding water on the trail? If so, would you mind including a link in the comment section below? I would adore you for it.
If My Body Betrays Me
Currently, I am 34 years old. I will begin hiking the PCT at 36. As of right now, my knees, feet, and back hurt if I over exert myself. The fear of my body betraying me weighs heavily on my mind (so much so I have mentioned it twice here). So much of what would end this journey feels like it would be beyond my control. My body feels like something within my realm. I know this is foolish, but if my body were to betray me and force me to quit, I feel like I would be letting myself down.
Be good to each other,
I've never asked readers for financial support before. I am committed to keeping content on this site free and open to all. For me, this means no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what I create, please consider making a contribution on Patreon.