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!
I’ve written about this before, but it continues to weigh on my mind. I am 35 years old and will be 36 when I begin my long hike to Canada. Little things concerning my body are beginning to surface; an insatiable itch on my scalp, sunspots/growths on my face and back, tooth pain, some minor stiffness in my chest, back pain, itchiness on my left leg. Over the course of the next six months, I absolutely must get each one of these annoyances checked out by a doctor. The strain of the trail and walking 20+ miles each day will bring about its own complications, but I would rather not arrive with health concerns that should have been handled during preparation.
For a while there, I was beginning to worry about Elizabeth’s commitment to the hike. Perhaps, I was overthinking. Perhaps, I was reading too much into her level of enthusiasm. Perhaps, it was some combination of the two. Whatever it was, I started to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of her not joining me on this journey. While that mindset is one I should probably hold onto in the event that something does occur, I now know firmly that she is committed to the trail.
Feeling Generous? Here is my Amazon PCT Wishlist…
The motivation for a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest is a topic I continually explore. It must be about more than Canada. If that is my only goal, it will be too easy to quit when things get seriously challenging. Without a doubt, things will become challenging. Over the course of the next couple of entries, I am going to rely heavily on some lists; Why am I hiking the PCT? Who do I want to be when this is all over? What happens if I quit? Hopefully, these lists can serve as motivators when times get tough.
Back in April, I eclipsed the one year out mark. For me, this was a milestone and a moment to get serious about making this happen. Months earlier, I set calendar reminders to hike the first Saturday of every month from April 2019-March 2020. Joshua Tree served as my first practice hike because I knew it had to take place in the desert before the heat made it unbearable. If you would like to read about the hike, please click HERE.
Joshua Tree did provide a powerful lesson; sunscreen is your friend! Now, before you start calling me names, I applied sunscreen before the hike. What I didn’t do was make sure it covered every inch of exposed skin. I also didn’t make sure I sprayed it on evenly. After six hours of hiking, I returned to the car looking like a red and white zebra. Lesson learned!
Be good to each other,
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